Victor Fleming

Active - 1916 - 1985  |   Born - Feb 23, 1889 in La Canada Flintridge, California, United States  |   Died - Jan 6, 1949   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

An assistant cameraman for director Allan Dwan in the early teens, Victor Fleming was a director of photography by 1915, and worked under D.W. Griffith's supervision as well as for Dwan on several films with Douglas Fairbanks. Fairbanks also starred in Fleming's first two films as a director: 1919's When the Clouds Roll By, co-directed by Theodore Reed, and his solo effort of the following year, The Mollycoddle. Fleming helmed several rugged actioners in the 1920s, and became a reliable craftsman of impersonal but handsome films at MGM in the 1930s. Skilled at films for young audiences--Treasure Island, Captains Courageous, The Wizard of Oz--Fleming was also a favorite director of actor Clark Gable, and having guided him in Red Dust (1932) and Test Pilot (1938), was brought in to take over the direction of Gone with the Wind (1939). His most notable films of the '40s were the Spencer Tracy films Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941), Tortilla Flat (1942), and A Guy Named Joe (1944), and his final film, Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman.

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  • Broke into movies in 1910 as a stuntman.
  • Served as President Woodrow Wilson's personal cameraman at the Versailles Peace Conference.
  • Once shot a charging rhinoceros in Africa seconds before it reached one of his friends.
  • Of the 25 silent films he directed, only nine survive.
  • Was not the original choice for either Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz and stepped in to replace George Cukor and Richard Thorpe, respectively.