Lewis Milestone

Lewis Milestone

A favorite device Milestone uses in most of his war films--i.e. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Edge of Darkness (1943), A Walk in the Sun (1945) and Pork Chop Hill (1959) is the dolly shot which moves across infantry attacking toward the camera in echelon and being felled one at a time by machine gun fire.

A founding member of the Directors Guild.

Among his close friends were Harold Lloyd, Gilbert Roland and Dana Andrews.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 770-778. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

Born in Russia, Milestone emigrated to the US in 1917 in order to escape being drafted into the Russian army during World War I, but upon his arrival in the US immediately enlisted in the US Army and was sent to France, where he fought until the war's end.

Cousin of virtuoso violinist Nathan Milstein.

Directed 2 actors to Oscar nominations: Adolphe Menjou (Best Actor, The Front Page (1931)) and Akim Tamiroff (Best Supporting Actor, The General Died at Dawn (1936)).

Replaced Carol Reed as director of Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) after Reed quit due to not being able to cope with the massive ego of the film's star Marlon Brando. Milestone didn't find Brando any easier to work with and in the end let Brando do as he pleased (when asked by the cameraman why he wasn't watching the filming Milestone replied, "I hate to see movies in pieces, so you let him do this and when it's all finished and cut, for ten cents I can walk into the theatre and see the whole thing at once. Why should I bother to look at it now.")

Won the only ever Best Comedy Director Oscar (for Two Arabian Knights (1927)) at the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.