Robert Wise

Director, Producer, Editor
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 ... Read more »
Born: 09/10/1914 in Winchester, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Director (40)

A Storm in Summer 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Director

Rooftops 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Star Trek: the Motion Picture 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Audrey Rose 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

The Hindenburg 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Two People 1973 (Movie)

(Director)

The Andromeda Strain 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Star! 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sand Pebbles 1966 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sound of Music 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Haunting 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Two For the Seesaw 1962 (Movie)

(Director)

West Side Story 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

Odds Against Tomorrow 1959 (Movie)

(Director)

I Want to Live! 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Run Silent, Run Deep 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

This Could Be the Night 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

Until They Sail 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

Helen of Troy 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Somebody Up There Likes Me 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Tribute to a Bad Man 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Executive Suite 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

Destination Gobi 1953 (Movie)

(Director)

So Big 1953 (Movie)

(Director)

The Desert Rats 1953 (Movie)

(Director)

Something For the Birds 1952 (Movie)

(Director)

The Captive City 1952 (Movie)

(Director)

The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

The House on Telegraph Hill 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Three Secrets 1950 (Movie)

(Director)

Two Flags West 1950 (Movie)

(Director)

The Set-Up 1949 (Movie)

(Director)

Blood on the Moon 1948 (Movie)

(Director)

Mystery in Mexico 1948 (Movie)

(Director)

Born to Kill 1947 (Movie)

(Director)

A Game of Death 1946 (Movie)

(Director)

Criminal Court 1946 (Movie)

(Director)

The Body Snatcher 1945 (Movie)

(Director)

Mademoiselle Fifi 1944 (Movie)

(Director)

The Curse of the Cat People 1944 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (20)

Black Jesus 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Directors 1998 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

History Vs. Hollywood 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Screen Tests: Take Two 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

Steve McQueen: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Susan Hayward: The Brooklyn Bombshell 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

All Is Brazil 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th Century Filmmaker 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Paul Newman: Hollywood's Charming Rebel 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Moviemakers: Robert Wise 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Stupids 1996 (Movie)

Stanley's Neighbor (Actor)

50 Years of Action! 1985 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Fantasy Film World of George Pal 1985 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Backstory (TV Show)

Actor
Editor (12)

Bombardier 1942 (Movie)

(Editor)

Fallen Sparrow 1942 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Iron Major 1942 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Magnificent Ambersons 1942 (Movie)

(Editor)

Citizen Kane 1941 (Movie)

(Editor)

Seven Days Leave 1941 (Movie)

(Editor)

My Favorite Wife 1940 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Devil and Daniel Webster 1940 (Movie)

(Editor)

Dance, Girl, Dance 1939 (Movie)

(Editor)

Bachelor Mother 1938 (Movie)

(Editor)

Fifth Avenue Girl 1938 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1938 (Movie)

(Editor)
Producer (12)

Accidental Fortune 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Producer

Sunday Best 2007 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

Wisdom 1986 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Hindenburg 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

Two People 1973 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Andromeda Strain 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

Star! 1968 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Sand Pebbles 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Sound of Music 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Haunting 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

West Side Story 1961 (Movie)

(Producer)

Odds Against Tomorrow 1959 (Movie)

(Producer)
Other (2)

Wisdom 1986 (Movie)

film extract("The Day the Earth Stood Still") (Other)

The Fantasy Film World of George Pal 1985 (Movie)

assistance (Assistant)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Robert Earl Wise Sr

Father

Olive R Wise

Mother

Patricia Doyle Supervisor

Wife
Married from May 25, 1942 until her death in 1975

Millicent Franklin

Wife
Married on January 29, 1977 until his death 2005

Robert Wise

Son
born c. 1943 mother, Patricia Doyle

David Wise

Brother
worked at RKO helped secure brother's first job at RKO

EDUCATION

Franklin College of Indiana

Franklin , Indiana
quit after one year in the 1930s at the height of the Depression

Milestones

2000

Returned to directing at the helm of the Showtime remake of the TV-movie "A Storm in Summer"

1998

Received American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

1996

Screen acting debut in John Landis' "The Stupids"

1989

Directed last feature to date, "Rooftops", an urban B musical about a teenaged white male, his forbidden Hispanic girlfriend, drug pushers and a form of "combat dancing" (martial arts without the sound of bones snapping)

