Jack Arnold

Active - 1937 - 2019  |   Born - Oct 14, 1916   |   Died - Mar 17, 1992   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Originally an actor on the Broadway stage, Jack Arnold went on to become one of the most beloved B-movie directors in the history of Hollywood. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Arnold became a director of short subjects, earning one Oscar nomination. In 1953, he moved up to feature films, and quickly showed a propensity for action and crime pictures, which he delivered with good pacing and performances. His breakthrough came with Creature From The Black Lagoon and It Came From Outer Space, two 3-D titles that were among the most successful done in that short-lived format. Arnold's subsequent pictures, including The Incredible Shrinking Man, showed a lyricism and sensitivity that was rare in B-movies of the time, and even the films that he wrote but didn't direct, such as The Monolith Monsters, showed unexpected depth, while his High School Confidential could be the best teen exploitation ever made, and has made millions in the decades since it was originally released. After The Mouse That Roared--a British satiric comedy that achieved an international following--Arnold saw his opportunities in feature films drying up, and took a position at the CBS television network, where, as part of his job, he rescued Gilligan's Island from oblivion, and directed an award-winning network special. Chronic illness halted his career in the 1970s, and despite the attempts by other, younger director admirers to help him get pictures, Arnold was largely inactive during the 1980s. He died in 1992 after a long illness.

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