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Robert Aldrich Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (14)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Cranston, Rhode Island, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (kidney failure)
Birth NameRobert Burgess Aldrich
Nicknames Bob
Le Gros Bob

Mini Bio (1)

Robert Aldrich entered the film industry in 1941 when he got a job as a production clerk at RKO Radio Pictures. He soon worked his way up to script clerk, then became an assistant director, a production manager and an associate producer. He began writing and directing for TV series in the early 1950s, and directed his first feature in 1953 (Big Leaguer (1953)). Soon thereafter he established his own production company and produced most of his own films, collaborating in the writing of many of them. Among his best-known pictures are Kiss Me Deadly (1955), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) and the muscular WW II mega-hit The Dirty Dozen (1967).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (2)

Sibylle Siegfried (11 November 1966 - 5 December 1983) ( his death)
Harriet Foster (21 May 1941 - 1965) ( divorced) ( 4 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Frequently cast Wesley Addy.
Directed a plethora of genres but almost all of his films contained a subversive undertone
Extreme and often selfish leading characters
Lengthy pre-opening credit sequences (eg What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967)).

Trivia (14)

Nephew of John D. Rockefeller Jr., grandson of Nelson Aldrich.
Father of director Adell Aldrich
Father of William Aldrich.
From 1975-79 he was President of the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 8-14. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Directed five different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Victor Buono, Bette Davis, Agnes Moorehead, Ian Bannen and John Cassavetes.
Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1959
Three films Aldrich directed were chosen for inclusion in the 10 best list in 1955 compiled by François Truffaut for "Cahiers du Cinema" magazine: Apache (1954), The Big Knife (1955) and Vera Cruz (1954).
Two of Aldrich's movies--Vera Cruz (1954) and Kiss Me Deadly (1955)--are considered to be among the most influential films of the 1950s.
He was a left-wing Democrat who opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War.
Portrayed by Alfred Molina in Feud: Bette and Joan (2017), which chronicles the making of the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
Considered directing an adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula".
He has directed one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

Personal Quotes (14)

A director is a ringmaster, a psychiatrist and a referee.
[on What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)] Judging by the initial press reaction. I wasn't sure whether I was going to produce and direct a motion picture or referee a fight.
The struggle for self-determination, the struggle for what a character wants his life to be . . . I look for characters who feel strongly enough about something not to be concerned with the prevailing odds, but to struggle against those odds.
The power is for the director to do what he wants to do. To achieve that he needs his own cutter, he needs his cameraman, he needs his own assistant and a strong voice in his choice of writer; a very, very strong voice on who's the actor. He needs the power not to be interfered with and the power to make the movie as he sees it.
I think I am a much more humorous and funny fellow, and I would like to do a comedy or a musical, and I think I could easily adapt to that because of my knowledge of music. But it has nothing to do with what you think of yourself, but only what others think of you.
[on Bette Davis] Now Davis is a tough old broad and you fight. But when you see what she puts on the screen you know it was worth taking all the bull.
[on Frank Sinatra] Unpleasant man. No one has yet worked out what really makes him tick. But he sings well.
[on Lee Marvin] Look, this feller is a pretty good boozer, he's got a short fuse, but he can be handled okay.
[on Burt Lancaster] He has matured gracefully, plays men his own age and understands the need not to win the girl. He is much more tolerant of other people's point of view.
[on Lewis Milestone] From Lewis Milestone I learned diplomacy in dealing with actors.
[1974 comment on Kim Novak] Is Kim Novak a joke in her own time?
[on Charles Chaplin, for whom he worked as assistant director on Limelight (1952)] He's the greatest actor in the world but he doesn't know how to direct.
[on Joan Crawford's withdrawal from Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)] There's no doubt in the world that Crawford was sick, seriously sick. If she'd been faking either the insurance company would never have paid the claim or she would never have been insurable again. Insurance companies are terribly tough, there's no such thing as a made-up ailment that they pay you off on.
I can't imagine how people, certainly working people, can be Republicans. It amazes me.

Salary (1)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955) $25,000

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