Don Chaffey

Active - 1952 - 1985  |   Born - Aug 5, 1907   |   Died - Nov 13, 1990   |   Genres - Drama, Spy Film, Adventure, Children's/Family, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Beginning in an assistant's post at Britain's Gainsborough Studios in 1944, Don Chaffey was promoted to head of the studio's art direction department within two years. Chaffey made his directorial bow with the award-winning The Mysterious Poacher (1950). On the strength of this one film, he was forever tagged as a "family" or "children's" director, despite occasionally delving into such grown-up fare as A Question of Adultery (1958), The Man Upstairs (1958), and A Matter of Who (1961). Fans of stop-motion wizard Ray Harryhausen will recall Chaffey as the efficient, unobtrusive director of Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and One Million Years B.C. (1967). Hired by Walt Disney to direct 1961's Greyfriars Bobby (1960), Chaffey remained a Disney regular into the 1970s, helming the made-for-TV The Prince and the Pauper (1962) and Horse Without a Head (1962), and the theatrical features Three Lives of Thomasina (1963) and Pete's Dragon (1977). Don Chaffey's last projects included the TV movies Casino (1980) and International Airport (1985).

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