Robert Stevenson (director)
31 March 1905|
Buxton, Derbyshire, England
|Died||30 April 1986
Santa Barbara, California, US
|Occupation||Director, screenwriter and actor|
|Spouse(s)||Cecilie L Leslie (1929–1934) (divorced)
Anna Lee (1934–1944) (divorced)
Frances Holyoke Howard (1944) (divorced)
Ursula Henderson (1963–1986) (his death)
|Children||Venetia Stevenson, Caroline Stevenson|
Robert Stevenson (31 March 1905 – 30 April 1986) was an English film writer and director. He was educated at Cambridge University where he became the president of both the Liberal Club and the Cambridge Union Society.
After directing a number of British films, including King Solomon's Mines (1937), he was given a contract by David O. Selznick and moved to Hollywood in the 1940s. He ended up directing 19 films for the Walt Disney Company in the 1960s and 1970s. Stevenson is best remembered for directing the Julie Andrews musical Mary Poppins, for which Andrews won the Academy Award for Best Actress and Stevenson was nominated for Best Director. With Disney, he also directed the first two Herbie films, The Love Bug (1968) and Herbie Rides Again (1974), as well as Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). Three of his films featured English actor David Tomlinson.
Stevenson divorced his first wife Cecilie and married English actress Anna Lee in 1934. They lived on London's Bankside for five years, moving to Hollywood in 1939, where he remained for many years. They had two daughters, Venetia and Caroline, before divorcing in March 1944.
He married Frances Holyoke Howard on 8 October 1944; they later divorced. They had one son, Hugh Howard Stevenson. Robert Stevenson's widow, Ursula Henderson, appeared as herself in the documentary Locked in the Tower: The Men behind Jane Eyre in 2007.
|1932||Happy Ever After||Directorial debut for Stevenson.
The only German film he directed.
|1933||Falling For You||His directorial debut in the United Kingdom|
|1934||The Camels Are Coming||(uncredited)|
|The Man Who Changed His Mind|
|Jack of All Trades|
|1937||King Solomon's Mines|
|Non-Stop New York|
|The Ware Case|
|1939||Young Man's Fancy|
|1940||Return to Yesterday||Stevenson's last United Kingdom film.|
|Tom Brown's School Days||Stevenson's USA Directorial debut.|
|1941||Back Street||Remake of the 1932 Universal Pictures film of the same name, Stevenson's only film for Universal Pictures.|
|1942||Joan of Paris||Nominated for the Academy Award for original music score, Stevenson's first film for RKO Radio Pictures|
|1943||Forever and a Day||The only film from RKO with a record breaking 22 directors, writers, and producers. Last film for RKO.|
|1944||Jane Eyre||His only film he directed for 20th Century Fox|
|Know Your Ally: Britain||Documentary Short (uncredited), Produced for the United States War Department and the United States Signal Corps.|
|1947||Dishonored Lady||Stevenson's only film for United Artists.|
|1948||To the Ends of the Earth||Stevenson's only film for Columbia Pictures.|
|1949||I Married a Communist (aka, The Woman on Pier 13||Stevenson's first film for RKO since 1943|
|1950||Walk Softly, Stranger||Filming completed in 1948 but not released until 1950.|
|1951||My Forbidden Past|
|1952||The Las Vegas Story|
|Macao||(uncredited), Stevenson's final film for RKO.|
|The Ford Television Theatre||TV series (3 episodes: 1952–1953), Stevenson's Television Directorial debut, sponsored by Ford.|
|1953||Cavalcade of America||TV series (8 episodes: 1953–1955)|
|General Electric Theater||TV series (2 episodes: 1953–1956), Sponsored by General Electric.|
|1955||Atomic Energy as a Force for Good||(short)|
|The Star and the Story||TV series (3 episodes: 1955–1956)|
|The 20th Century-Fox Hour||TV series (2 episodes: 1955–1956)|
|Alfred Hitchcock Presents||TV series (7 episodes: 1955–1959)|
|Gunsmoke||TV series (6 episodes)|
|1957||The Christophers||TV series (1 episode: "Sentence Deferred")|
|Johnny Tremain||This marks the return of Robert Stevenson as director in movies since 1952 and his first of in a series of Disney Movies from 1957 to 1976. Based on the award winning novel from 1944 by Esther Forbes|
|Old Yeller||One of Stevenson's most successfully directed films which led to a sequel, Savage Sam(1963). Based on the award winning book by Fred Gipson.|
|Disneyland||TV series (26 episodes: 1957–1982)|
|Zorro||TV series (3 episodes); his final TV series he directed.|
|1959||Darby O'Gill and the Little People|
|The Shaggy Dog(1959)||Originally filmed in Black and white, and was one of the few Disney films filmed in black and white after 1941. However, it was colorised for home video release in 1986, but was restored in its original format for the 2006 DVD release along with the colorised version.|
|1961||The Absent-Minded Professor||Nominated – DGA Award – Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures,Colorized in 1986 for home video release, one of the few Disney black and white films made after 1941.
Was remade as a 1988 television series and a 1997 remake, Flubber.
Was released in widescreen and was restored to Black and white for the 2003 DVD release, and then released on a two disc DVD set with its sequel film, Son of Flubber, in 2008.
|1962||In Search of the Castaways|
|1963||Son of Flubber||Originally filmed in Black and white, and was one of the last few black and white Disney films made after 1941. However, it was colorised for the 1997 VHS release, but was restored for its 2008 two disc DVD release, along with the original 1961 film, The Absent Minded Professor.|
|Savage Sam||Sequel to Fred Gipson's 1956 Newbery Honor award winning book, Old Yeller|
|1964||The Misadventures of Merlin Jones||Followed by the 1965 sequel, The Monkey's Uncle|
|Mary Poppins||Nominated – Academy Award for Best Director
Blue Ribbon Award – Best Foreign Film
Nominated – DGA Award – Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
|1965||The Monkey's Uncle||Sequel to 1964's The Misadventures of Merlin Jones|
|That Darn Cat!||Led to a 1997 remake, That Darn Cat|
|1968||Blackbeard's Ghost||Was released in Japan in 1976 and Australia in 1980.|
|The Love Bug||One of two Love Bug films directed by Stevenson.|
|1971||Bedknobs and Broomsticks||Sant Jordi – Best Children's Film|
|1974||Herbie Rides Again||The first film to use the name, "Herbie", for the Herbie the Love Bug franchise.|
|The Island at the Top of the World|
|1975||One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing|
|1976||The Shaggy D.A.||Sequel to 1959's The Shaggy Dog.
Was Stevenson's final film for Disney, and his final film in general.
|1985||The Walt Disney Comedy and Magic Revue||(video short) (archive footage)|
- John Wakeman, World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890–1945. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, (1987), pp1057-1063.
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