Reginald Barker

Active - 1914 - 1936  |   Born - Jan 1, 1886   |   Died - Sep 25, 1937   |   Genres - Drama, Western

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Scottish-born director Reginald Barker arrived in the US at age 10; five years later he made his first acting appearance in a suburban Los Angeles stock company. Hired as a general purpose actor by producer Thomas Ince in 1913, Barker soon worked his way up to assistant director. Ince was notorious for credit-grabbing, so it's difficult to determine how much uncredited work Barker did during his first few years with the producer. Barker was assigned to guide western star William S. Hart through his first major film On the Night Stage (1914), the success of which assured the young director future work on plum assignments. Most of his projects were red-blooded melodramas and westerns, though he occasionally dealt with humorous subjects, notably the 1920 Bunty Pulls the Strings (based on a stage hit imported from his native Scotland). In 1929, Barker was engaged by RKO to make the first sound version of Seven Keys to Baldpate; the film was designed as a testing ground for RKO's new sound-effects division, and served its purpose brilliantly. After Baldpate, however, Barker inexplicably fell from favor. His last assignments -- The Moonstone (1934), Women Must Dress (1935) et al. -- were for the "poverty row" Monogram studio.

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