Leo McCarey

Leo McCarey

Highest Rated: 100% Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Lowest Rated: 22% Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958)

Birthday: Oct 3, 1898

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles-born Leo McCarey was, along with Frank Capra, one of the most popular and successful comedy directors of the pre-World War II era. Unlike Capra, however, McCarey's success endured well after World War II, and like Capra, his work was still influencing filmmakers in the 1990s. Originally an attorney, McCarey entered films by a circuitous route shortly after starting his own practice, beginning as an assistant to Tod Browning. During the 1920s, he went to work for Hal Roach Studios as a gag writer and director and, within two years, was a vice president. It was while at Roach that McCarey teamed Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together for the first time, thus creating one of the most enduring comedy teams of all time. As a director, he imposed a frantically paced, breakneck speed to comedy which quickly became his trademark in the 1930s. A triple-threat as writer and producer as well as director, McCarey made some of the most inspired comedies of the decade, including The Milky Way, Ruggles of Red Gap, and The Awful Truth, collecting an armload of Academy Awards as a director, writer, and producer in the process. His work also had a serious side; McCarey was a devout Catholic and deeply concerned with social issues -- which came out in films such as Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), a groundbreaking film about the displaced elderly. During the 1940s, his work became more serious -- McCarey was concerned with the battles that had yet to be fought for human dignity, after World War II was won -- but this only seemed to make his work more popular. His share in the profits of Going My Way (1944), starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, gave McCarey the highest reported income in the U.S. for the year 1944, and its follow-up, The Bells of St. Mary's, which was made by McCarey's own production company, was equally successful.After the war, McCarey's vision darkened, and the public reacted negatively. My Son, John, an overblown anti-Communist diatribe, failed at the box office, but five years later he was back on track, as co-author, producer, and director of An Affair to Remember, a romantic comedy that became the basis for the 1993 hit Sleepless in Seattle and, through the latter's success, found a whole new audience 36 years after it was made. McCarey was unable to put his new-found success, after nearly a decade of inactivity, to good use -- like Frank Capra, with whom he was frequently compared, McCarey's most serious movies found relatively little reward at the box office, but he kept trying, and his last movie, Satan Never Sleeps, returned to anti-communism as a theme and failed.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet A Pair Of Tights Screenwriter 2013
No Score Yet Dog Shy Director 2012
No Score Yet Move Over Darling Screenwriter 1963
No Score Yet Satan Never Sleeps Screenwriter Director Producer 1962
22% Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! Producer 1958
63% An Affair to Remember Screenwriter Director 1957
43% My Son John Screenwriter Producer Director 1952
60% Good Sam Director Producer 1948
85% The Bells of St. Mary's Director Producer 1945
81% Going My Way Director Screenwriter Producer 1944
No Score Yet Once Upon a Honeymoon Producer Director Screenwriter 1942
85% My Favorite Wife Screenwriter Producer 1940
86% Love Affair Producer Director Screenwriter 1939
No Score Yet Laurel & Hardy: Comedy's Best Duo Director 1938
93% The Awful Truth Producer Director 1937
100% Make Way for Tomorrow Passerby/Man in Overcoat/Carpet Sweeper Director Producer 1937
No Score Yet The Milky Way Director 1936
100% Ruggles of Red Gap Director 1935
83% Belle of the Nineties Director 1934
No Score Yet Six of a Kind Director 1934
92% Duck Soup Director 1933
No Score Yet The Kid from Spain Director 1932
No Score Yet Indiscreet Screenwriter Director 1931
No Score Yet Blotto Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet La Vida Nocturna Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet Brats Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet Radiomanía Screenwriter 1930
No Score Yet Liberty (Criminals at Large) Director 1929
No Score Yet Big Business Director Screenwriter 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Screenwriter 1929
No Score Yet Wrong Again Director 1929
No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Screenwriter 1929
No Score Yet Should Married Men Go Home? Screenwriter Director 1928
No Score Yet From Soup To Nuts Screenwriter 1928
No Score Yet The Finishing Touch Director 1928
No Score Yet We Faw Down We Slip Up Director 1928
No Score Yet Habeas Corpus Screenwriter Director 1928
No Score Yet Don't Tell Everything Director 1927
No Score Yet Mighty Like A Moose Director 1926
No Score Yet Crazy Like A Fox Director 1926
No Score Yet What Price Goofy? Director 1925
No Score Yet His Wooden Wedding Director 1925
No Score Yet The Second 100 Years Screenwriter


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