Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


Dorothy Arzner

Dorothy Arzner

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 3-8. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

First woman to direct a talkie, Manhattan Cocktail (1928).

First woman to join the Directors Guild of America

In the 1960s she began teaching screenwriting and directing courses at the UCLA Film School, and did so until her death in 1979.

Longtime companion of Marion Morgan.



On the set of The Wild Party (1929), Arzner, irritated that the microphone was always in one place, had the sound technicians rig one up to a fishing pole and follow the actors around the set with it, in effect creating the first boom mike.

She started in the film business as a typist for director William C. de Mille, and within three years had worked her way up to screenwriter, then editor.

The subject of Canadian poet/playwright RM Vaughan's 2000 play "Camera, Woman," inspired by her last film, "First Comes Courage.".


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