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Donald Siegel

Hebrew: דונלד סיגל
Also Known As: "Don"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Chicago, IL, United States
Death: April 20, 1991 (78)
Nipomo, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Siegel and Anna Dorothy Siegel
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Viveca Lindfors; Doe Avedon and Private
Father of Private; Private; Kristoffer Tabori; Private and Private
Brother of Private

Occupation: American film director and producer
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Donald Siegel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Siegel

Donald Siegel (October 26, 1912 – April 20, 1991) was an American film director and producer. His name variously appeared in the credits of his films as both Don Siegel and Donald Siegel. He was best known for the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) as well as five films with Clint Eastwood, including Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979), and John Wayne's final picture, 1976's The Shootist.

Contents [show] Early life[edit] Born in Chicago, with Jewish origins, he attended schools in New York and later graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in England.[1] For a short time he studied at Beaux Arts in Paris, France, but left at age 20 and later made his way to Los Angeles.[1]

Career[edit] Siegel found work in the Warner Bros. film library after meeting producer Hal Wallis,[1] and later rose to head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for Casablanca. In 1945 two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director.

He directed whatever material came his way, often transcending the limitations of budget and script to produce interesting and adept works. He made the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956. He directed two episodes of The Twilight Zone, "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" and "Uncle Simon". He worked with Elvis Presley and Dolores del Río in Flaming Star (1960), with Steve McQueen in Hell Is for Heroes and Lee Marvin in the influential The Killers (1964) before directing a series of five films with Clint Eastwood that were commercially successful in addition to being well received by critics. These included the policiers Coogan's Bluff and Dirty Harry, the Albert Maltz-scripted Western Two Mules for Sister Sara, the cynical American Civil War melodrama The Beguiled and the prison-break picture Escape from Alcatraz. He was a considerable influence on Eastwood's own career as a director, and Eastwood's film Unforgiven is dedicated "for Don and Sergio".

He had a long collaboration with composer Lalo Schifrin, who scored five of his films: Coogan's Bluff, The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick and Telefon.

Schifrin composed and recorded what would have been his sixth score for Siegel on Jinxed! (1982), but it was rejected by the studio despite Siegel's objections. This was one of several fights Siegel had on this, his last film.[2]

Siegel was also important to the career of director Sam Peckinpah. In 1954, Peckinpah was hired as a dialogue coach for Riot in Cell Block 11. His job entailed acting as an assistant to the director, Siegel. The film was shot on location at Folsom Prison. Siegel's location work and his use of actual prisoners as extras in the film made a lasting impression on Peckinpah. He worked as a dialogue coach on four additional Siegel films: Private Hell 36 (1954), An Annapolis Story, (1955), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Crime in the Streets (1956).[3] 25 years later, Peckinpah was all but banished from the industry due to his troubled film productions. Siegel gave the director a chance to return to filmmaking. He asked Peckinpah if he would be interested in directing 12 days of second unit work on Jinxed!. Peckinpah immediately accepted, and his earnest collaboration with his longtime friend was noted within the industry. While Peckinpah's work was uncredited, it would lead to his hiring as the director of his final film The Osterman Weekend (1983).[4][5]

Cameos[edit] He has a cameo role as a bartender in Eastwood's Play Misty For Me, and in Philip Kaufman's 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers—a remake of Siegel's own 1956 film—he appears as a "pod" taxi driver. In Charley Varrick (a film slated for Eastwood but ultimately turned down by the actor), starring Walter Matthau, he has a cameo as a ping-pong player.

Personal life[edit] From 1948 to 1953 he was married to actress Viveca Lindfors, with whom he had a son, Kristoffer Tabori. He married Doe Avedon (a former actress and ex-wife of photographer Richard Avedon) in 1957. They adopted four children and later divorced. He married Carol Rydall, former assistant to Clint Eastwood, and they remained together until he died at the age of 78 from cancer in Nipomo, California. He is buried near Highway 1 in the coastal Cayucos-Morro Bay District Cemetery.

