Edmund Goulding

Active - 1919 - 1958  |   Born - Mar 20, 1891   |   Died - Dec 24, 1959   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Edmund Goulding started out as a child actor on the turn-of-the-century London stage. By the time he marched off to serve in World War I, he was enjoying a modestly successful career as an actor, writer and director. Invalided out of service, Goulding made his New York stage bow in 1915, then returned to the British Army for the balance of the war. It was back to the U.S. in 1919 and a career as a professional writer; in 1925, he joined the directing/screenwriting pool at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (both Goulding's novel Fury and his play Dancing Mothers would be adapted for the screen, though curiously not at Metro). Specializing in luminescent, star-studded dramas at MGM, Goulding reached an early career peak with his helming of the Oscar-winning Grand Hotel (1932). From 1936 through 1946, Goulding worked almost exclusively at Warner Bros., where he was one of Bette Davis' most frequent directors--though, judging by their well-publicized on-set tiffs during the filming of Dark Victory (1939), The Old Maid (1939) and The Great Lie (1941), neither Goulding nor Davis were particular favorites of one another. Joan Blondell, who appeared in Goulding's Nightmare Alley (1947) at 20th Century-Fox, characterized the director as "that nut," noting how he would floridly act out each scene before the cameras turned (as contrast, Nightmare Alley star Tyrone Power liked Goulding and delivered one of his finest performances in this film). For one of his last directorial efforts, Teenage Rebel (1956), Edmund Goulding also penned the musical score.

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