John Rawlins (director)

John Rawlins (June 9, 1902 – May 20, 1997) was an American film editor and director.[1] He directed 44 films between 1932 and 1958. He was born in Long Beach, California and died in Arcadia, California.

John Rawlins
Born(1902-06-09)June 9, 1902
DiedMay 20, 1997(1997-05-20) (aged 94)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
OccupationFilm director
Years active1932-1958
Left to right : Boris Karloff, Ralph Byrd, and Skelton Knaggs in Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947).

According to one obituary, he was "a prime exponent of that style, being a master of swift exposition and fast action. His no-nonsense approach also made him a fine serial director, and when given the chance of a top-budget adventure film he gave his studio one of its biggest hits in Arabian Nights."[2] Another said he "was a prime example of a no-frills director of Bs, who got his job done quickly, competently and cheaply."[3]


Rawlins was born in Long Beach, California, in 1902. He started work as a stuntman and bit player in action films and serials. He wrote jokes for comedies, then worked at Columbia as an editor.

In 1933, he made his directing debut with two shorts, Sign Please and They're Off!. He directed his first feature in 1938, State Police. According to an obituary, it "instantly established his forte - quickly made, inexpensive "B" movies of around 60 minutes' running time, distinguished by fast pacing and non-stop action.[2] He was signed to a long term contract by Universal. In 1951 he directed Fort Defiance.[4] In the fifties he left the film business become a property developer.[2][3]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "John Rawlins". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2014. Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Vallance, Tom (June 9, 1997). "John Rawlins". The Independent. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Obituary: John Rawlins: Sand, sex and Dick Tracy Bergan, Ronald. The Guardian June 5, 1997: 1, 19:4.
  4. ^ NELSON RADIO DUO SIGNED FOR MOVIE New York Times May 14, 1951: 39.

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