Charles Lamont

Active - 1932 - 1969  |   Born - May 5, 1895   |   Died - Sep 12, 1993   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Musical

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Biography by AllMovie

Descended from a theatrical family, Charles Lamont entered films as a prop man in 1919. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Lamont directed dozens of 2-reel comedies for Mack Sennett, Al Christie and Educational Studios. In contrast to most comedy directors, Lamont believed in strictly adhering to the script, allowing no ad-libbing from his stars, be they 5-year-old Shirley Temple or the Three Stooges. He also directed inveterate improviser Buster Keaton in a group of talkie comedy shorts at Educational in the mid-1930s (he was reunited with Keaton on the set of the 1945 Universal feature That's the Spirit). Even after directing his first feature-length film in 1934, Lamont kept busy in the short-subject field, helming such funsters as Harry Langdon, Polly Moran and Charley Chase. After six years at Columbia, Lamont moved to Universal in 1940, launching a 16-year association with that studio. While at Universal he directed some of Abbott & Costello's best films--and not a few of their worst. He also called the shots on two fondly remembered Yvonne DeCarlo/Rod Cameron features: the ultracampy Salome Where She Danced (1945) and Frontier Gal (1945), the latter described by the late historian William K. Everson as one of Hollywood's few screwball westerns. Before his retirement in 1956, Charles Lamont directed an abundance of Universal programmers, including five of the studio's profitable Ma and Pa Kettle entries.

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