Lewis Milestone

Active - 1921 - 1962  |   Born - Sep 30, 1895   |   Died - Sep 25, 1980   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Lewis Milestone (born Lewis Milstein in the Ukraine) came to the U.S. as a teenager, and while in the Army during World War I was an assistant director on training films. In Hollywood, he began working as an editor, and after writing and assistant directing in the early 1920s, he helmed his first feature for producer Howard Hughes, Seven Sinners (1925). Milestone's comedy Two Arabian Knights (1927) was widely admired, but the director didn't hit his stride until 1930 with All Quiet on the Western Front, his landmark adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's war novel. In the '30s Milestone scored major achievements in several genres, including comedy (The Front Page [1931]), musical (Hallelujah, I'm a Bum [1933]), and espionage (The General Died at Dawn [1936]); he capped the decade with his classic drama Of Mice And Men (1939), adaptated from John Steinbeck's novella. Notable among his work of the 1940s and '50s are the war films Edge of Darkness (1943), The Purple Heart (1944), A Walk in the Sun (1946), and Pork Chop Hill (1959); The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946), a stylish noir; and the Steinbeck adaptation The Red Pony (1949). Milestone began directing for television in the mid-'50s, and his film output quickly dropped off; after presiding over the Rat Pack in Ocean's 11 (1960) and Marlon Brando in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), his only other '60s credits are two films he started but which were completed and signed by others, PT 109 (1963) and The Dirty Game.

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