Job Film director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1913-1980
Top Roles Himself, Cameo Appearance, Farmer Yelling 'Let It Go!', Himself, Extra, Himself
Top GenresDrama, Silent Films, Romance, Comedy, Western, Adventure
Top TopicsBook-Based, Romance (Drama), Marriage
Top Collaborators , , ,
Shares birthday with James Dean, Jack Lemmon, Betty Field  see more..

King Vidor Overview:

Legendary director, King Vidor, was born King Wallis Vidor on Feb 8, 1894 in Galveston, TX. Vidor died at the age of 88 on Nov 1, 1982 in Paso Robles, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered at his ranch in Paso Robles CA.


There are some writers who believe that King Vidor is Hollywood's greatest director. Certainly, up to 1945, he gave them plenty of evidence to support their case. Vidor's themes deal with man's heartbreak, and sometimes, triumph, in waging a lone battle against the enemy, the elements, society, or even life itself.

Vidor was a projectionist and freelance newsreel cameraman before going to Hollywood in 1915. He struggled on for four years as script clerk, extra and (unsuccessful) writer, before breaking through as director by making two-reelers and a couple of films for a Christian Science consortium. He also directed several films for his own shoestring studio, but his career was greatly boosted by his tactful handling of veteran actress Laurette Taylor in Peg o' My Heart, and MGM hired the fledgling director without further ado.

Vidor rewarded MGM with one of the great war films of the silent era, The Big Parade, memorable for its depiction of the confusion of battle (especially in a scene in a wood) and the despair of the ordinary man and woman involved. Vidor directed its star, John Gilbert, twice more, in La Boheme (with a dominant Lillian Gish) and Bardelys the Magnificent. The second of these films anticipated the last of Vidor's great silent successes, The Crowd, not only in its theme, but in that they have the same leading lady, Eleanor Boardman (soon to become the second Mrs. Vidor).

Some of Vidor's other successful films were Hallelujah, a rare all-negro picture, and The Champ (1931) starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper. Vidor's most successful films of the late 1930s were his remake of the epic weepie Stella Dallas with a finely-shaded performance from Barbara Stanwyck, and the British-made The Citadel with Robert Donat as the doctor fighting poor conditions but almost losing his way in life. In 1979 Vidor was awarded an honorary Oscar, having missed the real thing on several previous occasions.

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



Although Vidor was nominated for five Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award. However he won one Honorary Oscar Award in 1978 for his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator .

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1927/28Best DirectorThe Crowd (1928)N/ANominated
1929/30Best DirectorHallelujah (1929)N/ANominated
1931/32Best DirectorThe Champ (1931)N/ANominated
1938Best DirectorThe Citadel (1938)N/ANominated
1956Best DirectorWar and Peace (1965)N/ANominated

Academy Awards (Honorary Oscars)

1978Honorary Awardfor his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator


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

BlogHub Articles:

The ‘Other King of Hollywood”

By Terry on Jul 3, 2018 From Stardust and Shadows

The style of Director has fascinated in the way he handles story and actors. Vidor had? a long career beginning in 1913 all the way up to 1980 in a? variety of? genres yet always with a way of making actors and story fit well against a large backdrop such as? modern society or rural life.... Read full article

Retro Book Review--A Tree is a Tree, The Autobiography of

By KC on Dec 2, 2014 From Classic Movies

A Tree is a Tree Longmans, Green and Co., UK, 1954 (Originally published in the US, 1952) I've never been able to understand why remains an admired, but still strangely unsung director. His films are legendary: The Big Parade (1925), The Crowd (1928), Hallelujah (1929), The C... Read full article

The Wedding Night (, 1935)

By Judy on Oct 6, 2012 From Movie Classics

Gary Cooper and Anna Sten I’ve been meaning to write something about this little-known but powerful melodrama directed by , which was made under the Hays Code, but feels like a pre-Code in its sympathetic portrayal of an adulterous passion. Unfortunately I’ve left it a little t... Read full article

"Wild Oranges" (1924)

By Silentfilmfanatic on Feb 23, 2010 From Noir and Chick Flicks

"Wild Oranges" (1924) is a silent romantic drama starring Frank Mayo, Virginia Valli, and Ford Sterling. Directed by and adapted from the novel by Joseph Hergesheimer, this film captures the bittersweet theme of love and loss. The story begins with John Woolfolk, played by Frank Mayo, mar... Read full article

THE PATSY (1928)

By Silentfilmfanatic on Nov 16, 2009 From Noir and Chick Flicks

"The Patsy" (1928) is the first of three films that directed with Marion Davies as the star. In this silent romantic comedy, Marion Davies plays Patricia Harrington, the neglected sister in a middle class family that presents the marvelous Marie Dressler as Ma Harrington and Jane Winton a... Read full article

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Honorary Award Oscar 1978

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King Vidor on the
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King Vidor Facts
Survived the most horrific hurricane to ever hit the United States, the 1900 storm that devastated Galveston, Texas on September 8th, 1900. This tropical cyclone killed an estimated 6,000 people, fully one third of the population. Vidor wrote a fictional account of the storm entitled "Southern Storm" for the May 1935 issue of Esquire magazine.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 823-825. New York: Charles Scribner's.

In 1978, he (co-presenter) accepted the Oscar for "Best Director" on behalf of Woody Allen, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony

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