Howard P. Bretherton

Active - 1924 - 1952  |   Born - Feb 13, 1890   |   Died - Apr 12, 1969   |   Genres - Western, Action, Drama, Crime, Mystery

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Not everyone who started out as a silent-movie property man graduated to film director, but enough did to make the prop department an attractive entry-level job. One such graduate was Howard P. Bretherton, who spent ten years in lower-echelon studio positions before his directorial debut with 1926's While London Sleeps (1926). His adroit handling of the 1927 Rin Tin Tin vehicle Hills of Kentucky established Bretherton as an "outdoors" director. He spent most of the late-silent/early-talkie era at Warner Bros., a studio that favored fast and efficient directors over slow, self-conscious "auteurs." When not calling the camera shots, Bretherton was reassembling them in the editing room for the benefit of other directors. From 1940 onward, Howard P. Bretherton was one of Hollywood's busiest "B"-western directors, churning out many a Hopalong Cassidy picture; while at least one western historian found his technique "heavy handed," Bretherton delivered what his public craved, remaining active until 1952.

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