South African-born Cy Endfield was educated at Yale and New York City's New Theater School. After a few terms as a drama teacher, Endfield came to Hollywood, where he worked as a writer. Shortly before his wartime service, Endfield was given his first chance to direct on MGM's Our Gang short subjects series. He remained in the MGM shorts department during the months just following VE day, helming the one- and two-reel entries in the studio's Passing Parade and Crime Does Not Pay series. His first feature-length directorial effort, which he also scripted, was Monogram's Gentleman Joe Palooka (1946). He persevered as a director of several modest but well-received melodramas until he was blacklisted as a result of the dubious "revelations" of the HUAC. He worked in England during the 1950s, often pseudonymously, directing episodes of such London-based TV series as Colonel March of Scotland Yard. Endfield's re-entry into mainstream filmmaking came about when he formed a partnership with actor Stanley Baker. The best of Cy Endfield's later works include Mysterious Island (1961), Zulu (1964) and Sands of the Kalahari (1965); he was also one of several directors who tried but failed to make cinematic sense of the 1969 farrago DeSade.