Harold D. Schuster

Active - 1927 - 1957  |   Born - Aug 1, 1902   |   Died - Jul 19, 1986   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Romance, Action, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American director Harold Schuster went from small-part actor to assistant cameraman to film editor at Fox Studios, all within a single year (1927). While at Fox, Schuster worked on some of the firm's most celebrated achievements, notably Sunrise (1927) and Zoo at Budapest (1933). In 1937, Schuster was sent to England by Fox for his first directorial job, Wings of the Morning (1937). An Iowa native, Schuster was drawn to rural themes in his films, frequently scouting his own locations to achieved the desired photographic results. The director's most characteristic films (and his best) include My Friend Flicka (1943), So Dear to My Heart (1947) and The Tender Years (1948), the latter highlighted by a rare non-comic performance by Joe E. Brown. With "urban" films, Schuster was less successful; perhaps his worst film was the cheapo boxing flick Kid Monk Baroni (1950), later characterized by its star Leonard Nimoy as "the sort of film that makes unknowns out of stars." After lensing several nondescript programmers in the '50s, Harold Schuster moved to television, where he conveyed his love of the Great Outdoors in series ranging from Lassie to The Twilight Zone.

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