H.C. Potter

Active - 1936 - 1957  |   Born - Nov 18, 1904   |   Died - May 31, 1977   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Comedy Drama

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Straight out of Yale Drama School, H.C. Potter launched a stage directing career in his native New York City. His most famous Broadway assignment was the 1944 production of A Bell For Adano, the film version of which was directed by Henry King. Not that Potter himself was ignored by Hollywood; brought to Tinseltown by Sam Goldwyn for 1936's Beloved Infidel, the director remained in demand until his retirement after 1957's Top Secret Affair. While his personal style was elusive, Potter was most comfortable with comedy. He got on splendidly with Olsen and Johnson during the filming of Hellzapoppin' (1941), even suggesting some of the film's funnier gags and wilder nonsequiturs; unfortuanately, Potter's own closing sequence for the film, a slapstick smorgasbord set at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, was scrapped by Universal in favor of a cliched fadeout joke that didn't even involve Olsen and Johnson. H. C. Potter's resume included such notable items as Goldwyn's The Cowboy and the Lady (1938) (which when he started filming had only 20 pages of completed script!), Disney's Victory Through Air Power (1942), The Farmer's Daughter (1947), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) and The Time of Your Life (1949) -- more than enough compensation for losing A Bell for Adano and the last two minutes of Hellzapoppin'.

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