Filmography[edit] Star in the Night (1945) The Verdict (1946) Night Unto Night (1947) The Big Steal (1949) The Duel at Silver Creek (1952) Count the Hours (1953) China Venture (1953) Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) Private Hell 36 (1954) The Blue and Gold (1955) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Crime in the Streets (1956) Baby Face Nelson (1957) Spanish Affair (1957) The Gun Runners (1958) The Lineup (1958) Hound-Dog Man (1959) Edge of Eternity (1959) Flaming Star (1960) Hell Is for Heroes (1962) The Killers (1964) The Hanged Man (1964) Stranger on the Run (1967) Coogan's Bluff (1968) Madigan (1968) Death of a Gunfighter (1969) Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) The Beguiled (1971) Dirty Harry (1971) Charley Varrick (1973) The Black Windmill (1974) The Shootist (1976) Telefon (1977) Escape from Alcatraz (1979) Rough Cut (1980) Jinxed! (1982)


Don Siegel was educated at Cambridge University, England. In Hollywood from the mid-'30s, he began his career as an editor and second unit director. In 1945 he directed two shorts (Hitler Lives (1945) and Star in the Night (1945)) which both won Academy Awards.

His first feature as a director was 1946's The Verdict (1946).

He made his reputation in the early and mid-'50s with a series of tightly made, expertly crafted, tough but intelligent "B" pictures (among them

  • The Lineup (1958),
  • Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954),
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)).

He then graduated to major "A" films in the 1960s and early 1970s. He made several "side trips" to television, mostly as a producer.

Siegel directed what is generally considered to be Elvis Presley's best picture, Flaming Star (1960).

He had a long professional relationship and personal friendship with Clint Eastwood, who has often said that everything he knows about filmmaking he learned from Don Siegel.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>

Spouse Doe Avedon (1957 - ?)

Ex wife, Viveca Lindfors (1948 - 1953) (divorced) 1 child

Trade Mark

Frequently cast Clint Eastwood

Known for his extensive preparation and highly efficient shooting style, which were the main influence on the directing style of his protege, Clint Eastwood

Strong male characters and scheming female characters (if there were any major female characters in the stories at all), frequently leading to charges of misogyny

His films were frequently interpreted as having controversial, right-wing political or sociological undertone, which Siegel never commented on

Trivia

Siegel and screenwriter Stephen Geller (The Valachi Papers (1972), Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)) once collaborated on a script of "The First Deadly Sin" (based on the novel), to be directed by Siegel. The project fell through, however, and a different version was filmed several years later. Father of actor Kristoffer Tabori, born 1952

Was eager to direct movies as early as 1942, but his contract with Warner Brothers kept him restricted to doing editing and montage sequences. Studio chief Jack L. Warner refused to let Siegel out of his contract because he wanted to utilize his exceptional montage skills.

Siegel was the first director to be credited by the Director's Guild of America's universal pseudonym Alan Smithee, for Death of a Gunfighter (1969). Siegel wished to remain uncredited because he felt the film's star, Richard Widmark, ruined the picture by insisting on creative control that usurped Siegel's authority as director, and also because Widmark had fired original director Robert Totten, who completed most of the picture, and Siegel felt that if anyone should be credited for the film it should have been Totten and not him.

He was asked by Richard Widmark to take over the direction of Death of a Gunfighter (1969) from original director Robert Totten. Widmark had Totten fired a week before filming was completed. Siegel finished the film, but refused credit because he felt the film was Totten's, and that he himself had contributed little. Totten refused to take credit because he had been fired. The Directors Guild allowed the two to use the pseudonym "Alan Smithee" for the first time in film history. Siegel writes about the incident in his autobiography, "A Siegel Film."

Was mentor to Clint Eastwood. Eastwood dedicated his film Unforgiven (1992) to him. In Telefon (1977), where Houston, Texas, is the location of a subplot in the story, the interior of the Hyatt Regency is not in the one in Houston but actually the one located at 5 Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, which is the same location for the disaster epic The Towering Inferno (1974). San Francisco was also the setting for three other Siegel films: The Lineup (1958), Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979).

In Charley Varrick (1973) and Telefon (1977), a yellow Lincoln Continental sedan is used as part of a major plot in the film. In both films, the Continental sedan is involved in a front-end collision and subsequently totalled.

During filming of Dirty Harry (1971), Siegel fell ill with the flu, and Clint Eastwood stepped in temporarily as director, during a critical scene involving a suicide jumper. This was Eastwood's first unbilled credit as director.

Father of Anney Siegel-Wamsat.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 997-1001. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

He originally intended for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) to end with the hero, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) on the highway shouting to the motorists, "You're next! You're next!" but Allied Artists wanted a happier ending that assured the audience the hero's efforts had not been in vain. Siegel subsequently added the opening with Miles in the hospital recounting his story to the other two doctors, who find out at the end of the film that the pod people are real and contact the FBI. Was Sam Peckinpah's mentor.

