Malcolm St. Clair

Malcolm St. Clair

  • Highest Rated: Not Available
  • Lowest Rated: Not Available
  • Birthday: May 17, 1897
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Malcolm Saint Clair (usually billed as Mal St. Clair) inaugurated his film career in 1915, when he joined Mack Sennett's Keystone studio as a bit player and gag writer. Graduating to director in 1919, St. Clair left Sennett in 1921 to join Buster Keaton's production company as co-director, writer, and (when the need arose) supporting actor. He then directed a Rin Tin Tin feature before attaining his 1920s reputation as the "new Lubitsch," helming such frothy romantic comedies as Are Parents People? (1924), Grand Duchess and the Waiter (1926), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1928). When talkies arrived, he directed the silent versions of two famous "transitional" films, Paramount's Canary Murder Case (1929) and Harold Lloyd's Welcome Danger (1929), while the sound versions were credited to other directors. On either side of the talkie revolution, he functioned as producer of Knockout Reilly (1927) and Montana Moon (1930). What happened to St. Clair during the 1930s is still one of the great mysteries of Hollywood, summed up succinctly by critic Andrew Sarris: "St. Clair's silent films fizzed, and his sound films fizzled." For whatever reason, the director seemed to lose his touch during this era, and by the end of the 1930s he was grinding out B-pictures for the Sol Wurtzel unit at 20th Century Fox. He rallied briefly as director of the unforgettable Keystone Kops sequence in Fox's Hollywood Cavalcade (1939), then went back to inconsequential programmers. From 1943 to 1945, he directed four of Fox's Laurel and Hardy vehicles, regarded by many comedy aficionados as the team's weakest features (a case could be made, however, for 1943's Jitterbugs, arguably Laurel and Hardy's best post-Hal Roach effort). Contrary to popular belief, St. Clair's career did not end when Laurel and Hardy left Fox; instead, he remained on the Fox lot until 1948, when Sol Wurtzel closed down the B-unit. In 1950, Mal St. Clair announced plans to emerge from retirement and direct Buster Keaton in a series of half-hour TV shows, but illness forced him to give up this comeback bid.

Filmography

Movies

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Title

Credit

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Office

Year

No Score Yet The Bullfighters Director 1945
No Score Yet The Big Noise Director 1944
No Score Yet The Dancing Masters Director 1943
No Score Yet Jitterbugs Director 1943
No Score Yet Two Weeks to Live Director 1943
No Score Yet The Bashful Bachelor Director 1942
No Score Yet Hollywood Cavalcade Director 1939
No Score Yet Remote Control Director 1930
No Score Yet Montana Moon Producer Director 1930
No Score Yet Welcome Danger Director 1929
No Score Yet The Canary Murder Case Director 1929
No Score Yet Breakfast At Sunrise Director 1927
No Score Yet The Show-Off Director 1926
No Score Yet The Grand Duchess and the Waiter Director 1926
No Score Yet A Woman of the World Director 1925
No Score Yet Are Parents People? Director 1925
No Score Yet Woman of the World Director 1925
No Score Yet The Lighthouse by the Sea Director 1924
No Score Yet The Blacksmith Screenwriter Director 1922
No Score Yet The Goat Dead Shot Dan Screenwriter Director 1921
No Score Yet Yankee Doodle in Berlin The Crown Prince 1919

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