Paul Wendkos

Active - 1953 - 2010  |   Born - Sep 20, 1922   |   Died - Nov 12, 2009   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Spy Film

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A Columbia University graduate, American director Paul Wendkos went the usual student filmmaker route with documentaries and experimental projects. After TV work, Wendkos made his big screen bow with The Burglar (1957), a highly regarded low-budget melodrama. Soon, however, Wendkos seemingly abandoned his cult fans by moving to conventional projects, including Columbia's trio of Gidget films. Once firmly established in the mainstream, Wendkos joined the tight fraternity of TV-movie specialists. Together with Lamont Johnson and David Lowell Rich, Wendkos has been one of the most prolific purveyors of this field. Among Paul Wendko's most prestigious TV movie accomplishments have included A Woman Called Moses and The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd; one of his made-for-TV assignments, 1973's Honor Thy Father, was ultimately awarded with theatrical play.

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