Phil Karlson

Highest Rated: 100% The Phenix City Story (1955)
Lowest Rated: 40% Kid Galahad (1962)
Birthday: Jul 2, 1908
Birthplace: Not Available
The son of popular Irish actress Lillian O'Brien (who later proved her versatility by becoming a leading light in America's Yiddish theatre), Phil Karlson studied painting at Chicago's Art Institute. He went on to study law at California's Loyola Marymount college (at his father's behest) before attaining his first movie job as a University Studios prop man. He worked his way up the cinematic chain as a cutter, editor and short-subjects director. He graduated to feature-film directing at the Columbia Pictures "B" unit, then turned out several low-budget thrillers at Monogram; he also helmed Marilyn Monroe's first starring picture, 1949's Ladies of the Chorus. By virtue of such economical tension exercises as 99 River Street (1949), Tight Spot (1955), and the superb The Phenix City Story (1955), Karlson was embraced by the cognoscenti as a master purveyor of the "film noir" genre. In 1959, he directed the two-part pilot for the Untouchables TV series, which was later released theatrically as The Scarface Mob (1962). The "auteur" side of Karlson took a back seat to commercialism with his handling of the Dean Martin "Matt Helm" spy spoofs of the 1960s. In 1974, Phil Karlson regained his cult following with the action-packed surprise hit Walking Tall (1974), which made Karlson a millionaire many times over thanks to his farsighted financial investment in the project.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Lorna Doone Director 2014
No Score Yet Black Gold Director 2014
No Score Yet Key Witness Director 2013
No Score Yet Framed Director 1975
75% Walking Tall Director 1973
67% Ben Director 1972
No Score Yet Hornets' Nest Director 1970
No Score Yet The Wrecking Crew Director 1968
No Score Yet Alexander the Great Director 1968
No Score Yet A Time for Killing Director 1967
No Score Yet The Silencers Director 1966
No Score Yet Rampage Director 1963
40% Kid Galahad Director 1962
No Score Yet Untouchables - Scarface Mob Director 1962
No Score Yet The Young Doctors Director 1961
No Score Yet Hell to Eternity Director 1960
No Score Yet Gunman's Walk Director 1958
No Score Yet The Brothers Rico Director 1957
No Score Yet Big Cat Director 1956
100% The Phenix City Story Director 1955
No Score Yet Tight Spot Director 1955
No Score Yet 5 Against the House Director 1955
No Score Yet Hell's Island Director 1955
No Score Yet They Rode West Director 1954
100% 99 River Street Director 1953
No Score Yet The Brigand Director 1953
83% Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four) Director 1952
100% Scandal Sheet Director 1952
No Score Yet Assignment: Paris Director 1952
No Score Yet The Texas Rangers Director 1951
No Score Yet Mask of the Avenger Director 1951
No Score Yet The Big Cat Director 1950
No Score Yet Down Memory Lane Director 1949
No Score Yet Ladies of the Chorus Director 1948
No Score Yet Wife Wanted (Shadow of Blackmail) Director 1946
No Score Yet Swing Parade of 1946 Director 1946
No Score Yet Dark Alibi Director 1946
No Score Yet Behind the Mask Director 1946
No Score Yet Charlie Chan in The Shanghai Cobra Director 1945
No Score Yet There Goes Kelly Director 1945

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Zane Grey Theatre
1956-1961
Director
  • 1959

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