Walter Wanger

Active - 1929 - 1963  |   Born - Jul 11, 1894   |   Died - Nov 18, 1968   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Walter Wanger had produced one play on Broadway when he entered military service during World War I, and later served on President Wilson's staff. After the war and the subsequent peace talks, he joined Paramount Pictures, rose to the position of chief of production, and later moved to Columbia Pictures and MGM before striking out on his own as an independent producer. An enviable record of work, especially from the late '30s onward, his films include John Ford's Stagecoach (1939), Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940), and Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street (1945). After a lapse in the early '50s, the result of a shooting incident involving his wife for which Wanger served a short jail term, he re-emerged working in a more modest capacity, and was responsible for Riot in Cell Block 11 and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, both directed by Don Siegel, although Wanger was also indirectly responsible for tampering with the director's original structure and ending of the latter film. He produced I Want to Live (1957) for United Artists, and was one of the many hands responsible for Cleopatra (1963).

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