Jean Negulesco

Active - 1937 - 1973  |   Born - Feb 26, 1900   |   Died - Jul 18, 1993   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Jean Negulseco ran away to Vienna, Austria in 1915, and by 1919 had established himself as a painter in Bucharest, Romania. He later worked as a stage decorator in Paris. He came to New York for an exhibition of his paintings in 1927 and stayed. He entered the movie industry in 1934 as an assistant producer and later became a second unit director on pictures such as Captain Blood and A Farewell To Arms. He spent much of the middle and late 1930s as an associate director and screenwriter (including the original story for the Laurel and Hardy musical comedy Swiss Miss). He made two-reel shorts at Warner Bros., and was given his abortive feature directorial debut in 1941's Singapore Woman, from which he was removed but retained credit as director. In the early days of 1942, he took over direction (including the denouement) of Across The Pacific from John Huston when Huston was called up for military service. The Mask of Dimetrios (1944) was Negulesco's formal debut, and proved successful as an offbeat thriller based on an Eric Ambler mystery novel. He later made Johnny Belinda (1948), a groundbreaking drama about a deaf-mute girl who is the victim of rape, which won Jane Wyman an Oscar as Best Actress, and the fact-based prisoner-of-war drama Three Came Home (1950), starring Claudette Colbert. During the 1950s, Negulesco moved comfortably into slicker entertainment, including the comedy How To Marry A Millionaire (1953), the first film shot in CinemaScope, and Three Coins In the Fountain (1954), as well as Fred Astaire's first wide-screen feature, Daddy Long Legs (1954). He retired from filmmaking after many years of declining work in features, and was one of the most honored of Hollywood's elder statesmen for the last two decades of his life. Although never a noted director, Negulesco, in his early prime, showed unusual sensitivity in his choice of subjects and actors.

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