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Overview for W. S. Van Dyke
W. S. Van Dyke

W. S. Van Dyke



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Also Known As: Woodbridge Strong Van Dyke Ii,William S Van Dyke Ii,Woody Van Dyke,Maj. W. S. Van Dyke Ii,W. S. Van Dyke Ii Died: February 5, 1943
Born: March 21, 1890 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Diego, California, USA Profession: Director ... director vaudevillian assistant director


Van Dyke began his career as an assistant director, notably under D.W. Griffith on "Intolerance" (1916). He took over the direction of "White Shadows of the South Seas" from Robert Flaherty in 1928 and, by the 1930s, had developed into one of MGM's most reliable directors. Van Dyke was a capable craftsman whose nonchalant approach to filming earned him the nickname 'One-Shot Woody'; it also brought him success at the box-office, particularly with the "Thin Man" series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. His deft touch is evident in films such as "Trader Horn" (1930), "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934), "Sweethearts" and "Marie Antoinette" (both 1938).


albatros1 ( 2007-12-12 )

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The earthquake sequence in San Francisco is considered one of the best special-effects sequences ever filmed. To help direct, Van Dyke called upon his early mentor, D.W. Griffith, who had fallen on hard times. Van Dyke was also known to hire old-time, out-of-work actors as extras; because of his loyalty he was much beloved and admired in the industry. Van Dyke was known for allowing ad-libbing (that remained in the film) and for coaxing natural performances from his actors. He was often called in to work a few days (or more), uncredited, on a film that was in trouble or had gone over production schedule.

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