Classic Movie Legend Tribute: W.S Van Dyke


Happy Birthday to Classic Movie Legend, W.S Van Dyke, born March 21st, 1889!

W.S. Van Dyke is a producer’s dream director. Not only was he capable of directing multiple genres, he had an unprecedented skill of finishing pictures on-time and under budget. He earned the nickname “One-take Woody,” due to his directing praxis of shooting each scene as quickly and efficiently as possible. During his 25-year tenure as a film director, he directed over 90 films.  In case crunching numbers isn’t your thing, I did it for you — that’s 3.6 films a year. To put that in perspective, during Quentin Tarantino’s 25 years as a director, he directed 9 films or .36 films a year with a couple of TV credits thrown in for good measure.

Of course, it’s not simply Van Dyke’s speed as a director that made him the toast of producers everywhere; it was his craft as well. Just because Woody liked to work fast does not mean he wasn’t dedicated to making the best picture possible. In a span of six years, he directed such classics as The Thin Man, Manhattan Melodrama, San Francisco, After the Thin Man, Marie Antoinette and I Love You Again. That’s a classic a year and that is simply amazing. So, to celebrate this speedy director, let us take a look at some of his most beloved films.


Clark Gable in Manhattan Melodrama (1934, W.S Van Dyke director)


Myrna Loy, The Thin Man, Classic Movie actress, W.S Van DykeWilliam Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man (1934, W.S Van Dyke director)


Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938, W.S Van Dyke director)


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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