William Keighley Overview:

Director, William Keighley, was born William Jackson Keighley on Aug 4, 1889 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Keighley died at the age of 94 on Jun 24, 1984 in New York City, NY and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.


William Keighley was one of Warner Brothers' middle-bracket directors through the 1930s and 1940s. His best films are the thrillers and gangster movies; in other genres he was polished but often ineffectual, being taken off the filming of The Adventures of Robin Hood (after completing half) for not putting enough steel into it.

He was an actor before establishing a solid reputation as a Broadway director in the 1920s. With the coming of sound, he gravitated to Hollywood, being given a few assignments as assistant director, ironically once to Michael Curtiz, the man who was ears later to replace him on Robin Hood. After co-directing two films with Howard Bretherton, Keighley was allowed to strike out on his own, but it was 1935 before he scored his first big success -- with G-Men, the gangster film that set James Cagney on the right side of the law. Keighley followed this by putting another mobster figure on the straight and narrow -- Edward G. Robinson in Bullets or Ballots. Keighley's best film outside the crime milieu was The Man Who Came to Dinner starring Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan and Monty Woolley.

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



BlogHub Articles:

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, Michael Curtiz and )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Jul 2, 2017 From The Stop Button

The Adventures of Robin Hood gets by on a lot of charm. Charm and costuming (good and bad). The film opens with title cards setting the scene. Sherwood Forest, evil King?s brother, righteous nobel, beautiful damsel, insidious villain, and Technicolor tights?Claude Rains looking like a Little Lord Fa... Read full article

See all articles

William Keighley Quotes:

No Quote for this person.

Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
Also a Leo

See All Leos >>
William Keighley Facts
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 531-535. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

The original director of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), he was replaced by Michael Curtiz when the production--Warners' most expensive up to that time--fell behind schedule and the studio didn't like the way the action sequences were turning out.

His last name is pronounced "Kee-lee", not, as is often mispronounced, "Kye-lee".

See All Related Facts >>