George Nicholls Jr.

George Nicholls Jr. (May 5, 1897 – November 13, 1939), also known as George Nichols Jr., was an American director and editor during the 1930s. Born to show business parents, and son of prolific actor and director George Nichols, he entered the film industry at the tail end of the silent film era, working as an editor for the Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation. After moving to RKO Pictures in 1933, Nicholls shortly began directing films by the end of the year. His career was cut short when he died in a car accident while driving to the location of his final film.

George Nicholls, Jr.
Born
George Alberti Nicholls

(1897-05-05)May 5, 1897
San Francisco, California, United States
DiedNovember 13, 1939(1939-11-13) (aged 42)
Los Angeles, California, United States
OccupationDirector, editor
Years active1928–39

Life and careerEdit

Born George Alberti Nichols on May 5, 1897 in San Francisco, his father was the American actor and director George Nichols, and his mother was the actress Viola Alberti. While his father was working at Biograph Studios, Nicholls made his film debut, acting in shorts during the 1910s. In 1912, as a child actor he had the lead in the comedy short Pa's Medicine at the Thanhouser Film Corporation, a film directed by his father.[1]

He returned to the film industry behind the camera in 1928, as the editor on the Paramount film Wife Savers, directed by Ralph Ceder, and starring Wallace Beery, Raymond Hatton, ZaSu Pitts.[2] For the next five years he worked primarily at Paramount as an editor. While at Paramount, he went by George Nichols Jr. When he moved to RKO in 1933, he began using the original spelling of his last name, and became known as George Nicholls Jr. His first film at his new studio was Sweepings, directed by John Cromwell.[3] By the end of the year he was tapped to be an associate director to Thornton Freeland on Flying Down to Rio, the first film to team Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers.[4] The following year he would make his directorial debut, co-directing Finishing School with Wanda Tuchock (who was also directing her first film).[5]

For the remainder of the decade, he worked consistently as a director at RKO, although occasionally loaned out to other studios such as Republic and 20th-Century. He directed several notable films, including: Anne of Green Gables (1934), starring Anne Shirley (who took her stage name from this point on from the character she portrayed in this film) and Tom Brown;[6] 1935's The Return of Peter Grimm, starring Lionel Barrymore, Helen Mack, Edward Ellis, and Donald Meek;[7] the 1936 sound remake of the 1918 silent film of the same name, M'liss, starring Anne Shirley again, this time with John Beal;[8] and the 1939 Western, Man of Conquest, starring Richard Dix.[9] Nicholls directed the retakes on the John Ford film, The Plough and the Stars in 1937.[10]

In 1939 he was working on the action film The Marines Fly High.[11] On November 13, while driving to the film's location shoot at Lake Sherwood, his car ran off the road on Coldwater Canyon Drive, killing him instantly.[12] His sister-in-law, who was traveling with him, sustained non-serious injuries.[12] Following a funeral service in Hollywood, his body was cremated.[13]

FilmographyEdit

(as per AFI's database)[14][15][16]

Year Film Position Notes
1915 The Making of Crooks Actor Role - Bob
1928 The Charge of the Gauchos Editor
1928 Forgotten Faces Editor
1928 The Port of Missing Girls Editor
1928 The Showdown Editor
1928 The Street of Sin Editor
1928 Wife Savers Editor
1929 The Dance of Life Editor
1929 The Dummy Editor
1929 Fashions in Love Editor
1929 Illusion Editor
1929 Interference Editor
1929 Illusion Editor
1929 The Mighty Editor
1929 The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu Editor
1930 Derelict Editor
1930 The Devil's Holiday Editor
1930 For the Defense Editor
1930 Seven Days' Leave Editor
1931 Rich Man's Folly Editor
1932 A Farewell to Arms Editor
1933 Ann Vickers Editor
1933 Sweepings Editor
1933 The Silver Cord Editor
1933 Double Harness Editor
1933 Flying Down to Rio Associate director
1934 Finishing School Director
1934 Anne of Green Gables Director
1935 The Return of Peter Grimm Director
1935 Chasing Yesterday Director
1936 M'Liss Director
1936 The Big Game Director
1936 The Witness Chair Director
1936 Chatterbox Director
1937 The Plough and the Stars Directed re-takes
1937 Portia on Trial Director Oscar-nominated for Best Music
1937 The Soldier and the Lady Director
1938 Army Girl Director
1939 Man of Conquest Director
1940 High School Director
1940 The Marines Fly High Director

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pa's Medicine (1912)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Wife Savers: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sweepings: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Flying Down to Rio: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "Finishing School: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  6. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Return of Peter Grimm: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "M'liss: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Man of Conquest: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Plough and the Stars: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "Marines Fly High: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Director Nicholls Dies in Car Crash". Motion Picture Daily. November 14, 1939. p. 2. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Hold Nicholls Services". Motion Picture Daily. November 16, 1939. p. 4. Retrieved September 14, 2020. 
  14. ^ "George Nichols Jr. Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "George Nicholls Jr. Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  16. ^ "George Nicholls, Jr. Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 24, 2015.

External linksEdit