Edward Dmytryk Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada
Died in Encino, California, USA  (heart and kidney failure)
Nickname Eddie

Mini Bio (1)

Edward Dmytryk grew up in San Francisco, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. After his mother died when he was 6, his strict disciplinarian father beat the boy frequently, and the child began running away while in his early teens. Eventually, juvenile authorities allowed him to live alone at the age of 15 and helped him find part-time work as a film studio messenger. Dmytryk was an outstanding student in physics and mathematics and gained a scholarship to the California Institute of Technology. However, he dropped out after one year to return to movies, eventually working his way up from film editor to director. By the late 1940s, he was considered one of Hollywood's rising young directing talents, but his career was interrupted by the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a congressional committee that employed ruthless tactics aimed at rooting out and destroying what it saw as Communist influence in Hollywood. A lifelong political leftist who had been a Communist Party member briefly during World War II, Dmytryk was one of the so-called "Hollywood Ten" who refused to cooperate with HUAC and had their careers disrupted or ruined as a result. The committee threw him in prison for refusing to cooperate, and after having spent several months behind bars, Dmytryk decided to cooperate after all, and testified again before the committee, this time giving the names of people he said were Communists. He claimed to believe he had done the right thing, but many in the Hollywood community--even those who came along long after the committee was finally disbanded--never forgave him, and that action overshadowed his career the rest of his life. In the 1970s, as his directing career ground to a halt, Dmytryk recalled some advice once given him by Garson Kanin, and returned to academic life, this time as a teacher. From 1976 to 1981 he was a professor of film theory and production at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1981, was appointed to a chair in filmmaking at the University of Southern California, a position he held until about two years before his death. During his teaching career, he also authored several books on various aspects of filmmaking, as well as two volumes of memoirs.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: d-mari@tc.umn.edu

Spouse (2)

Jean Porter (12 May 1948 - 1 July 1999) ( his death) ( 3 children)
Madeleine Robinson (16 January 1932 - 24 April 1947) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (12)

At one time a member of the Communist party, he later renounced and denounced Communism.
Blacklisted in 1950s; one of the Hollywood Ten.
Became U.S. citizen at age 31.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 251-257. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
Last name properly pronounced "Dah-METT-trick."
He directed six different performers in Oscar-nominated performances: Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Tom Tully, Humphrey Bogart, Katy Jurado and Elizabeth Taylor.
In 2002 he was profiled in "Film Noir Reader 3" by Robert Porfirio (Limelight Editions).
Was originally (in 1954) assigned to direct 20th Century-Fox's Seven Cities of Gold (1955), but eventually Robert D. Webb directed the picture.
Father of son Richard and daughters Victoria and Rebecca with Jean Porter.
Although Dmytryk's films for RKO in the 1940s were very profitable and elicited much favorable comment, he was generally treated like a B director by his home studio. The only film for which he received a Best Director Oscar nomination - RKO's "Crossfire" (1947) - was shot in 20 days on a paltry budget of $250,000.
One of Turner Classic Movies in-house "original productions" promotions has one about the career of Edward Dmytryk----it just played again on 7-29-17---that the first film Mr. Dmytryk was in 1939. It appears that TMC's research staff is a tad bit incorrect as the first film he directed was "The Hawk (1939)", a poverty-row B-western. In 1949, "Ramblin' Tommy Scott acquired this film, probably from a Astor film exchange in Dallas or Atlanta, shot some footage featuring himself, his wife and his traveling medicine show, edited in some new footage and changed the name of the film to "Trail of the Hawk" and it was shown in theatres, primarily in the southern states, where the Scott troupe also made a live, on-stage, performance. 16 mm prints still exist of both films; the 1935 original-release film "The Hawk", sans Tommy Scott and troupe, and the 1949 version "The Trail of the Hawk" containing the edited-into of Tommy Scott and company. It appears that the TCM researchers didn't bother checking the IMDb filmography of Edward Dmytryk.

Personal Quotes (2)

My lifelong ambition has been to spend my money as soon as I can get it.
[on director Henry Hathaway, for whom Dmytryk worked as an editor at the beginning of his career] He was an experience--like a case of smallpox. If you get it you either die or get over it. Once over it, you're immune forever. People hated him and quit, or grew to love him . . . I've seen him stop a carpenter to show him how to carry a plank.

Salary (7)

Television Spy (1939) $250 /week
Emergency Squad (1940) $250 /week
Golden Gloves (1940) $250 /week
Mystery Sea Raider (1940) $250 /week
Hitler's Children (1943) $500 (plus $5000 bonus)
Give Us This Day (1949) $10,000
Mutiny (1952) $5,000

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