Celebrity Photo

Wyott Ordung

Highest Rated: 100% Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Lowest Rated: 36% Robot Monster (1953)

Birthday: May 23, 1922

Birthplace: Not Available

Wyott Ordung was a creative triple-threat in the movie business during the 1950s, as an actor, writer, and director. He wasn't quite good enough to become a star in any of those capacities, though he contributed mightily to some much-loved (and occasionally derided) genre films of the period, and he was a key supporting player in the early career of Roger Corman. Born in Shanghai, China, in 1922, Wyott Ordung -- who was usually known as Barney to his friends -- entered the film industry in the early '50s as an aspiring actor, and also a would-be screenwriter. He had at least one screenplay, for a proposed picture called "Torpedo Run," to his credit, and appeared in an episode of the television series Dick Tracy. Ordung was fortunate enough to land a role (as Fitz) in Samuel Fuller's Fixed Bayonets (1951). His real film career didn't begin until two years later, however, when he wrote the screenplay for the movie Combat Squad (1953), produced by Jack Broder at Realart. That same year, Ordung also wrote the script for Phil Tucker's Robot Monster, which is usually regarded as one of the most notoriously bad science fiction movies ever made (although some scholars of bad movies disagree). Ordung was a social acquaintance of another Hollywood aspirant, Roger Corman, who had just seen a not-too-good movie, Highway Dragnet, made out of his first screenplay; Corman had decided to produce a movie himself for his next project -- that became a screenplay entitled "It Stalked the Ocean Floor," and Corman engaged Ordung as his director. With Corman riding herd on the whole production, the film was made for somewhere between 12,000 and 16,000 dollars. During the shooting of the film, Ordung also gave a small part to a young acquaintance of his, a gas station attendant with aspirations as an actor and writer, named Jonathan Haze (billed as Jack Hayes in the film); Haze went on to become a key member of the stock company of players that Corman assembled for his films over the next decade. Although Ordung and Corman turned out not to work very well together, the resulting movie was impressive for an investment, and the director also played a prominent supporting role in the picture -- indeed, Monster From the Ocean Floor gave Ordung the largest amount of screen time of his entire movie career. It was also Ordung who tried to hook Corman up with a fledgling distribution firm called American Releasing Company, which had been co-founded by a business acquaintance of his from Realart, James H. Nicholson. This time out, Corman sold the distribution rights to Lippert Pictures, which retitled the film Monster From the Ocean Floor and put it into national release, but Corman would be back to do business with American Releasing Company and its successor, American International Pictures, many times in the decade to come. Ordung subsequently appeared in the crime/espionage thriller Dragon's Gold (1954), and was involved in the writing of Target Earth (1954), a sci-fi chiller with a cult following. He later wrote, produced, and directed Walk the Dark Street (1956), an unusual revenge thriller that could be considered his magnum opus as a filmmaker. His late-'50s credits include writing the original story for the sci-fi thriller The First Man Into Space (1959). During the 1960s, his name turned up an assistant director on The Navy vs. the Night Monsters and The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackal. He was last seen as an assistant director on Ewing Miles Brown's A Whale of a Tale (1976).

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Walk the Dark Street Screenwriter Producer Director 1956
No Score Yet Monster from the Ocean Floor Pablo Director 1954
36% Robot Monster Screenwriter 1953
100% Fixed Bayonets! Fitz 1951


No quotes approved yet.