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Andrew L. Stone (July 16, 1902 – June 9, 1999) was an American screenwriter, film director and producer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Julie in 1957 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Andrew L. Stone
Stone-Henderson-Robinson-Song-of-Norway-1.jpg
Stone (left) on set of Song of Norway with Florence Henderson and Edward G. Robinson, 1969.
Born(1902-07-16)July 16, 1902
DiedJune 9, 1999(1999-06-09) (aged 96)
OccupationScreenwriter
Film director
Film producer
Spouse(s)Virginia L. Stone (m. 1946–19??; divorced)
Audrey Stone (m. 19??–1999; his death)

Known for his hard-hitting, realistic films, Stone frequently collaborated with his first wife, editor and producer Virginia Lively Stone (m 1946). Though few of his films achieved mainstream success, Stone was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his 1956 thriller Julie.

Stone's stories frequently featured characters called Cole, Pringle and Pope, usually in law enforcement and interchangeably played by the same actors—Jack Kruschen, Barney Phillips and John Gallaudet. Roles with those names were included in A Blueprint for Murder, The Night Holds Terror, Julie, Cry Terror! and The Decks Ran Red.

CareerEdit

Born in Oakland, California, Andrew L. Stone attended the University of California. He built a movie theater in his back yard, with two projectors and seats for 50 kids. Films were bought at a dollar a reel.

Stone worked for a film exchange for Universal after school and on Sundays. "I wanted anything I could get to do with films - rewinding, splicing, projecting," he once said. [1]

In the mid-'20s, he moved to Hollywood and worked in a laboratory. He also worked in Universal's prop department.

Early FilmsEdit

In 1926, Stone financed his own first directorial effort, The Elegy (1926) a two-reel movie. It cost $3,200 which he had raised himself and was made on sets left over from Scaramouche.[2]

His first full-length feature was Dreary House (1928). He worked as director on Shadows of Glory (1930), Hell's Headquarters (1932) and The Girl Said No (1937).

ParamountEdit

Stone says that MGM offered him a contract in the mid 1930s but he was reluctant to take it. He later said, “I’d have had to pacify the stars and keep them happy – like a priest who doesn’t believe a word of what he says. Then there was a Paramount contract — no big stars, but freedom. That’s the one I went for. It didn’t take me long to see I’d never make a nickel, but I didn’t give a damn.”[1]

Stone signed a contract at Paramount for whom he made Stolen Heaven (1938), Say It in French (1938) with Ray Milland, The Great Victor Herbert (1939), and The Hard-Boiled Canary (1941). He was meant to make Manhattan Rhapsody for the studio.[3]

At 20th Century Fox he earned acclaim for directing the 1943 film Stormy Weather, starring Lena Horne.[4]

United ArtistsEdit

Stone formed his own production company, Andrew L Stone Productions, with his then-wife Virginia. They signed a deal with United Artists to make two films: Hi Diddle Diddle (1943) and Sensations of 1945 (1944). United Artists were pleased enough to offer him a deal to make four more films over eighteen months:[5] Bedside Manner (1945), The Bachelor's Daughters (1946), and Fun on a Weekend (1947). They left United Artists in 1947.

He did some uncredited directing on The Countess of Monte Cristo (1948).

ThrillersEdit

Stone went to Warner Bros for Highway 301 (1950).Highway 301 was a crime film and ushered in a series of movies from Stone in that genre.

"I had to talk Bernie Foy at Warners into letting me do a melodrama," Stone said later. "I made it practically for nothing to establish myself in that field."[2]

It would be Stone's last film shot in a studio. He did Confidence Girl (1952), and two with Joseph Cotten, The Steel Trap (1952) and A Blueprint for Murder (1953). He did The Night Holds Terror (1955) at Columbia. [2]

MGMEdit

Stone signed a two picture deal at MGM for whom he made Julie (1956), a thriller with Doris Day and Louis Jourdan, and Cry Terror! (1958), with Rod Steiger. (He had intended to follow Julie with a film about smoking, The Last Puff, but it was not made.[6])

Julie was a hit so MGM signed them to make four more movies: The Decks Ran Red (1959), The Last Voyage (1960), Ring of Fire (1961), and The Password Is Courage (1962) with Dirk Bogarde.[7][8]

He did Never Put It in Writing (1964) with Pat Boone for Allied Artists, filmed in England and Ireland. He signed a new two picture deal with MGM. The first was The Secret of My Success (1965). The second was meant to be a history of aviation written by Ernest Gann, The Winning of the Sky, but it was never made.[9]

Later FilmsEdit

Stone made a musical for ABC Pictures, Song of Norway (1970), a $3.5 million musical biopic of Edvard Grieg.[2] The film performed reasonably well but his next film The Great Waltz (1972) was a big flop.[10]

In 1977 he did some work for Universal out on the action and disaster sequences for Rollercoaster.

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Obituary: Andrew L. Stone Brownlow, Kevin. Variety; Los Angeles Vol. 381, Iss. 2, (Nov 27-Dec 3, 2000): 71.
  2. ^ a b c d Movies: A 'Song of Norway' With Verisimilitude Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 8 Nov 1970: t16.
  3. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Andrew Stone to Be Director of 'Manhattan Rhapsody' New York Times 16 Sep 1940: 21.
  4. ^ Pace, Eric (December 2, 2000). "Andrew Stone, 96, Director, Writer and Producer of Films". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  5. ^ BRACKEN TO STAR IN STONE COMEDY New York Times 16 Mar 1946: 9.
  6. ^ Andrew Stone to Smoke Up Controversy Los Angeles Times 11 July 1957: C11.
  7. ^ Andrew Stone Will Produce War Tale: Los Angeles Times 1 May 1961: C11.
  8. ^ COUPLE MAY MAKE MORE M-G-M FILMS: Andrew and Virginia Stone Negotiating Pact Extension New York Times 25 Feb 1958: 23.
  9. ^ Andrew Stones Tell 'Secret of Success' Los Angeles Times 29 Nov 1963: C29.
  10. ^ IN TOTAL CONTROL: Stone Directing 'Waltz' Thomas, Bob. Los Angeles Times 31 May 1972: h11.

External linksEdit