Allan Dwan

Allan Dwan

  • Highest Rated: 100% Sands of Iwo Jima (1950)
  • Lowest Rated: 80% Getting Gertie's Garter (1945)
  • Birthday: Apr 3, 1885
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Allan Dwan was a filmmaker whose career almost outlasted his reputation. To many in the industry, his very best years were from the late teens to the mid-/late '20s, yet he was still making movies in the '50s. He managed to make important movies in each of the five decades in which he worked, including swashbucklers, Westerns, war dramas, and even one science fiction, all the while being regarded as an expert at comedy above all else. Dwan also lived long enough to see his career become the inspiration for a major feature film of the '70s, and he had the satisfaction of becoming an object of inquiry and even wonder for film scholars and historians in some instances whose parents hadn't even been born when he started in movies. Born Joseph Aloysius Dwan in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1885, he emigrated to the United States with his family in 1896. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with an engineering degree and went to work for a lighting company. One of his employer's biggest clients was Essanay Films in Chicago, and while visiting them in 1909, he took a job there as a writer -- he did a little bit of everything (including acting) in the years that followed, and by 1911 he'd moved into the director's chair. By Dwan's own estimate, he contributed in some capacity -- as a writer, actor, producer, assistant director, director etc. -- to 1500 movies; other estimates are that he directed approximately 400 movies, although even this is uncertain because many of the movies he made during his first decade in the business are lost. (Production was very fast and record-keeping was imprecise -- and records are long gone.) In 1914 alone, among the movies that we do know about, some 15 films directed by or written and directed by Allan Dwan went into release. It would surprise those who only know him for his extraordinary longevity that, in those days, Dwan was a major innovator. For a man who was trained neither as a graphic artist nor as a dramatist, he was amazingly adept at achieving visually striking, dramatically effective shots that made their full impact easily on the audience. His training as an engineer served him extremely well; in a time when relatively few directors knew a lot about shooting scenes effectively, much less innovatively, Dwan had a special ability to frame a shot or scene in his mind and then devise a fresh and practical means of realizing the shot quickly and inexpensively. He was, by most accounts, responsible for the first use of a crane shot in a Hollywood movie, and also for the first dolly shot, achieving both of those milestones in the same year, 1915. He was not a visionary producer/director like D.W. Griffith, mapping out films set across vast canvases of space and time, or enacting pivotal moments in history, but he was a director solving problems in how to make movies better and developed approaches and techniques that became standard practice; Dwan occupied a rung only a step or two below Griffith in importance at a time when the film industry was reaching past adolescence. In some ways, his career anticipated the work of Mark Sandrich -- another engineering major-turned-director, who went on to make some of the best musicals and war movies of the '30s and early '40s -- by more than a decade. By 1916, Dwan was at the top of his profession, and over the next 15 years he was among the most favored directors in Hollywood, enjoying the special admiration of both Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr., who were the movies' top "power couple" of the period. Much of Dwan's reputation as a major filmmaker rested upon his directing of Fairbanks in Robin Hood (1922) and The Iron Mask (1929). Dwan's career faltered at around the time of the coming of sound, although he seemed to have adjusted to talking-picture production better than most of his fellow silent-era directors. He got very few major assignments in the years immediately after the advent of the talkies, and this seems principally a res

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Fifteen Maiden Lane Director 2013
No Score Yet Chances Director 2013
No Score Yet Zaza Director 2013
No Score Yet The Most Dangerous Man Alive Director 1961
No Score Yet Enchanted Island Director 1958
No Score Yet The River's Edge Director 1957
No Score Yet The Restless Breed Director 1957
No Score Yet Slightly Scarlet Director 1956
No Score Yet Tennessee's Partner Director 1955
No Score Yet Pearl of the South Pacific Director 1955
No Score Yet Escape to Burma Director 1955
No Score Yet Silver Lode Director 1954
No Score Yet Passion Director 1954
No Score Yet Cattle Queen of Montana Director 1954
No Score Yet Woman They Almost Lynched Producer Director 1953
No Score Yet I Dream of Jeanie Director 1952
No Score Yet Montana Belle Director 1952
100% Sands of Iwo Jima Director 1950
No Score Yet Calendar Girl Director Producer 1947
No Score Yet Driftwood Producer Director 1947
No Score Yet Northwest Outpost Director Producer 1947
No Score Yet Rendezvous with Annie Producer Director 1946
80% Getting Gertie's Garter Screenwriter 1945
No Score Yet Brewster's Millions Director 1945
No Score Yet Abroad with Two Yanks Director 1944
No Score Yet Up In Mabel's Room Director 1944
No Score Yet Around the World Producer Director 1943
No Score Yet Here We Go Again! Director Producer 1942
No Score Yet Friendly Enemies Director 1942
No Score Yet Rise and Shine Director 1941
No Score Yet Look Who's Laughing Director Producer 1941
No Score Yet Young People Director 1940
No Score Yet Trail Of The Vigilantes Producer Director 1940
No Score Yet Frontier Marshal Director 1939
No Score Yet The Gorilla Director 1939
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers Director 1939
No Score Yet Masters of Mayhem Director 1939
No Score Yet Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Director 1938
No Score Yet Suez Director 1938
100% Heidi Director 1937
No Score Yet One Mile From Heaven Director 1937
No Score Yet High Tension Director 1936
No Score Yet Black Sheep Director 1935
No Score Yet Hollywood Party Director 1934
No Score Yet While Paris Sleeps Director 1932
No Score Yet Wicked Director 1931
No Score Yet Sweethearts on Parade Director 1930
100% The Iron Mask Director 1929
No Score Yet Tide of Empire Director 1929
No Score Yet East Side, West Side Screenwriter Director 1927
No Score Yet Stage Struck Director 1925
No Score Yet Manhandled Producer Director 1924
No Score Yet A Modern Musketeer Screenwriter Director 1917
No Score Yet Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer Director 1916
No Score Yet The Half-Breed Director 1916
No Score Yet Manhattan Madness Director 1916
No Score Yet David Harum Screenwriter Director 1915

QUOTES FROM Allan Dwan CHARACTERS

No quotes approved yet.