Phil Karlson - Rotten Tomatoes

Phil Karlson

Highest Rated:   100% The Phenix City Story (1955)
Lowest Rated:   67% Ben (1972)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Down Memory Lane
  • Director
2014
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
No Score Yet 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
82% Kansas City Confidential (The Secret Four)
  • Director
1952
100% Scandal Sheet
  • 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 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

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

Quotes from Phil Karlson's Characters

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