George Marshall was born December 29, 1891 in Chicago. He began his movie career as an extra in films of the early teens, moved into writing comedy shorts, and by 1916 was directing westerns. He went on to helm serials and short comedies and action pictures in the silent era, as well as features. Marshall had a flair for wild comedy, and in his best films he showed a Raoul Walsh-like enthusiasm and zest, combined with a feel for nutty incongruity. Marshall never developed a reputation as a director of merit among film critics, however, partly because he directed many second rate epics and partly becaise of his frequent work in comedy.
Marshall guided several beloved comedians in the sound era: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in their classic shorts Their First Mistake and Towed In A Hole, and their feature Pack Up Your Troubles (1932), which Marshall acted in and co-directed with Raymond McCarey. He also directed W.C. Fields in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), Bob Hope in The Ghost Breakers (1940), Monsieur Beaucaire (1946), Fancy Pants (1950), Boy, Did I Get A Wrong Number (1966) and Eight on the Lam (1967). He worked with Martin and Lewis in My Friend Irma (1949), Scared Stiff (1953) and Money from Home (1953), and Jerry Lewis in The Sad Sack (1957) and Hook, Line and Sinker (1969).
Other notable films by this prolific and reliable craftsman include the western spoofs Destry Rides Again (1939), with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, Valley of the Sun (1942) with Lucille Ball, and one of Hollywood's most startling experiments, Red Garters (1954), a Western musical. He directed the slapstick mystery Murder, He Says (1945), the film noir mystery The Blue Dahlia (1946), the quirky Glenn Ford comedies The Sheepman (1958) and The Gazebo (1959), and a segment of How the West Was Won (1962).
At the end of his career Marshall turned to directing series TV, including episodes of Daniel Boone (1964), Here's Lucy (1968), and The Odd Couple (1970). George Marshall died on February 17, 1975 in Los Angeles.
--A HISTORY OF HORROR
A selection of George Marshall films.
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A History of Horror
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