Siegel and producer Walter Wanger had been desperately trying to persuade the warden of San Quentin Prison to allow the use of the facility to film Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), but the warden had adamantly refused. After the final meeting in the prison, when the warden had said there was nothing Siegel or Wanger could do to persuade him to allow filming there, Siegel turned to speak to his assistant, Sam Peckinpah. When the warden heard Peckinpah's name, he asked, "Are you related to Denver Peckinpah?" Sam replied that Denver was his father. It turned out that Denver Peckinpah was a well-known jurist in northern California who had a reputation as a "hanging judge" and the warden had long been an admirer of his. He immediately granted the company permission to shoot the movie in San Quentin.

Interviewed in Peter Bogdanovich's "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Chuck Jones, Fritz Lang, Joseph H. Lewis, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, Frank Tashlin, Edgar G. Ulmer, Raoul Walsh." NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

While filming Flaming Star (1960), for two weeks, he drove new Rolls Royce owned by Elvis Presley. He's the son of a mandolin virtuoso.

Personal Quotes

  • Most of my pictures, I'm sorry to say, are about nothing. Because I'm a whore. I work for money. It's the American way.
  • I once told [Jean-Luc Godard] that he had something I wanted - freedom. He said, "You have something I want - money".
  • [on editing] If you shake a movie, ten minutes will fall out.
  • [on working with Bette Midler in Jinxed! (1982)] I'd let my wife, children and animals starve before I'd subject myself to something like that again.
  • [on Walter Wanger] He was a rarity among producers. He encouraged creativity. He wasn't only interested in protecting himself, which is what most producers do.
  • [on working with Steve McQueen on Hell Is for Heroes (1962)] He walked around with the attitude that the burden of preserving the integrity of the picture was on his shoulders and all the rest of us were company men ready to sell out, grind out an inferior picture for a few bucks and the bosses. Eventually, we grew to like each other.
  • [on Walter Matthau] One of the funniest men I ever worked with and didn't understand a thing about the movie [Charley Varrick (1973)] at all. When I showed him the first cut all he said was, "Well, I got to admit it's a picture but can anyone tell me what the hell it's all about?"
  • [on Clint Eastwood] Hardest thing in the world is to do nothing and he does it marvelously.
  • [on Charles Bronson] He is a very helpful actor in planning or staging a scene. He gets wonderful ideas, good practical suggestions and I enjoy his contributions. He's a positive force for the good in this grinding work of making a film. He's patient when the work is difficult and he's never satisfied until he's convinced what's been done is right. He's my kind of actor, you might say. He's a true loner.
  • I think in America I'm looked upon as the equivalent of a European director -- which is quite laughable. I've never had a personal publicity man working for me. So all this came out of the blue -- all this publicity. The cult was not engineered. It festered, in a sense. And erupted. And it did me a lot of good.

About דונלד סיגל (עברית)

דון סיגל

' (באנגלית: Donald Siegel;‏ 26 באוקטובר 1912 - 20 באפריל 1991) היה במאי קולנוע יהודי-אמריקני.

קורות חיים סיגל נולד בשיקגו, ולאחר שהשלים את לימודיו בקיימברידג' עבד במחלקת הארכיון של אולפני וורנר. סיגל פילס את דרכו לעשיית הסרטים, כאשר בתחילה היה במשך שנים ארוכות האחראי על מחלקת המונטאז' באולפנים, והיה שותף לעשיית סרטים כ"קזבלנקה". סיגל שאף להפוך לבמאי, אך האולפנים, שהכירו בכישרונו בתחום המונטאז', החתימו אותו על חוזה ארוך טווח, שמנע ממנו לעבוד כבמאי. בשנת 1945 ביים סיגל שני סרטים קצרים, "היטלר חי", ו"כוכב בשמי הלילה"; שניהם סרטים אלו זכו באותה שנה בפרס אוסקר בקטגוריית הסרטים הקצרים, וכתוצאה מכך החל סיגל לביים סרטים באורך מלא.

סרטיו של סיגל במסגרת האולפנים הגדולים היו בדרך כלל סרטי "הזרם המרכזי", מותחנים, סרטי מלחמה ופעולה. סיגל נודע בסגנונו האלים והישיר. כישרונו היה בלקיחת סרט שיגרתי, שהוצע לו על ידי האולפנים, ולהפוך אותו לסרט בעל נגיעה אישית, תוך התגברות על מכשולי תקציב והפקה.

