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Sam Wood : Classic Movie Hub (CMH)
Classic Movie Hub (CMH)

Sam Wood Overview:

Legendary director, Sam Wood, was born Samuel Grosvenor Wood on Jul 10, 1883 in Philadelphia, PA. Wood died at the age of 66 on Sep 22, 1949 in Hollywood, CA and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.


A little appreciated fact about Sam Wood, who saw Hollywood right through its vintage years, was that he could showcase female performances of all kinds, and capture every side of a woman's appeal, whether silly, romantic, courageous or evil. He would have seemed the ideal director for Gone With the Wind, where Scarlett O'Hara is so much the axis of the film, and indeed it was Wood that MGM called for when Victor Fleming fell ill and was unable to complete the last few scenes of the film. Almost all of the memorable performances in Wood's films were given by ladies, with the exception of The Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races, and Robert Donat in Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Wood began his career as an insurance broker, but began to act as an amateur, then took acting up professionally and eventually got into films. By 1915, he had quit acting and became an assistant director with Cecil B. DeMille's unit, and by 1921, was directing Gloria Swanson at Paramount (they made ten films in a row together). From the late 1920's until his death, Wood was with MGM. 

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



Although Wood was nominated for three Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1939Best DirectorGoodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)N/ANominated
1940Best DirectorKitty Foyle (1940)N/ANominated
1942Best DirectorKings Row (1942)N/ANominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Our Town (, 1940)

By Judy on Apr 16, 2016 From Movie Classics

This is my contribution to the Golden Boy Blogathon hosted by Virginie at The Wonderful World of Cinema. Please visit and read the other postings, about a wide range of films starring William Holden. One of William Holden’s earliest roles was as George Gibbs in a poignant screen adaptation of ... Read full article

A Day at the Races (1937, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on May 18, 2015 From The Stop Button

Until the halfway point or so, A Day at the Races moves quite well. Sure, it gets off to a slow start–introducing Chico as sidekick to Maureen O’Sullivan and setting up her problems (her sanitarium is going out of business), which isn’t funny stuff. I think Allan Jones even shows u... Read full article

A Night at the Opera (1935, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Mar 2, 2015 From The Stop Button

As good as the Marx Brothers are in A Night at the Opera–and George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind’s strong script is important too–director Wood really brings the whole thing together. The film has its obligatory musical subplot and romantic leads. Wood knows how to balance those e... Read full article

Mini Tribute: at Work

By Annmarie Gatti on Jul 10, 2014 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Born July 10, 1883 Director ! directed over 80 films in his 30-year film career (1920-1950) including Goodbye Mr. Chips, Kitty Foyle, Kings Row, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Pride of the Yankees, The Devil and Miss Jones and Saratoga Trunk. ... Read full article

The Devil and Miss Jones (1941, )

on Oct 2, 2013 From The Stop Button

The Devil and Miss Jones has three or four stages in the narrative, but director basically has three. The first phase–covering the first two narrative stages–feature this singular composition technique. For close-ups, Wood either gives his actors a lot of headroom (fifty percent... Read full article

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Sam Wood Quotes:

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Sam Wood on the
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Sam Wood Facts
Before becoming a director, Wood had worked on pipelines for an oil company.

Late in his life, he served as the President of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a right-wing political organization whose aim was to ferret out "subversives" in Hollywood. In this capacity, he provided key testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, helping to fan fears of Communist influence in the U.S. film industry.

Former real estate broker.

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