Raoul A. Walsh (March 11, 1887 – December 31, 1980) was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the brother of the silent screen actor George Walsh. He was known for portraying John Wilkes Booth in the silent classic (1915) and for directing such films as The Birth of a Nation (1930), starring The Big Trail John Wayne, (1941), starring High Sierra Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart; and (1949), starring White Heat James Cagney and Edmond O'Brien. He directed his last film in 1964.
Walsh was born in New York as Albert Edward Walsh to Elizabeth T. Bruff, the daughter of Irish Catholic immigrants, and Thomas W. Walsh, an Englishman. Like his younger brother, he was part of
Omega Gamma Delta in high school. Growing up in New York, Walsh was also a friend of the Barrymore family. ( John Barrymore recalled spending time reading in the Walsh family library as a youth.) Later in life he lived in Palm Springs, California. He was buried at Assumption Cemetery  Simi Valley, Ventura County, California.
Walsh was educated at
Seton Hall College. He began acting in 1909, first as a stage actor in New York City and later as a film actor. In 1914 he became an assistant to D.W. Griffith and made his first full-length feature film, , shot on location in Mexico with The Life of General Villa Pancho Villa playing the lead and with actual ongoing battles filmed in progress as well as recreations (events dramatized in the 2003 film , with And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself Kyle Chandler playing Walsh).
John Wilkes Booth in Griffith's epic (1915) and also served as an assistant director. This was followed by the critically acclaimed The Birth of a Nation in 1915, possibly the earliest feature Regeneration gangster film, shot on location in Manhattan's Bowery district.
Walsh served as an officer in the
United States Army during World War I. He later directed (1924), starring The Thief of Bagdad Douglas Fairbanks and Anna May Wong, and Laurence Stallings' (1926), starring What Price Glory? Victor McLaglen and Dolores del Río.
(1928), starring Gloria Swanson as a prostitute seeking a new life in Samoa, Walsh starred as Swanson's boyfriend in his first acting role since 1915; he also directed the film. He was then hired to direct and star in Sadie Thompson , a film about In Old Arizona O. Henry's character the Cisco Kid. While on location for that film Walsh was in a car crash when a jackrabbit jumped through the windshield as he was driving through the desert; he lost his right eye as a result. He gave up the part and never acted again. Warner Baxter won an Oscar for the role Walsh was originally slated to play. Walsh would wear an eyepatch for the rest of his life. 
In the early days of sound with
Fox, Walsh directed the first widescreen spectacle, (1930), an epic The Big Trail wagon train western shot on location across the West. The movie starred John Wayne, then unknown, whom Walsh discovered as prop boy Marion Morrison and renamed after the Revolutionary War general Mad Anthony Wayne; Walsh happened to be reading a book about him at the time. Walsh directed (1933), featuring The Bowery Wallace Beery, George Raft, Fay Wray and Pert Kelton; the energetic movie recounts the story of Steve Brodie (Raft), supposedly the first man to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and live to brag about it.
An undistinguished period followed with
Paramount Pictures from 1935 to 1939, but Walsh's career rose to new heights after he moved to Warner Brothers, with (1939), featuring The Roaring Twenties James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart; (1940), with John Wayne and Dark Command Roy Rogers (at Republic Pictures); (1940), with They Drive By Night George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino and Bogart; (1941), with Lupino and Bogart again; High Sierra (1941), with They Died with Their Boots On Errol Flynn as Custer; (1941), with Cagney and The Strawberry Blonde Olivia de Havilland; (1941), with Manpower Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich and George Raft; and (1949), with Cagney. Walsh's contract at Warners expired in 1953.
He directed several films afterwards, including three with
Clark Gable: (1955), The Tall Men (1956) and The King and Four Queens (1957). Walsh retired in 1964. He died of a Band of Angels heart attack in 1980.
Some of Walsh's film-related material and personal papers are contained in the
Wesleyan University Cinema Archives, to which scholars and media experts from around the world may have full access.