סיגל היה הבמאי הראשון אשר סירב להופעת שמו על סרט שיצר. היה זה בסרט "מותו של אקדוחן", שיצא לאקרנים בשנת 1969. הסרט החל בבימויו של במאי אחר, אשר הסתכסך עם הכוכב ריצ'רד וידמרק ופוטר. סיגל הגיע על מנת להשלים את העבודה, ואף הוא הסתכסך עם וידמרק, שדרש כי תהיה לו שליטה אמנותית בבימוי הסרט ועריכתו. בסופו של דבר החליט סיגל כי אינו יכול לקבל קרדיט על בימוי הסרט, וביקש מגילדת הבמאים כי בכותרות הסרט יינתן הקרדיט ל"אלן סמית'י", דמות דמיונית שהומצאה לצורך זה. מאז זכה סמית'י ל"קריירת בימוי" מפוארת, שכן בכל מקרה דומה של סכסוך בין במאי, כוכב ואולפן, שגרם לכך שהבמאי לא ראה בסרט את המוצר לו התכוון, ניתן היה לבקש כי הקרדיט על הבימוי יינתן ל"אלן סמית'י".

סיגל היה מורהו הרוחני של קלינט איסטווד, שהקדיש לו את סרטו זוכה האוסקר "הבלתי נסלח" (1991), וכיכב בכמה מסרטיו, בין היתר "הארי המזוהם", ו"הבריחה מאלקטרז". בסרט "מיסטי", סרטו הראשון של איסטווד כבמאי, מופיע סיגל בתפקיד משנה משמעותי של ברמן. כן הופיע סיגל, שביים את "פלישת חוטפי הגופות" ב-1956, בתפקיד קטן בגרסה חדשה לסרט זה שיצאה ב-1978.

האוטוביוגרפיה של סיגל "A Don Siegel Film" יצאה לאור לאחר מותו בשנת 1993.

