Yale alumnus Hall Bartlett set up his own film production company in 1952. His first feature film, Navajo, was a well-received contemporary docudrama, filmed on location at a Southwestern Navajo reservation. Bartlett himself appeared in the film as a white schoolteacher. His next project was Crazylegs (1953), a romanticized biopic of gridiron star Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch (played by Hirsch himself). Hirsch went on to co-star in the next Hall Bartlett Production, Unchained, another semi-documentary, this one set at a progressive California correctional institution. Bartlett co-directed his next film, 1957's Drango, and that same year wrote and directed the embryonic disaster-in-the-air film Zero Hour (again with "Crazylegs" Hirsch in the cast). After a decade's worth of virtuosity, Bartlett settled into conventional filmmaking in the 1960s. In 1973, he scored a box-office success with his cinemazation of the best-selling novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull. From 1966 through 1971, Hall Bartlett was married to actress Rhonda Fleming, who, intriguingly enough, never appeared in any of her husband's films.