Spencer Gordon Bennet - Rotten Tomatoes

Spencer Gordon Bennet

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According to legend, veteran action director Spencer Gordon Bennet entered films by answering an ad for a stuntman to perform a daring jump from the New Jersey Palisades into the Hudson River. The year was 1912 and the employer, the legendary Edison Film Mfg. Company. Bennet was hooked on filmmaking from that moment on and went on to become one of the three or four most important names in the field of motion picture action serials.Of Anglo-French descent, Spencer Gordon Bennet had sold programs and played bit roles in a Brooklyn theater before earning $62.50 for that fateful jump into the Hudson. He remained with Edison for a while, performing stunts and playing bit parts, before switching to Pathé, where he served as assistant to legendary serial directors Bertram Millhauser and George B. Seitz, actually replacing Seitz as the company's leading cliffhanger director in the late '20s when he helmed all the influential Allene Ray and Walter Miller chapterplays.Concentrating on B-Westerns and feature action films in the early years of sound, Bennet returned to the serial field in 1932 when picked by RKO to direct that studio's 12-chapter The Last Frontier. It was a homecoming or sorts and he remained in the field until helming the final American action serial, Blazing the Overland Trail, in 1956. Best remembered today, perhaps, for his work for cheapskate producer Sam Katzman, including the 1948 Superman and its 1950 sequel, Atom Man vs. Superman, Bennet also did yeoman work for industry leader Republic, where he co-directed some of the most beloved serials of all time, including The Masked Marvel (1943), The Tiger Woman (1944), Zorro Rides Again (1945), and The Purple Monster Strikes (1945).Signing an exclusive contract with Katzman in 1947, Bennet went on to direct, or co-direct, all of Columbia Pictures later serials, save one, including Batman and Robin (1949) and Captain Video (1951). His ability to work fast and furious, a prerequisite for steady employment in the B-Western and serial fields, never alienated him from cast and crew, however. "He was probably my favorite director of all and was one terrific man," said veteran B-Western and serial villain Pierce Lyden. Bennet, who directed his final feature film in 1965, the nicely old-fashioned The Bounty Killer, was the uncle of legendary special-effects wizard Linwood Dunn.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Bounty Killer
  • Director
1965
No Score Yet The Atomic Submarine
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet Submarine Seahawk
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet Devil Goddess
  • Director
1955
No Score Yet Killer Ape
  • Director
1953
No Score Yet Savage Mutiny
  • Director
1953
No Score Yet Voodoo Tiger
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet Blackhawk
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Ramar and the Jungle Voodoo
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Mysterious Island
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Atom Man vs. Superman
  • Director
1950
No Score Yet The Adventures of Sir Galahad
  • Director
1949
No Score Yet Batman and Robin
  • Director
1949
No Score Yet Superman
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet The Black Widow
  • Director
1947
No Score Yet Son of Zorro
  • Director
1947
No Score Yet The Phantom Rider
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet Daughter of Don Q
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet King of the Forest Rangers
  • Director
1946
No Score Yet The Purple Monster Strikes
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Federal Operator 99
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Captain Mephisto and the Transformation Machine
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet The Tiger Woman
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Zorro's Black Whip
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Code of the Prairie
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Haunted Harbor
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Masked Marvel
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet Calling Wild Bill Elliott
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet Manhunt in the African Jungle
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet They Raid by Night
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet Arizona Bound
  • Director
1941
No Score Yet Ridin' the Cherokee Trail
  • Director
1941
No Score Yet The Gunman from Bodie
  • Director
1941
No Score Yet Across the Plains
  • Director
1939
No Score Yet The Rangers Step In
  • Director
1937
No Score Yet The Unknown Ranger
  • Director
1936
No Score Yet Get That Man
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Night Alarm
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Young Eagles
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet The Fighting Rookie
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet Jaws of Justice
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Midnight Warning
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet The Last Frontier
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet Rogue of the Rio Grande
  • Director
1930
No Score Yet Hawk of the Hills
  • Director
1929
No Score Yet Marked Money
  • Director
1928

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