מסרטיו פלישת חוטפי הגופות (1956) - עלילתו של סרט מתמקדת ברופא בעיירה קטנה המקבל תלונות על התנהגות אדישה וחסרת רגשות של התושבים. מסתבר כי חלק מהם מוחלפים בשנתם בחייזרים, שהתנהגותם קפואה ואוטומטית. החייזרים משתלטים על העיירה, ומנסים לגרום להחלפתם של כל תושביה, ביניהם הרופא. סיגל יצר סרט מטריד, מפחיד ועוכר שלווה; בניגוד לרעשנות והמשחק המוגזם שאפיינו את סרטי המדע הבדיוני של שנות החמישים, הצליח סיגל להפיק משחקניו משחק מאופק, וליצור תחושה של פרנויה, מחנק ואיום, תחושות ההולכות ומתגברות עד לסיומו של הסרט. הסרט אמנם מסתיים ב"סוף טוב", שכפי הנראה הוכתב לסיגל על ידי האולפן (הרופא נמלט להרים ומצליח להזעיק עזרה ולהתריע על הסכנה לשלום העולם), אך התחושה היא כי הסוף הוא "מודבק", וכי הסרט מיועד ליצור הרגשה כבדה של חרדה עמומה בקרב הצופים. את הסרט ניתן לבחון על רקע תקופתו, תקופת המלחמה הקרה, שבה נאבקו האמריקאים כנגד גורם זר (הקומוניזם), הנראה כמשתלט על נשמותיהם של אנשים תמימים, והורס את אמריקה מבפנים, בדיוק באופן שבו השתלטו החייזרים בסרט זה על תושבי העיירה. סרט זה הוא ביטוי מדויק לפחדיה של אמריקה במהלך המלחמה הקרה, לתחושת הרדיפה שחשו תושביה, שהביאה לתופעות כגון "ציד המכשפות" של הסנאטור ג'וזף מקארתי. יש הנותנים פירוש הפוך לסרט, ורואים בעמידתו של הרופא הבודד כנגד הגל הלא אנושי הגובר והולך מסביבו, התרסה כנגד המקארתיזם. לסרט נעשתה גרסה נוספת בשנת 1978, ובה השתתף סיגל בתפקיד זעיר כנהג מונית. כן נעשתה גרסה בשנת 1993, ובה הוחלף הרופא בנערה המגלה כי בני עירה מוחלפים בידי חייזרים. בעוד שהגרסה של 1978 זכתה להצלחה מסוימת, הגרסה של 1993 הייתה כישלון, ושתי הגרסאות, לדעת רבים, מחווירות לעומת המקור. הרוצחים (1964) - סרט זה נעשה במקורו עבור הטלוויזיה, אך לאחר שהתברר כי רמתו גבוהה מהסטנדרטים הרגילים של סרטי טלוויזיה, יצא הסרט אף בגרסה לקולנוע, והצליח מאוד. עלילת הסרט היא עיבוד לסיפור קצר של ארנסט המינגוויי. סגנונו הישיר של סיגל יוצר סרט מותח ומרתק, העוסק בסיפורה של חבורת רוצחים המספרת על רצח שזה עתה ביצעה. הסרט הוא עיבוד מחדש לסרט דומה שנעשה ב-1946, אם כי הוא אלים בהרבה מן המקור. בין שחקני הסרט ניתן למנות את ג'ון קסאווטס, שהפך לאחר מכן לבמאי. חשיבותו ההיסטורית של הסרט היא בכך שזהו סרטו האחרון של רונלד רייגן, אשר פרש לאחריו לקריירה פוליטית, שהביאה אותו עד לנשיאות ארצות הברית. בניגוד לכל הסרטים האחרים שעשה רייגן, בהם הקפיד לשחק את דמות הגיבור הכול-אמריקאי טוב הלב, בסרט זה מגלם רייגן ברמה גבוהה את תפקיד ה"נבל" של איש עסקים חסר מצפון. הארי המזוהם (1971) - זהו הראשון בסדרה של חמישה סרטים, שבהם מגלם קלינט איסטווד את דמותו של "הארי המזוהם", שוטר המנוכר לסביבתו, מסתכסך עם כל מקורביו, ובמיוחד עם מפקדיו, ובעל דעה משלו באשר לאכיפת החוק. בסרט זה רודף הארי אחר רוצח פסיכופת (אנדרו רובינסון) אשר נטפל לנערות, כולא אותן, מתעלל בהן ולבסוף הורג אותן. זהותו של הרוצח ידועה מראש לצופים, וכן להארי ולשלטונות החוק, אך בשל ניצול של פרצות חוקיות על ידי הרוצח, הוא מצליח להמשיך במעשיו, כאשר ידו של החוק קצרה מלהושיע. אז לוקח הארי את החוק לידיו, ומשליט סדר באופן אישי, בניגוד לחוק, ובניגוד לפקודות שקיבל. משחקו של איסטווד הוא אבטיפוס לכל שוטר בעל בעיות עם סמכות שנראה מאז על מסך הקולנוע והטלוויזיה. הדימוי החזק של איסטווד העומד מעל פושע שזה עתה תפס, מכוון אליו את אקדח המגנום בקוטר 44., ושואל אותו "Do you feel lucky, Punk?" ("האם אתה מרגיש בר מזל, פרחח?") היה לקלישאה קולנועית שחזרה בצורות שונות בסרטים רבים. איסטווד היה מזוהה עם הדמות במשך מספר שנים. לצד זאת, עבודת הבימוי והעריכה הטובה של סיגל, הפכה את הסרט למעניין ויוצא דופן, בעוד שהמשכיו, אותם לא ביים סיגל, נחשבים כמעניינים ומוצלחים פחות. הסרט, כ"פלישת חוטפי הגופות" בזמנו, הוא ראי לתקופתו. הסרט מקדם ערכים של אמריקה השמרנית והימנית - האדם היחיד הלוקח את החוק לידיו במקום בו החוק אינו יכול לעזור, היה תגובה ל"תרבות הנגד", ההיפית, השמאלנית והליברלית. ניתן לנתח את הסרט על רקע מלחמת וייטנאם בה עמדו אז האמריקנים בפני תבוסה, כאשר הדרישה הימנית הייתה להמשיך את המלחמה עד הסוף ובכל האמצעים, בעוד שהשמאל דרש לסיים את המלחמה ולהחזיר את החיילים הביתה. עמדתו של "הארי המזוהם" בשאלה זו נראית ברורה ומובנת מאליה. צ'ארלי וריק (1973) - סרט זה הוא לכאורה סרט פשע שגרתי, אך הוא מכיל את כל האלמנטים שהביאו לסיגל את הצלחתו. הסרט הוא בעל עלילה מותחת, ערוך היטב, ומלא בדמויות קשוחות, שפה בוטה, וסצנות של אלימות ורצח. מוזיקת הרקע שהלחין לאלו שיפרין (שהלחין פסקולים לסרטים רבים של סיגל, וידוע בזכות נעימת הרקע לסדרה "משימה בלתי אפשרית") תורמת אף היא לאווירת הסרט. עלילתו של הסרט עוסקת בחבורת שודדים, אשר לאחר ששדדו בנק קטן בעיירה נידחת, הסתבר כי הבנק שימש כתחנת הלבנת כספים של המאפיה, ועל השודדים למצוא דרך להימלט מהמאפיה ולשמור את הכסף לעצמם. בסרט משחקים מספר שחקנים שנתפסו כ"קשוחים" הוליוודיים (אנדרו רובינסון אשר גילם את הרוצח ב"הארי המזוהם", ג'ו דון בייקר וג'ון ורנון), והוא זכור במיוחד בשל משחקו של וולטר מתאו בתפקיד הראשי: מתאו מגלם טייס-ריסוס אשר עבר הסבה לשודד בנקים, וסיסמתו, הן כטייס והן כשודד, היא "אחרון העצמאיים" (The last of the independents); הוא מכניס לתפקיד את ההומור והציניות המאפיינים אותו, המשתלבים בצורה טובה עם סגנון הבימוי של סיגל. קישורים חיצוניים ויקישיתוף מדיה וקבצים בנושא דון סיגל בוויקישיתוף IMDB Logo 2016.svg דון סיגל , במסד הנתונים הקולנועיים IMDb (באנגלית) Allmovie Logo.png דון סיגל , באתר AllMovie (באנגלית) דון סיגל , באתר "Find a Grave" (באנגלית) https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%93%D7%95%D7%9F_%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%92...

