|Date of Birth||9 May 1904, Helensburgh, Scotland, UK|
|Date of Death||22 June 1983, London, England, UK|
Mini Bio (1)
Scottish-born David MacDonald got his training in the industry in the US under celebrated producer/director Cecil B. DeMille, who hired him in 1929 as a production assistant. MacDonald returned to Britain in 1936 after his apprenticeship with DeMille and secured a job as a director on what were called "quota quickies", films that were made quickly and cheaply to fulfill a British government requirement that a certain percentage of films shown in British theaters had to be made by British companies.
He achieved some recognition when he made a series of comedies with Barry K. Barnes. During World War II MacDonald joined the Crown Film Unit and produced and directed a series of morale-building documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Men of the Lightship (1941), and produced two award-winning documentaries by director Roy Boulting--Desert Victory (1943) and Burma Victory (1946). His postwar career began well with the sharp thriller Snowbound (1948). Unfortunately, his next film, Christopher Columbus (1949), was a flop of monumental proportions, ridiculed by critics and audiences alike as leaden, talky and an "epic" that moved like molasses. The film was such a disaster that star Fredric March's career barely recovered from it, and MacDonald's didn't. He was reduced to "B" pictures for the rest of his career, turning out low-grade "thrillers" and limp comedies; his career low point was undoubtedly the notorious sci-fi stinker Devil Girl from Mars (1954). He spent most of the latter part of his career in television.
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