William A. Berke

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A graduate of Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, William A. Berke entered the burgeoning film industry as an office boy for L-KO comedies and later functioned as assistant to the cameraman then cameraman for the same company. He continued his career behind the camera with Pathé, Fox, Paramount, and, finally, FBO, a purveyor of inexpensive Westerns. An eye infection summarily ended Berke's aspirations as a cinematographer, however, and instead he became an assistant to C.C. Burr, the producer of the popular Torchy comedies. In the 1930s, Berke became one of the most prolific producer-directors of low-budget Westerns, directing under such pseudonyms as Lester Williams and William Hall, before signing on as an associate producer with newcomer Republic Pictures in 1937. He remained with the San Fernando Valley B-Western factory until 1941, then functioned as producer-director at Columbia Pictures. After a short stint directing training films for the Signal Corps., Berke returned to mainstream movie-making as a producer and/or director on a host of low-budget ventures for Monogram and its successor, Allied Artists, taking time out to produce the 1949 television series The Goldbergs. More television would follow -- including directorial duties on the Gene Autry and Annie Oakley shows -- but Berke's forte would become cheap jungle melodramas, a trait he shared with the even more notorious "Jungle Sam" Sam Katzman. His son, Lester William Berke, also entered the film industry, mostly as a writer.

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Arson Inc. Director 2006
No Score Yet Naked Youth Screenwriter 1959
No Score Yet The Lost Missile Director Executive Producer 1958
No Score Yet Cop Hater Producer Director 1958
No Score Yet Valley of Head Hunters Director 1953
No Score Yet The Marshal's Daughter Director 1953
No Score Yet The Jungle Director Producer 1952
No Score Yet FBI Girl Producer Director 1951
No Score Yet Fury of the Congo Director 1951
No Score Yet Jungle Jim in Pygmy Island Director 1950
No Score Yet Gunfire Producer Screenwriter Director 1950
No Score Yet I Shot Billy the Kid Director Producer 1950
No Score Yet Captive Girl Director 1950
No Score Yet Mark of the Gorilla Director 1950
No Score Yet Train to Tombstone Director Producer 1950
No Score Yet Operation Haylift Director 1950
No Score Yet Treasure Of Monte Cristo Director 1949
No Score Yet The Lost Tribe Director 1949
No Score Yet Jungle Jim Director 1948
No Score Yet Speed to Spare Director 1948
No Score Yet Rolling Home Producer Director 1948
No Score Yet Shoot to Kill Producer Director 1947
No Score Yet Code of the West Director 1947
No Score Yet Renegade Girl Producer Director 1946
No Score Yet The Falcon's Alibi Producer 1946
No Score Yet The Falcon's Adventure Director 1946
No Score Yet Sunset Pass Director 1946
No Score Yet Dick Tracy, Detective Director 1945
No Score Yet Why Girls Leave Home Director 1945
No Score Yet Dangerous Passage Director 1944
No Score Yet That's My Baby Director 1944
No Score Yet The Navy Way Director 1944
No Score Yet Dark Mountain Director 1944
No Score Yet Minesweeper Director 1943
No Score Yet Saddles and Sagebrush Director 1943
No Score Yet Tornado Director 1943
No Score Yet Confessions of Boston Blackie Producer 1941
No Score Yet New Frontier (Frontier Horizon) Producer 1939
No Score Yet Outlaws of Sonora Producer 1938
No Score Yet Bill Cracks Down Producer 1937
No Score Yet Atlantic Flight Producer 1937
No Score Yet Dangerous Holiday Producer 1937
No Score Yet Aces Wild Producer 1937
No Score Yet Ghost Town Producer 1937
No Score Yet A Man Betrayed Producer 1937
No Score Yet Ghost Town Gold Producer 1936
No Score Yet Desert Justice Producer Director 1936
No Score Yet Wagon Trail Producer 1935
No Score Yet The Pecos Kid Producer 1935
No Score Yet Toll of the Desert Producer 1935
No Score Yet Rustler's Paradise Producer 1935
No Score Yet The Last of the Clintons Producer 1935
No Score Yet Corruption Producer 1933
No Score Yet The Flaming Signal Producer 1933
No Score Yet Forbidden Trail Actor 1923

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