Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Walsh started his entertainment career as a stage actor in New York, quickly progressing into film acting. In 1914 he became assistant to D.W. Griffith and worked almost entirely on contract with him at Fox until 1928. At Paramount Pictures in the 1930s he directed stars such as James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn before joining Warner Brothers in the early 1940s. His contact at Warners expired in 1953 and he retired in 1964.
A founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Walsh lost an eye in a car accident while working on the film In Old Arizona in 1929. He was the brother of actor George Walsh .
Among his better known works are:
- The Life of General Villa (1914), directorial debut
- Evangeline (1919)
- The Thief of Bagdad (1924), produced by and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
- What Price Glory? (1926), his most successful silent movie
- Sadie Thompson (1928), in which he acted alongside Gloria Swanson
- In Old Arizona (1929)
- Klondike Annie (1936), starring Mae West
- The Roaring Twenties (1939)
- They Drive By Night (1940)
- High Sierra (1941)
- Desperate Journey (1942)
- Northern Pursuit (1943)
- Pursued (1947), starring Robert Mitchum
- White Heat (1949), with James Cagney
- Colorado Territory (1949), a remake of High Sierra
- Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
- Distant Drums (1951), remarkable for its innovative sound effects
- Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)
- The Tall Men (1955)
- The King and Four Queens (1956)
- Esther and the King (1960)
- Marines, Let's Go (1961)
- A Distant Trumpet (1964), final film.
Like his contemporary Howard Hawks, Walsh was known for never letting the facts get in the way of a good story. Leonard Maltin has described Walsh's autobiography as "entertaining fiction with an occasional nod at the truth".
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