July 2, 1908|
|Died||December 12, 1985
Los Angeles, California
|Alma mater||School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Loyola Marymount University
Phil Karlson (July 2, 1908 – December 12, 1985) was an American film director. Karlson directed 99 River Street, Kansas City Confidential and Hell's Island all with actor John Payne in the early 1950s.
Karlson got into the film industry working as a prop man while a law student. After working a variety of jobs in the business, including assistant director on a number of Abbott and Costello films, he made his directorial debut in 1944. He directed Marilyn Monroe's first film, 1948's Ladies of the Chorus, and worked on a number of low-budget projects for Monogram Pictures and Eagle-Lion Films before finally hitting his stride in the early 1950s, when he turned out a string of tough, gritty, realistic and violent crime thrillers.
In the 1960s he directed Kid Galahad (1962) with Elvis Presley and two Matt Helm spy films starring Dean Martin, including The Wrecking Crew (1969) co-starring Sharon Tate and Elke Sommer. He hit the big time in 1973, however, with Walking Tall, the fact-based story of a crusading sheriff in the most corrupt county in Tennessee. It was a major domestic and international hit. It also made him a fortune, thanks to the fact that he owned a large percentage of it.