Walter Lang (August 10, 1896 – February 7, 1972) was an American film director.
|Born||August 10, 1896|
|Died||February 7, 1972 (aged 75)|
|Cause of death||kidney failure|
|Resting place||Inglewood Park Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Madalynne Field |
(m. 1937–1972; his death)
Walter Lang was born in Tennessee. As a young man he went to New York City where he found clerical work at a film production company. The business piqued his artistic instincts and he began learning the various facets of filmmaking and eventually worked as an assistant director. However, Lang also had ambitions to be a painter and left the United States for a time to join the great gathering of artists and writers in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France. Things did not work out as Lang hoped and he eventually returned home and to the film business.
In 1925, Walter Lang directed his first silent film, The Red Kimono. In the mid-1930s, he was hired by 20th Century Fox where, as a director, he "painted" a number of the spectacular colorful musicals for which Fox Studios became famous for producing during the 1940s. One of Lang's most recognized films is the lavish adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The King and I (1956) for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Directing.
Lang was married to Madalynne Field (1907–1974) from 1937 until his death. Field, a former actress, had met and befriended Carole Lombard when they were employed as Sennett Bathing Beauties in the late 1920s. Field's film career ended with the demise of Sennett's studio. However, she maintained her friendship with Lombard, and acted as Lombard's secretary until her marriage. She met Lang when he directed Lombard in Love Before Breakfast (1936). Lang was buried in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, in Inglewood, California.
Brothers is a 1930 American Pre-Code crime film directed by Walter Lang.Carnival (1935 film)
Carnival is a 1935 American film directed by Walter Lang and starring Jimmy Durante, Lee Tracy, and Sally Eilers.The film also includes a young Lucille Ball in a small uncredited role as a nurse.Claudia and David
Claudia and David is a 1946 film directed by Walter Lang. It stars Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young. Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young repeat their roles from the film Claudia (1943) Like its predecessor, Claudia and David was based on a series of short stories by Rose Franken, which also inspired a successful stage play and radio series.Coney Island (1943 film)
Coney Island is a 1943 American Technicolor musical film released by Twentieth Century Fox and starring Betty Grable in one of her biggest hits. A "gay nineties" musical (set in that time period) it also featured George Montgomery, Cesar Romero, and Phil Silvers, was choreographed by Hermes Pan, and was directed by Walter Lang. Betty Grable also starred in the 1950 remake, Wabash Avenue.
In 1944, the year after the film was released, it was nominated for an Oscar for Alfred Newman in the category of Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture
The film is also known as: Coney Island in Sweden, L'île aux plaisirs in France, L'isola delle sirene in Italy, San oneiro in Greece, Se necesitan maridos in Spain and Tivolin kaunotar in Finland.Desk Set
Desk Set (released as His Other Woman in the UK) is a 1957 American romantic comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. The screenplay was written by Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron from the 1955 eponymous play by William Marchant.Hell Bound (1931 film)
Hell Bound is a 1931 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Walter Lang.Hooray for Love (film)
Hooray for Love is a 1935 American musical comedy film directed by Walter Lang from a screenplay by Lawrence Hazard and Ray Harris, which was based on an unpublished story by Marc Lachmann titled The Show Must Go On. Starring Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond, they were supported by Bill Robinson, Maria Gambarelli, Thurston Hall, and Pert Kelton; the film was released by RKO on June 14, 1935.Love Before Breakfast
Love Before Breakfast is a 1936 American romantic comedy film starring Carole Lombard, Preston Foster, and Cesar Romero, based on Faith Baldwin's short story Spinster Dinner, published in International-Cosmopolitan in July 1934. The film was directed by Walter Lang from a screenplay by Herbert Fields assisted by numerous contract writers, including Preston Sturges.Sitting Pretty (1948 film)
Sitting Pretty is a 1948 American comedy film which tells the story of a family who hires Lynn Belvedere, a man with a mysterious past, to babysit their children. It stars Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara, and Clifton Webb. The film was adapted by F. Hugh Herbert from the comic novel Belvedere (1947) by Gwen Davenport. It was directed by Walter Lang.The character of Belvedere proved so popular, Webb reprised his role in two more movies: Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), and Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell (1951).The Golden Web
The Golden Web is a lost 1926 American drama film directed by Walter Lang and featuring Boris Karloff.The Great Profile
The Great Profile is a 1940 film directed by Walter Lang and starring John Barrymore and John Payne.Barrymore lampoons himself. A famous actor, given to drink, nearly destroys the show, but his leading lady returns to save it. Meanwhile, a young girl tries to reform him.The Mighty Barnum
The Mighty Barnum is a 1934 film starring Wallace Beery as P.T. Barnum. The movie was written by Gene Fowler and Bess Meredyth, and directed by Walter Lang. Beery had played Barnum four years earlier in A Lady's Morals, a highly fictionalized biography of singer Jenny Lind. The supporting cast features Adolphe Menjou, Virginia Bruce as Jenny Lind, and Rochelle Hudson.The Warrior's Husband
The Warrior's Husband is a 1933 pre-Code American comedy film which tells the story of the Amazons, who ruled over men thanks to the sacred girdle of Diana, and Hercules who came to steal it. The film is based on a 1932 Broadway production of Julian Thompson's 1924 play that starred Katharine Hepburn in the lead role.Tin Pan Alley (film)
Tin Pan Alley is a 1940 musical film directed by Walter Lang and starring Alice Faye and Betty Grable as vaudeville singers/sisters and John Payne and Jack Oakie as songwriters in the years before World War I.
Alfred Newman received the 1940 Academy Award for Best Musical Score for his work on the film, the first of his nine Oscars. The film was also nominated for American Film Institute's 2006 list of the AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals.Top of the Town (film)
Top of the Town is a 1937 American comedy film directed by Ralph Murphy, Sam White and Walter Lang and starring Doris Nolan.When My Baby Smiles at Me (film)
When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948) is a musical film released by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang, and starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. This is the third film based on the popular Broadway play Burlesque, the others being The Dance of Life (1929) and Swing High, Swing Low (1937). When My Baby Smiles at Me is the first (and to date, the only) full Technicolor film version of that play; The Dance of Life had several Technicolor sequences, but they are no longer extant.
Dan Dailey received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance, but lost to Laurence Olivier for Hamlet.Whom the Gods Destroy
Whom the Gods Destroy is a 1934 American drama film directed by Walter Lang.With a Song in My Heart (film)
With a Song in My Heart is a 1952 biographical film which tells the story of actress and singer Jane Froman, who was crippled by an airplane crash on February 22, 1943, when the Boeing 314 Pan American Clipper flying boat she was on suffered a crash landing in the Tagus River near Lisbon, Portugal. She entertained the troops in World War II despite having to walk with crutches. The film stars Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter, Robert Wagner, Helen Westcott and Una Merkel. Froman herself supplied Hayward's singing voice.
The movie was written and produced by Lamar Trotti and directed by Walter Lang. The title song, "With a Song in My Heart", (Rodgers and Hart, 1929) became famous in the UK as the theme to the long-running BBC radio show, Family Favourites.You're My Everything (film)
You're My Everything is a 1949 film directed by Walter Lang. It stars Dan Dailey and Anne Baxter.