Walter Wanger
American film producer
Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger was an American film producer active in filmmaking from the 1910s to the turbulent production of Cleopatra in 1963. Wanger developed a reputation as an intellectual and a socially conscious movie executive who produced provocative message movies and glittering romantic melodramas. Wanger was strongly influenced by European films, and made many productions geared towards international markets.
Biography
Walter Wanger's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Walter Wanger
News
News abour Walter Wanger from around the web
Sci-fi sizzlers, courtesy of TCM - Pittsburgh Post Gazette (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It also helped resurrect producer Walter Wanger's career after a prison sentence for a crime of passion and is often hailed as director Don Siegel's best film. It added the phrase "pod people" to the vocabulary to describe those devoid of emotion and
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Google News article
Guest Post: Peter Broderick 'Special Report: How Films Can Change The World' - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
To sort of quote the legendary producer Walter Wanger “Film is the world's ambassador.” I was not surprisingly thrilled to get Peter Broderick's latest newsletter, and to find it not just on this subject, but with real info precisely on films that HAVE
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Google News article
Elaine Stewart - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Produced by Walter Wanger with exotic settings, lush colour, dozens of alluring harem girls, a haunting score by Dimitri Tiomkin and a theme sung by Nat "King" Cole, Elaine Stewart featured as a caliph's sultry daughter rescued by a barber (John Derek)
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Google News article
La Diligencia, ícono de los westerns, el 18 - Diario El Sol de Quilmes
Google News - over 5 years
La Diligencia es uno de los grandes westerns de la historia del cine, bajo la dirección de John Ford, con la producción de Walter Wanger. La película tiene un muestrario de personajes, que ofrecen romance, humor, ironía, drama, acción,
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Google News article
From Liz to Bond and beyond - Variety
Google News - almost 6 years
8, 1958) Fox's production head Buddy Adler and producer Walter Wanger decide to transfer the studio production of Elizabeth Taylor vehicle "Cleopatra" to Pinewood and Shepperton. The film is "expected to top a budget of $5000000," according to Daily
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Google News article
Joan Bennett on TCM: TRADE WINDS - From Cute Blonde Star to Sultry Brunette Star - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
Had it not been for producer-lover-husband Walter Wanger, it's hard to imagine that Joan Bennett having much of a Hollywood career, despite her illustrious name. (Sister: Constance Bennett; father: Richard Bennett.) Wanger produced a number of Bennett
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Google News article
Emma Engström: Viktigt att hålla distans - Göteborgs-Posten
Google News - almost 6 years
Producenten Walter Wanger hade köpt rättigheterna till boken Personal history – den amerikanske journalisten Vincent Sheeans skildring av fascismens framväxt i Europa – men ändrade fokus när kriget tog slut. Samtidigt som rapporterna trillade in om ett
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Google News article
Budd Schulberg, 'On the Waterfront' Writer, Dies at 95
NYTimes - over 7 years
Budd Schulberg, who wrote the award-winning screenplay for ''On the Waterfront'' and created a classic American archetype of naked ambition, Sammy Glick, in his novel ''What Makes Sammy Run?,'' died on Wednesday. He was 95 and lived in the Brookside section of Westhampton Beach, N.Y. His death was confirmed by his wife, Betsy. Mr. Schulberg also
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NYTimes article
FILM; Four Stars' Bright Idea Still Shines 90 Years On
NYTimes - almost 9 years
According to Hollywood lore the earth all but trembled that day in the spring of 1919, when four of the most popular figures in American movies -- the director D. W. Griffith and the actors Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford -- gathered to create their own distribution company. But for The New York Times, reporting on one of the
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NYTimes article
FILM; Same Old Aliens, But New Neuroses
NYTimes - over 9 years
FEW narratives in American popular culture have proved as durably resonant -- or as endlessly adaptable -- as ''Invasion of the Body Snatchers,'' the tale of a planetary takeover by extraterrestrial seed pods that replicate and replace sleeping humans. Originally a 1955 novel by Jack Finney, this paranoid fable has now cloned itself several times
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NYTimes article
JOURNEYS; Lost Weekend: F. Scott and Budd Go to Dartmouth
NYTimes - about 14 years
STEPPING into the Hanover Inn in Hanover, N.H., is like entering a Dartmouth-themed time capsule. The inn is directly across Wheelock Street from Dartmouth College's main lawn and its guest room floors are covered in ''Dartmouth green'' carpeting. An 1853 front page from The Dartmouth Advertiser and The Literary Gazette hangs behind the