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Siegel

Donald Siegel (October 26, 1912 – April 20, 1991) was an American film director and producer. His name variously appeared in the credits of his films as both Don Siegel and Donald Siegel. He was best known for the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) as well as five films with Clint Eastwood, including Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979), and John Wayne's final picture, 1976's The Shootist.

Contents [show] Early life[edit] Born in Chicago, with Jewish origins, he attended schools in New York and later graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in England.[1] For a short time he studied at Beaux Arts in Paris, France, but left at age 20 and later made his way to Los Angeles.[1]

Career[edit] Siegel found work in the Warner Bros. film library after meeting producer Hal Wallis,[1] and later rose to head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for Casablanca. In 1945 two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director.

He directed whatever material came his way, often transcending the limitations of budget and script to produce interesting and adept works. He made the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956. He directed two episodes of The Twilight Zone, "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" and "Uncle Simon". He worked with Elvis Presley and Dolores del Río in Flaming Star (1960), with Steve McQueen in Hell Is for Heroes and Lee Marvin in the influential The Killers (1964) before directing a series of five films with Clint Eastwood that were commercially successful in addition to being well received by critics. These included the policiers Coogan's Bluff and Dirty Harry, the Albert Maltz-scripted Western Two Mules for Sister Sara, the cynical American Civil War melodrama The Beguiled and the prison-break picture Escape from Alcatraz. He was a considerable influence on Eastwood's own career as a director, and Eastwood's film Unforgiven is dedicated "for Don and Sergio".

He had a long collaboration with composer Lalo Schifrin, who scored five of his films: Coogan's Bluff, The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick and Telefon.

Schifrin composed and recorded what would have been his sixth score for Siegel on Jinxed! (1982), but it was rejected by the studio despite Siegel's objections. This was one of several fights Siegel had on this, his last film.[2]

Siegel was also important to the career of director Sam Peckinpah. In 1954, Peckinpah was hired as a dialogue coach for Riot in Cell Block 11. His job entailed acting as an assistant to the director, Siegel. The film was shot on location at Folsom Prison. Siegel's location work and his use of actual prisoners as extras in the film made a lasting impression on Peckinpah. He worked as a dialogue coach on four additional Siegel films: Private Hell 36 (1954), An Annapolis Story, (1955), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Crime in the Streets (1956).[3] 25 years later, Peckinpah was all but banished from the industry due to his troubled film productions. Siegel gave the director a chance to return to filmmaking. He asked Peckinpah if he would be interested in directing 12 days of second unit work on Jinxed!. Peckinpah immediately accepted, and his earnest collaboration with his longtime friend was noted within the industry. While Peckinpah's work was uncredited, it would lead to his hiring as the director of his final film The Osterman Weekend (1983).[4][5]

Cameos[edit] He has a cameo role as a bartender in Eastwood's Play Misty For Me, and in Philip Kaufman's 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers—a remake of Siegel's own 1956 film—he appears as a "pod" taxi driver. In Charley Varrick (a film slated for Eastwood but ultimately turned down by the actor), starring Walter Matthau, he has a cameo as a ping-pong player.

