Raoul Walsh Overview:

Director, Raoul Walsh, was born Albert Edward Walsh on Mar 11, 1887 in New York City, NY. Walsh died at the age of 93 on Dec 31, 1980 in Simi Valley, CA and was laid to rest in Assumption Catholic Cemetery in Simi Valley, CA.


'Action!' -- sums up the career of the great American director, Raoul Walsh. Sprawling, brawling, often almost primitive action, marks Walsh's stories of comradeship and battles against the odds. He had a talent for making the densest of action sequences seem uncomplicated and uncluttered, and his characters, like the scenes they distinguished, often have a raw, unfettered power. Everybody, of course, remembers James Cagney as Cody Jarrett, with his final maniacal cry of 'Made it Ma! Top of the world!' from the climax of White Heat -- but there are a dozen characters like him in Walsh's work, each of them meeting death at the top of their own world and often being given their epitaphs with the last lines of the film: Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra, Errol Flynn in They Died with Their Boots On and Uncertain Glory, and Cagney again in The Roaring Twenties. Walsh's world is one where men are men and women are, by and large, not to be trusted.

Walsh had begun his film career with action -- assembling, with a co-director, seven reels of newsreel and staged footage purporting to show the life of Pancho Villa. He was one of D.W. Griffith's assistants on both The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, still pursuing the joint acting and directing careers he had started when joining Griffith in 1912. He continued to produce, and often co-write, many of his films up to the end of the silent era, achieving his first great box-office success in 1924 with The Thief of Bagdad, Douglas Fairbanks' biggest profit-making spectacle. Two years later, he made the famous What Price Glory?, a comedy war film about two feuding sergeants; it began a long list of crime films, war films and westerns. Walsh's western, In Old Arizona, co-directed with Irving Cummings (who strangely was nominated for an Oscar with no mention of Walsh) won Warner Baxter an Academy Award for Best Actor, but cost Walsh the sight of an eye in an accident.

Walsh's peak years start from 1939, when he made The Roaring Twenties, a marvel of action, editing and economy, covering years and incidents seemingly beyond the compass of its 106 minutes without ever flagging or forsaking its cracking, but even pace. Walsh directed Bogart in They Drive by Night and High Sierra, did wonderfully well with Cagney in a lighter vein in The Strawberry Blonde, and took over the Errol Flynn films from Michael Vurtiz: They Died with Their Boots On, Desperate Journey, Gentleman Jim, Northern Pursuit, Uncertain Glory and Objective Burma.

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



He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. Raoul Walsh's handprints and footprints were 'set in stone' at Grauman's Chinese Theater during imprint ceremony #17 on Nov 14, 1930.

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and James Cagney This is my contribution to the Symbiotic Collaborations blogathon, being hosted by CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch. Please take a look at the other postings, which all focus on collaborations between a director and star. Both? and James Cagney are know... Read full article

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By Movies, Silently on May 14, 2013 From Movies Silently

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"Regeneration” (1915) is a silent crime drama starring Rockliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, and Carl Harbaugh. Directed by , this film is credited as being the first feature length gangster film. It is also notably, the first feature length film directed by Walsh, one of the great... Read full article

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Raoul Walsh Quotes:

Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Where do you hail from Sadie?
Sadie Thompson: San Francisco.
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: That's funny - - my best pal married a girl from San Francisco.
Sadie Thompson: What part of San Francisco?
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Where they hang out the red lanterns.
Sadie Thompson: [thoughtfully] Are they happy?
Sergeant Timothy 'Tim' O'Hara: Sure! 'Sfunny but them that kicks the highest often settles down the hardest.

John Wilkes Booth: Sic semper tyrannis!

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Grauman's Imprints

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Raoul Walsh on the
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Raoul Walsh Facts

Final resting place: Assumption Catholic Cemetery, Simi Valley, California.

One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

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