The Pseudo Prodigal (1913, Short, Director), directorial debut
(1914, Director) The Life of General Villa
The Mystery of the Hindu Image (1914, Director) (uncredited)
The Banker's Daughter (1914)
(1914) The Great Leap; Until Death Do Us Part
(1914) - The Adopted Son The Dishonored Medal
(1914) - Villa as a young man The Life of General Villa
(1915) - John Wilkes Booth (uncredited) The Birth of a Nation
(1915, Director) Regeneration
(1915, Director) (with Carmen Theda Bara)
(1915) - The outlaw The Outlaw's Revenge
(1917, Director) (aka: The Silent Lie Camille of the Yukon)
(1917, Director) Betrayed
The Conqueror (1917, Director)
(1917, Director) The Honor System
The Woman and the Law (1918, Director) (with Jack Connors, Miriam Cooper and Peggy Hopkins Joyce)
(1918, Director) The Prussian Cur
(1919, Director) (with his wife Evangeline Miriam Cooper)
(1920, Director) The Strongest
(1920, Director) The Deep Purple
(1922, Director) Kindred of the Dust
(1924, Director, produced by and starring The Thief of Bagdad Douglas Fairbanks, and featuring Anna May Wong)
(1925, Director) The Wanderer
(1926, Director, his most successful What Price Glory silent movie) (with Victor McLaglen and Dolores del Río)
(1926, Director) The Lucky Lady
(1927, Director) (with The Loves of Carmen Dolores del Río)
The Monkey Talks (1927, Director)
(1928, Director, in which he acted alongside Sadie Thompson Gloria Swanson) - Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara (final film role)
(1928, Director) (with The Red Dance Dolores del Río and Charles Farrell)
(1928, Director, debut of Me, Gangster Don Terry)
(1929, Director) The Cock-Eyed World
(1930, Director) (with The Big Trail John Wayne, an early location movie in widescreen and Wayne's first leading role)
(1931, Director) (with The Man Who Came Back Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell)
(1931, Director) (with The Yellow Ticket Lionel Barrymore and Laurence Olivier)
(1932, Director) (with Wild Girl Charles Farrell, Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy, and Eugene Pallette)
(1932, Director) Me and My Gal
(1933, Director) (with The Bowery Wallace Beery, George Raft, Fay Wray, and Pert Kelton)
(1936, Director) (with Klondike Annie Mae West and Victor McLaglen)
(1937, Director) O.H.M.S.
(1937, Director) Jump for Glory
(1939, Director) St. Louis Blues
(1939, Director) (with The Roaring Twenties James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart)
(1940, Director) (with Dark Command John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gabby Hayes)
(1940, Director) (with They Drive by Night George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, and Humphrey Bogart)
(1941, Director) (with High Sierra Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart)
(1941, Director) (with The Strawberry Blonde James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland)
(1941, Director) (with They Died with Their Boots On Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland)
(1941, Director) (with Manpower Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft)
(1942) (with Desperate Journey Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan)
(1942, Director) (with Gentleman Jim Errol Flynn and William Frawley)
(1943, Director) (with Northern Pursuit Errol Flynn)
(1944, Director) (with Errol Flynn) Uncertain Glory
(1945, Director) (with Objective, Burma! Errol Flynn)
(1947, Director) (with The Man I Love Ida Lupino)
(1947, Director) (with Pursued Robert Mitchum and Teresa Wright)
(1947, Director) (with Cheyenne Dennis Morgan and Jane Wyman)
(1948, Director) (with Silver River Errol Flynn)
(1948, Director) (with Edmond O'Brien) Fighter Squadron
(1949, Director) (with White Heat James Cagney and Edmond O'Brien)
(1949, Director, a Colorado Territory remake of High Sierra) (with Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone, and Henry Hull)
(1951, Director) (with Captain Horatio Hornblower Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo)
(1951, Director, remarkable for its innovative sound effects) Distant Drums
(1951, Director) (with The Enforcer Humphrey Bogart) (uncredited)
(1952, Director) (with Blackbeard the Pirate Robert Newton, Linda Darnell and William Bendix)
(1952, Director) (with The World in His Arms Gregory Peck, Ann Blyth and Anthony Quinn)
(1953, Director) (with Gun Fury Donna Reed and Lee Marvin)
(1953, Director) (with A Lion Is in the Streets James Cagney, and Lon Chaney Jr.)
(1953, Director) (with The Lawless Breed Rock Hudson)
(1953, Director) (with Sea Devils Rock Hudson)
(1954, Director) Saskatchewan
(1955, Director) Battle Cry
(1955, Director) (with The Tall Men Clark Gable and Jane Russell)
(1956, Director) (with The Revolt of Mamie Stover Jane Russell and Richard Egan)
(1956, Director) (with The King and Four Queens Clark Gable and Eleanor Parker)
(1957, Director) (with Band of Angels Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, and Sidney Poitier)
(1958, Director) The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw
(1958, Director) (with The Naked and the Dead Cliff Robertson, based on the best-selling novel by Norman Mailer)
(1960, Director) Esther and the King
(1961, Director) Marines, Let's Go (1964, Director) (final film) A Distant Trumpet
Walsh replaced director
Bretaigne Windust, who fell severely ill, on The Enforcer and shot over half the film, but refused to take screen credit.
Meeks, Eric G. (2012). The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 145. ISBN 978-1479328598.
Raoul Walsh – Films as Director: Other Films.
"Cinema Archives – Wesleyan University". Wesleyan.edu . Retrieved . 2012-02-20 Further reading Moss. Marilyn Ann (2011).
Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood's Legendary Director. University Press of Kentucky. Smith, Renee D. (2013).
The Films of Raoul Walsh: A Critical Approach excerpt and text search Paolo Bachmann (1977).
Raoul Walsh. Turin: Quaderni del Movie Club di Torino. (in Italian) Jean-Louis Comolli (1964). "L'esprit d'aventure".
Cahiers du cinéma, no. 154, April. (in French) Toni D'Angela, Toni (2008).
Raoul Walsh o dell'avventura singolare, Rome: Bulzoni. (in Italian) "Trafic", no. 28, Winter 1998.
(in French) "La furia umana", no. 1. 2009. http://www.lafuriaumana.it (in Italian) External links
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