1979

Boarded the Enterprise to direct "Star Trek--The Motion Picture"

1970

Produced and directed film adaptation of Michael Cricton's first novel "The Andromeda Strain"

1969

Joined with Robson (again), James Bridges and former Paramount vice president Bernard Sonnenfield to form the Filmmaker's Group

1968

Experienced box-office failure with "Star!", a biopic of Gertrude Lawrence starring Julie Andrews

1965

Earned third and fourth Oscars for directing and producing "The Sound of Music", starring Julie Andrews

1963

Completed original commitment to MGM with a return to the horror genre, "The Haunting"

1961

Co-directed "West Side Story" with Jerome Robbins; also was one of the film's producers; won Best Director Oscar and Best Picture Oscar

1959

First film as producer, "Odds Against Tomorrow"; also directed

1958

Received second Oscar nomination (this time for Best Director) for "I Want to Live!", starring Susan Hayward

1956

Provided Paul Newman his big break in "Somebody Up There Likes Me", the boxing tale of Rocky Graziano; Wise's biggest hit of the 1950s

1954

Brought into MGM fold to direct "Executive Suite"; following its preview, MGM signed Wise to three-year contract

1951

Directed the sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still"

1949

Made first boxing picture "The Set-Up", starring Robert Ryan

1947

Helmed the supertough cult film noir "Born to Kill"; uncharacteristically mean-spirited for Wise

1943

First film as co-director (due to illness and slowness of project's original director, Gunther von Fritsch), "The Curse of the Cat People"

1943

First film as sole director, "Mademoiselle Fifi"

1940

First two films as sole editor; "My Favorite Wife" and "Dance, Girl, Dance"

1939

First three films as co-editor (with Hamilton); "Fifth Avenue Girl", "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

1937

Moved up to assistant picture editor, working under William Hamilton

1933

After dropping out of college moved to Southern California, where his brother worked as an accountant at RKO Pictures

1933

Hired by RKO as general editing gofer; promoted to apprentice sound editor after nine months; then music editor (i.e., "The Gay Divorcee" 1934 and "Top Hat" 1935)

Edited both "Citizen Kane" (1941) and "The Magnificent Ambersons" (1942) for Orson Welles; earned Oscar nomination for his work on "Citizen Kane"

Teamed with two former RKO editors, director Mark Robson and producer Theron Warth, to form Aspen Productions; company released only two pictures, Wise's "The Captive City" (1952) and Robson's "Return to Paradise" (1953)

RKO (then in the hands of Howard Hughes) dropped Wise's contract; departed for three-year, nonexclusive contract with 20th Century-Fox

Grew up in Connorsville, Indiana

Bonus Trivia

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The library of the Directors Guild of America was named in honor of Wise in 1998.

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Received the first Sidney P. Solow Memorial Award from the Technology Council (1992)

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"In 1947, I had just finished editing a film called 'My Favorite Wife', when my boss asked if I knew Orson Welles. The studio had just given him a green light, and he needed an editor. I was aware of his remarkable record on the stage in New York and on radio but had never met him. To meet him, I visited a stage where he was shooting a test. We chatted for just a few minutes and I headed back to the editing department. My boss told me Orson had already called and wanted me to edit 'Citizen Kane'. It was an incredible experience."I've been asked many times if Orson looked over my shoulder and directed the editing. He never came into the editing room. I worked with him as I had with any other director. I would take notes on his comments when we ran dailies. There was a lot of give and take. There was a certain timing and rhythm he was after." --Robert Wise, from American Society of Cinematographers press material on the occasion of his receiving their Board of Governors Award

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"On 'I Want to Live!' Susan Hayward wanted us to use a cameraman that she liked very much, someone who had made other pictures with her and had a knack for the glamorous look. Well, he had been last on my list for this particular drama, which was a gritty sort of crime story, the Barbara Graham murder trial piece."I had liked [Lionel] Curly Lindon's texture on a couple of films that he gave a documentary-like look to. So, I had a set-to with Susan Hayward and then a stand-off. Her agent finally got us to meet. And she said, 'So-and-so is free to do this,' and I said he won't be able to give us the documentary look we want. She finally decided to go along with us and won the Academy Award for best actress. But she sure watched the rushes." --Robert Wise in DAILY VARIETY, February 21, 1997

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Inducted into the Producers Guild Hall of Fame in 1999

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