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NYTimes article
HOLIDAY FILMS: ADAPTATIONS; 'Remade in America': A Label to Avoid
NYTimes - over 15 years
WHEN we last encountered César (Eduardo Noriega) -- the handsome, then nightmarishly disfigured, then surgically restored protagonist of the sexy 1997 Spanish psychological puzzler ''Open Your Eyes'' (''Abre los Ojos'') -- he was either dead, dreaming or about to awaken from a virtual-reality coma in which his true love, played by that sultry
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NYTimes article
SUMMER FILMS: THE FUTURE; Planet Hollywood Indeed
NYTimes - almost 18 years
IN one of the later chapters of ''Gulliver's Travels,'' Jonathan Swift describes the flying island of Laputa, a block of earth four miles across that, thanks to its magnetized core, its inhabitants could raise, lower or pilot at will. When Gulliver encounters Laputa, it is somewhere in the vicinity of Japan; a week later, it could be in Europe or
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NYTimes article
Joseph Alioto, 81, Dies; Antitrust Lawyer Was San Francisco's Mayor in Boom Years
NYTimes - about 19 years
Joseph L. Alioto, the two-term Mayor of San Francisco during the city's most dynamic growth in the late 1960's and early 1970's and a lawyer who earned millions of dollars with the nation's largest civil antitrust practice, died yesterday at his home in San Francisco. He was 81 and had prostate cancer, but family members said he died of pneumonia.
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NYTimes article
Jennings Lang, 81, Executive On High-Gross Disaster Films
NYTimes - over 20 years
Jennings Lang, a former vice president of Universal Studios and a Hollywood producer known for "Airport" and other disaster films, died on Wednesday at a nursing home in Palm Desert, Calif., one day after his 81st birthday. As studio executive or producer, Mr. Lang was at least partly responsible for the blockbuster success of "Airport" (1970) and
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NYTimes article
The Private Garbo
NYTimes - almost 22 years
To the Editor: Patrick McGilligan's insightful review of "Garbo" (April 2), a biography by Barry Paris, gives the impression that the world's most celebrated film star was, in her private life, "a lonely, pathetic woman" and "an empty vessel." As a close friend and neighbor of Garbo's in New York for many years, I find it a disservice and a pity
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NYTimes article
Gottfried Reinhardt, 81, Film Director and Producer
NYTimes - over 22 years
Gottfried Reinhardt, a producer, director and playwright who worked on such films as "Two-Faced Woman," "The Red Badge of Courage" and "Town Without Pity," died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said Allan Parachini, a friend of the Reinhardt family. Mr. Reinhardt was born in Berlin, the son of the
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Walter Wanger
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1968
    Age 73
    Died on November 18, 1968.
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  • 1966
    Age 71
    In May 1966, Wanger received the Commendation of the Order of Merit, Italy's third-highest honor, from Consul General Alvaro v. Bettrani, "for your friendship and cooperation with the Italian government in all phases of the motion picture industry."
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  • 1958
    Age 63
    His 1958 production of I Want to Live! starred Susan Hayward in an anti-capital punishment film that is one of the most highly regarded films on the subject.
    More Details Hide Details Hayward won her only Oscar for her role in the film.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1954
    Age 59
    The experience profoundly affected him, and in 1954 he made the prison film Riot in Cell Block 11.
    More Details Hide Details Walter Wanger died of a heart attack, aged 74, in New York City. He was interred in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma, California. For 12 years, Bennett was represented by agent Jennings Lang, the onetime vice-president of the Sam Jaffe Agency. He now headed MCA's West Coast television operations. They met on the afternoon of December 13, 1951, to talk over an upcoming TV show. Bennett parked her Cadillac convertible in the lot at the back of the MCA offices, at Santa Monica Boulevard and Rexford Drive, across the street from the Beverly Hills Police Department, and she and Lang drove off in his car. Meanwhile, her husband Walter Wanger drove by at about 2:30 p.m. and noticed his wife's car parked there. Half an hour later, he again saw her car there and stopped to wait. Bennett and Lang drove into the parking lot a few hours later and he walked her to her convertible. As she started the engine, turned on the headlights and prepared to drive away, Lang leaned on the car, with both hands raised to his shoulders, and talked to her.
  • 1951
    Age 56
    In 1951, Wanger shot and wounded Lang after accusing him of having an affair with Bennett.
    More Details Hide Details Wanger's attorney, Jerry Giesler, mounted a "temporary insanity" defense and Wanger served a four-month sentence at the Castaic Honor Farm two hours' drive north of Los Angeles.
