Arch Heath

Arch Heath (July 15, 1890 – January 7, 1945), also known as A. B. Heath and Arch B. Heath was an American film director and screenwriter, whose career spanned from the era of silent films to the 1940s. He helped pioneer the introduction of the sound film. Many of his early films are now considered lost.

Arch Heath in 1927

Heath was born in Brooklyn.[1] Before starting as a director, Heath played semi-pro baseball. He learned drawing as an office boy for a newspaper, and became a cartoonist for the sports page, finally succeeding Herbert Johnson at the Associated Newspapers Syndicate, signing his cartoons "Fields".

He started in movies by creating campaign films for the presidential campaign of Woodrow Wilson in 1914.[1] From cartooning he also moved on to movie animation. He became general manager of production at Eastern Film Corporation, based in New York City. At Eastern he produced his first serial A Daughter of Uncle Sam, directed by James C. Morton, in 1918.[2]

He moved to Pathé Studios in New York. He directed his first serial, The Masked Menace, in 1927.[3] In 1930, when the studio moved to Hollywood, Heath was appointed "production manager of all two-reel comedies."[4]

The Heath-directed 1928 film Melody of Love was "Universal's first 100 percent talkie feature," and "also may have been the first all-talking movie musical."[5]

During World War II Heath produced films for the Signal Corps and the Office of War Information.[1] He died at home in New York City on January 7, 1945.[1] The Screen Writers Guild created the "Robert Meltzer Award" in honor of Heath, Meltzer and three others for "the writing of an American Film which, in addition to its value as entertainment, most effectively contributes to a better understanding or world problems."[6]






  1. ^ a b c d "Arch Heath, Veteran Film Executive, is Stricken". Boxoffice. January 13, 1945. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Krows, Edwin (September 1939). "Motion Pictures-Not for Theatres". The Educational Screen. VVIII: 244. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Arch Heath Completes His First Chapter Play". Moving Picture World. July 30, 1927. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Pathe Studio in Start of Activity". Inside Facts of Stage and Screen. February 8, 1930. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  5. ^ Bradley, Edwin M. (2004). The First Hollywood Musicals. McFarland. p. 15. ISBN 0-7864-2029-4. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Award will honor World War Writers". Motion Picture Daily: 2. July 8, 1947. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Beyond the Great Wall". Silent Era. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Hirschhorn, Clive (2000). The Universal story. Hamlyn. p. 65. ISBN 0-600-59736-9. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  9. ^ Henderson, C.J. (2001). The encyclopedia of science fiction movies. Checkmark Books. p. 4. ISBN 0-8160-4043-5. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Advance Production Chart". Variety: 18. January 22, 1941. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Kreuger, Miles (1990). Show boat : the story of a classic American musical. Da Capo Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-306-80401-8. Retrieved April 14, 2019.

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