Allan Dwan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Allan Dwan
Allan Dwan 1920.jpg
Dwan in 1920
Born Joseph Aloysius Dwan
(1885-04-03)3 April 1885
Toronto, Canada
Died 28 December 1981(1981-12-28) (aged 96)
Los Angeles, United States
Occupation Film director
Film producer
Screenwriter
Years active 1911–1961
Spouse(s) Pauline Bush (1915–1919)
Marie Shelton (1927–1949)

Allan Dwan (3 April 1885 – 28 December 1981) was a pioneering Canadian-born American motion picture director, producer and screenwriter.

Early life[edit]

Born Joseph Aloysius Dwan in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dwan moved with his family to the United States when he was eight (8) years old, on April 15, 1893. At the University of Notre Dame, he trained as an engineer and began working for a lighting company in Chicago. However, he had a strong interest in the fledgling motion picture industry and when Essanay Studios offered him the opportunity to become a scriptwriter, he took the job.[1] At that time, some of the East Coast movie makers began to spend winters in California where the climate allowed them to continue productions requiring warm weather. Soon, a number of movie companies worked there year-round and, in 1911, Dwan began working part-time in Hollywood. While still in New York, in 1917 he was the founding president of the East Coast chapter of the Motion Picture Directors Association.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Dwan operated Flying A Studios in La Mesa, California from August 1911 to July 1912.[2][3] Flying A was one of the first motion pictures studios in California history. On 12 August 2011, a plaque was unveiled on the Wolff building at Third Ave and La Mesa Bl commemorating Dwan and the Flying A Studios origins in La Mesa, California.

After making a series of westerns and comedies, Dwan directed fellow Canadian-American Mary Pickford in several very successful movies as well as her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, notably in the acclaimed 1922 Robin Hood. Dwan directed Gloria Swanson in eight feature films, and one short film made in the short-lived sound-on-film process Phonofilm. This short, also featuring Thomas Meighan and Henri de la Falaise, was produced as a joke, for the 26 April 1925 "Lambs' Gambol" for The Lambs, with the film showing Swanson crashing the all-male club.

Following the introduction of the talkies, Dwan directed child-star Shirley Temple in Heidi (1937) and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938).

Dwan helped launch the career of two other very successful Hollywood directors, Victor Fleming, who went on to direct The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, and Marshall Neilan, who became an actor, director, writer and producer. Over a long career spanning almost 50 years, Dwan directed over 400 motion pictures, many of them highly acclaimed, such as the 1949 box office smash, Sands of Iwo Jima. He directed his last movie in 1961.[citation needed]

He died in Los Angeles at the age of ninety-six, and is interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, California.

Allan Dwan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6263 Hollywood Boulevard.

Partial filmography as director[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brownlow, Kevin (1969). The Parade's Gone By . . . New York: Ballantine Books, Inc. p. 111. 
  2. ^ "La mesa to honor its tinseltown roots aug. 12–13". 
  3. ^ "Proto-Hollywood: 100 Melodramas Were Made In La Mesa 100 Years Ago". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lombardi, Frederic, Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios (2013)

Print ISBN 978-0-7864-3485-5 Ebook ISBN 978-0-7864-9040-0

External links[edit]