Stuart Heisler

Active - 1921 - 1984  |   Born - Jan 1, 1894   |   Died - Oct 21, 1979   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Adventure

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Biography by AllMovie

Another graduate of the Hollywood property-man ranks, Stuart Heisler was firmly established as a top film editor by the early 1930s. He was given his first chance to direct on the second unit of John Ford's The Hurricane (1937). Heisler's first solo directorial effort would remain his finest film: The Biscuit Eater (1940), an unpretentious Paramount "B"-pic that ended up as the "sleeper" of the season. After a brace of atmospheric horror films, The Monster and the Girl (1941) and Among the Living (1941), Heisler was promoted to "A" projects along the lines of 1942's The Glass Key. Heisler's output thereafter became unpredictably uneven. On the plus side, he was seen in the anti-KKK drama Storm Warning (1950), the gaudy Bette Davis vehicle The Star (1952), and the worthwhile Technicolor High Sierra remake I Died a Thousand Times (1955). On the minus side, audiences were subjected to the likes of Tokyo Joe (1949), Island of Desire (1953), and Hitler (1962). He enjoyed a better batting average with his many half-hour TV films of the 1950s and 1960s. In toto, the career of Stuart Heisler bears out film critic Andrew Sarris' overview: "...he has moments of insight and charm scattered like loose beads on a sawdust-covered floor."

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