William Witney

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William Witney
Born William Nuelsen Witney
(1915-05-15)May 15, 1915
Lawton, Oklahoma
Died March 17, 2002(2002-03-17) (aged 86)
Jackson, California
Other names William Whitney
Bill Witney
William N. Witney
Years active 1939-1982
Spouse(s) Maxine Doyle
(m.1938–1973; her death)
(m.1977–2002; his death)
Website www.williamwitney.com

William Nuelsen Witney (May 5, 1915 – 17 March, 2002) was an American film and television director. He is best remembered for the movie serials he co-directed with John English for Republic Pictures such as Daredevils of the Red Circle, Zorro's Fighting Legion and Drums of Fu Manchu.[1]

He directed many Westerns during his career, and is credited with devising the modern system of filming movie fight sequences in a series of carefully choreographed shots, which he patterned after the musical sequences of American director Busby Berkeley.[1] Prolific and pugnacious, Witney began directing while still in his 20s, and continued until 1982.

Quentin Tarantino has singled out Witney as one of his favorite directors and a "lost master", and considers four films as Witney's best work: The Golden Stallion (1949), a Roy Rogers vehicle, Stranger at My Door (1956), The Bonnie Parker Story (1958), and Paratroop Command (1959).[2] Witney also directed Master of the World (1961) starring Vincent Price and Charles Bronson.

Whitney was also a director for Jim Davis' syndicated adventure television series, Rescue 8, which aired from 1958 to 1960.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "William Witney, 86, Director of Westerns". The New York Times. March 30, 2002. 
  2. ^ Lyman, Rick (September 15, 2000). "Whoa, Trigger! Auteur Alert!". The New York Times.  Interview with Quentin Tarantino; Lyman and Tarantino watched The Golden Stallion together.

Further reading[edit]

  • Witney, William. In a Door, into a Fight, Out a Door, into a Chase: Moviemaking Remembered by the Guy at the Door. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-2258-0. 
  • Witney, William. Trigger Remembered. Earl Blair Enterprises.  ASIN B0006EYMSG.

External links[edit]