Personal life[edit] From 1948 to 1953 he was married to actress Viveca Lindfors, with whom he had a son, Kristoffer Tabori. He married Doe Avedon (a former actress and ex-wife of photographer Richard Avedon) in 1957. They adopted four children and later divorced. He married Carol Rydall, former assistant to Clint Eastwood, and they remained together until he died at the age of 78 from cancer in Nipomo, California. He is buried near Highway 1 in the coastal Cayucos-Morro Bay District Cemetery.

Filmography[edit] Star in the Night (1945) The Verdict (1946) Night Unto Night (1947) The Big Steal (1949) The Duel at Silver Creek (1952) Count the Hours (1953) China Venture (1953) Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) Private Hell 36 (1954) The Blue and Gold (1955) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Crime in the Streets (1956) Baby Face Nelson (1957) Spanish Affair (1957) The Gun Runners (1958) The Lineup (1958) Hound-Dog Man (1959) Edge of Eternity (1959) Flaming Star (1960) Hell Is for Heroes (1962) The Killers (1964) The Hanged Man (1964) Stranger on the Run (1967) Coogan's Bluff (1968) Madigan (1968) Death of a Gunfighter (1969) Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) The Beguiled (1971) Dirty Harry (1971) Charley Varrick (1973) The Black Windmill (1974) The Shootist (1976) Telefon (1977) Escape from Alcatraz (1979) Rough Cut (1980) Jinxed! (1982)


Don Siegel was educated at Cambridge University, England. In Hollywood from the mid-'30s, he began his career as an editor and second unit director. In 1945 he directed two shorts (Hitler Lives (1945) and Star in the Night (1945)) which both won Academy Awards.

His first feature as a director was 1946's The Verdict (1946).

He made his reputation in the early and mid-'50s with a series of tightly made, expertly crafted, tough but intelligent "B" pictures (among them

  • The Lineup (1958),
  • Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954),
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)).

He then graduated to major "A" films in the 1960s and early 1970s. He made several "side trips" to television, mostly as a producer.

Siegel directed what is generally considered to be Elvis Presley's best picture, Flaming Star (1960).

He had a long professional relationship and personal friendship with Clint Eastwood, who has often said that everything he knows about filmmaking he learned from Don Siegel.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>

Spouse Doe Avedon (1957 - ?)

Ex wife, Viveca Lindfors (1948 - 1953) (divorced) 1 child

Trade Mark

Frequently cast Clint Eastwood

Known for his extensive preparation and highly efficient shooting style, which were the main influence on the directing style of his protege, Clint Eastwood

Strong male characters and scheming female characters (if there were any major female characters in the stories at all), frequently leading to charges of misogyny

His films were frequently interpreted as having controversial, right-wing political or sociological undertone, which Siegel never commented on

Trivia

Siegel and screenwriter Stephen Geller (The Valachi Papers (1972), Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)) once collaborated on a script of "The First Deadly Sin" (based on the novel), to be directed by Siegel. The project fell through, however, and a different version was filmed several years later. Father of actor Kristoffer Tabori, born 1952

Was eager to direct movies as early as 1942, but his contract with Warner Brothers kept him restricted to doing editing and montage sequences. Studio chief Jack L. Warner refused to let Siegel out of his contract because he wanted to utilize his exceptional montage skills.

Siegel was the first director to be credited by the Director's Guild of America's universal pseudonym Alan Smithee, for Death of a Gunfighter (1969). Siegel wished to remain uncredited because he felt the film's star, Richard Widmark, ruined the picture by insisting on creative control that usurped Siegel's authority as director, and also because Widmark had fired original director Robert Totten, who completed most of the picture, and Siegel felt that if anyone should be credited for the film it should have been Totten and not him.

He was asked by Richard Widmark to take over the direction of Death of a Gunfighter (1969) from original director Robert Totten. Widmark had Totten fired a week before filming was completed. Siegel finished the film, but refused credit because he felt the film was Totten's, and that he himself had contributed little. Totten refused to take credit because he had been fired. The Directors Guild allowed the two to use the pseudonym "Alan Smithee" for the first time in film history. Siegel writes about the incident in his autobiography, "A Siegel Film."

