Veteran Hollywood director Robert Wise was credited with helming 39 feature films from 1944 to 1989, establishing an admirable reputation in such a wide variety of genres as to prompt some critics to unfairly posit that there was no "Wise style. " At the beginning of his career, he worked with equal facility in horror ("The Curse of the Cat People") (1944), film noir ("Born to Kill") (1947), Westerns ("Blood on the Moon") (1948), sports ("The Set-Up") (1949) and sci-fi ("The Day the Earth Stood Still") (1951), demonstrating a visual and narrative dexterity that other filmmakers could only marvel at. After earning his stripes in the 1950s, Wise went on to become one of the most successful and revered directors of the following decade, winning four Oscars for his work on the musical extravaganzas "West Side Story" (1961) and "The Sound of Music" (1965). As film budgets - and studio expectations - skyrocketed, more personal projects, such as the uncompromising Steve McQueen war drama "The Sand Pebbles" (1966), became increasingly difficult for Wise to mount. And although one of his final directorial efforts, the big-budget spectacular "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), may not have been greeted with the unqualified praise the studio had hoped for, it nonetheless demonstrated the work of a master craftsman, still in full possession of his artistic powers. When responding to the charges of some that Wise never left a personal, artistic imprint on his films, the director replied that it was not the director's job to tailor the film to themselves, but rather, to tailor themselves to the film.