Alfred E. Green inaugurated his nearly five-decade film career as a utility actor at the old Selig Polyscope outfit. He became assistant to Selig's top director Colin Campbell, working on such early moneymakers as The Spoilers (1914). By 1917, Green was soloing as a feature director at Paramount, putting such luminaries as Mary Pickford, Thomas Meighan and Wallace Reid through their paces. His first talkies, lensed at Warner Bros., were two stagebound but enjoyable George Arliss vehicles, Disraeli (1929) and The Green Goddess (1930). He spent most of the 1930s at Warners, turning out films of decent box-office value but highly variable quality: he managed to direct Bette Davis in one of her best performances (1935's Dangerous, for which she won an Oscar), but also helmed one of her worst efforts, Parachute Jumper (1933). In 1946, Green directed Columbia's The Jolson Story, one of that studio's biggest hits, and the most financially successful of all of Green's films. Seven years later, Warner Bros. tried to repeat the magic by hiring an ailing Green to direct The Eddie Cantor Story (1953), but the film was a dog, hampered not only by stodgy direction but by the weak performance of Keefe Brasselle as Cantor. Even in his declining years, however, Alfred E. Green was capable of excellent work: his independently produced The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) is one of the best-ever sports biopics, transcending its tiny budget with some masterfully staged baseball sequences.