Was mentor to Clint Eastwood. Eastwood dedicated his film Unforgiven (1992) to him. In Telefon (1977), where Houston, Texas, is the location of a subplot in the story, the interior of the Hyatt Regency is not in the one in Houston but actually the one located at 5 Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, which is the same location for the disaster epic The Towering Inferno (1974). San Francisco was also the setting for three other Siegel films: The Lineup (1958), Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape from Alcatraz (1979).

In Charley Varrick (1973) and Telefon (1977), a yellow Lincoln Continental sedan is used as part of a major plot in the film. In both films, the Continental sedan is involved in a front-end collision and subsequently totalled.

During filming of Dirty Harry (1971), Siegel fell ill with the flu, and Clint Eastwood stepped in temporarily as director, during a critical scene involving a suicide jumper. This was Eastwood's first unbilled credit as director.

Father of Anney Siegel-Wamsat.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 997-1001. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

He originally intended for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) to end with the hero, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) on the highway shouting to the motorists, "You're next! You're next!" but Allied Artists wanted a happier ending that assured the audience the hero's efforts had not been in vain. Siegel subsequently added the opening with Miles in the hospital recounting his story to the other two doctors, who find out at the end of the film that the pod people are real and contact the FBI. Was Sam Peckinpah's mentor.

Siegel and producer Walter Wanger had been desperately trying to persuade the warden of San Quentin Prison to allow the use of the facility to film Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), but the warden had adamantly refused. After the final meeting in the prison, when the warden had said there was nothing Siegel or Wanger could do to persuade him to allow filming there, Siegel turned to speak to his assistant, Sam Peckinpah. When the warden heard Peckinpah's name, he asked, "Are you related to Denver Peckinpah?" Sam replied that Denver was his father. It turned out that Denver Peckinpah was a well-known jurist in northern California who had a reputation as a "hanging judge" and the warden had long been an admirer of his. He immediately granted the company permission to shoot the movie in San Quentin.

Interviewed in Peter Bogdanovich's "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Chuck Jones, Fritz Lang, Joseph H. Lewis, Sidney Lumet, Leo McCarey, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, Frank Tashlin, Edgar G. Ulmer, Raoul Walsh." NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

While filming Flaming Star (1960), for two weeks, he drove new Rolls Royce owned by Elvis Presley. He's the son of a mandolin virtuoso.

Personal Quotes

  • Most of my pictures, I'm sorry to say, are about nothing. Because I'm a whore. I work for money. It's the American way.
  • I once told [Jean-Luc Godard] that he had something I wanted - freedom. He said, "You have something I want - money".
  • [on editing] If you shake a movie, ten minutes will fall out.
  • [on working with Bette Midler in Jinxed! (1982)] I'd let my wife, children and animals starve before I'd subject myself to something like that again.
  • [on Walter Wanger] He was a rarity among producers. He encouraged creativity. He wasn't only interested in protecting himself, which is what most producers do.
  • [on working with Steve McQueen on Hell Is for Heroes (1962)] He walked around with the attitude that the burden of preserving the integrity of the picture was on his shoulders and all the rest of us were company men ready to sell out, grind out an inferior picture for a few bucks and the bosses. Eventually, we grew to like each other.
  • [on Walter Matthau] One of the funniest men I ever worked with and didn't understand a thing about the movie [Charley Varrick (1973)] at all. When I showed him the first cut all he said was, "Well, I got to admit it's a picture but can anyone tell me what the hell it's all about?"
  • [on Clint Eastwood] Hardest thing in the world is to do nothing and he does it marvelously.
  • [on Charles Bronson] He is a very helpful actor in planning or staging a scene. He gets wonderful ideas, good practical suggestions and I enjoy his contributions. He's a positive force for the good in this grinding work of making a film. He's patient when the work is difficult and he's never satisfied until he's convinced what's been done is right. He's my kind of actor, you might say. He's a true loner.
  • I think in America I'm looked upon as the equivalent of a European director -- which is quite laughable. I've never had a personal publicity man working for me. So all this came out of the blue -- all this publicity. The cult was not engineered. It festered, in a sense. And erupted. And it did me a lot of good.
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Donald Siegel's Timeline

1912
October 26, 1912
Chicago, IL, United States
1952
August 4, 1952
Malibu, Los Angeles County, California, United States
1991
April 20, 1991
Age 78
Nipomo, CA, United States