  • 1949
    Age 54
    He refused another honorary Oscar in 1949 for Joan of Arc, out of anger over the fact that the film, which he felt was one of his best, had not been nominated for Best Picture.
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  • 1946
    Age 51
    Wanger was given an Honorary Academy Award in 1946 for his service as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1939
    Age 44
    Wanger served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1939 to October 1941 and from December 1941 to 1945.
    More Details Hide Details Wanger was born Walter Feuchtwanger in San Francisco, and pronounced "Wanger" to rhyme with "danger". He was the son of Stella (Stettheimer) and Sigmund Feuchtwanger, who were from German Jewish families that had emigrated to the United States in the nineteenth century. Wanger was from a non-observant Jewish family, and in later life attended Episcopalian services with his wife.
  • 1938
    Age 43
    They divorced in 1938 and in 1940 he married Joan Bennett to whom he remained married until their divorce in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details They had two daughters, Stephanie (born 1943) and Shelley Antonia (born 1948), and Wanger adopted Bennett's daughter, Diana, by her marriage to John Fox. In 1950, Bennett signed with MCA agent Jennings Lang.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1931
    Age 36
    After leaving Paramount, Wanger tried to unsuccessfully set himself up as an independent. Unable to secure financing for films, he joined Columbia Pictures in December 1931.
    More Details Hide Details Wanger was recruited by Harry Cohn, who wanted to move Columbia away from its Poverty Row past by producing several special, large-budget productions each year to complement the bulk of the studio's low-budget films. Wanger was to take on a greater personal role in individual films than he had previously, although he always attempted to give directors and screenwriters creative freedom. In general his efforts were overshadowed by the more successful films made by Frank Capra for Columbia.
    As the effects of the Great Depression hit the film industry in the early 1930s, the Astoria Studios increasingly struggled to produce box office hits, and in December 1931 it was closed down again.
    More Details Hide Details Wanger had been informed that his contract would not be renewed, and he had already left the company.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1924
    Age 29
    Wanger's second spell with Paramount lasted from 1924 to 1931, during which time his annual wage rose from $150,000 to $250,000.
    More Details Hide Details He was tasked with overseeing the work of the studio heads, which meant he had little involvement with the production of individual films. Because he was based in New York, Wanger worked more closely with the company's Astoria Studios in Queens, New York. A rivalry developed between Wanger-influenced Astoria productions and those of B. P. Schulberg who ran the Paramount productions in Hollywood. From the mid-1920s, the company was rapidly overtaken by the recently formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as the industry's leading company and this along with heavy losses incurred on big-budget films, led to Paramount's executives decision in 1927 to eventually close the New York operation and shift all production to Hollywood. Wanger opposed this move and felt he was being squeezed out of the company. In 1926 Warner Brothers's premièred Don Juan a film with music and sound effects, and the following year released The Jazz Singer with dialogue and singing scenes. Along with other big companies, Paramount initially resisted adopting sound films and continued to exclusively make silent films. Wanger convinced his colleagues of the importance of sound, and personally oversaw the conversion of a silent baseball film Warming Up to sound. After the film's successful release, the company switched dramatically away from silent to sound.
    He travelled to Britain where he worked as a prominent cinema and theatre manager until 1924.
    More Details Hide Details While on a visit to London, Jesse Lasky offered to appoint him as "general manager of production" on improved terms and Wanger accepted.
  • 1921
    Age 26
    By 1921, Wanger was unhappy with the terms he was receiving and left his job with Paramount.
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  • 1919
    Age 24
    Wanger married silent film actress Justine Johnstone in 1919.
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    Wanger married silent film actress Justine Johnstone in 1919.
    More Details Hide Details He initially returned to theatre production, before a chance meeting with Jesse Lasky drew him into the world of commercial filmmaking. Lasky was impressed with Wanger's ideas and his experiences in the theatre, and hired him to head a New York office vetting and acquiring books and plays for use as film stories for Famous Players-Lasky (later to become Paramount), which was then the largest film production company in the world. Wanger's job was to help meet the studio's large annual requirement for fresh stories. One of Wanger's major successes in his early years with the company was his identification of the British novel The Sheik as a story with potential. In 1921 it was turned into an extremely successful film starring Rudolph Valentino. The film helped establish the popularity of the Orientalist genre, which Wanger returned to a number of times during his career.
    After the Allied victory, Wanger returned to the United States in 1919 and was discharged from the army.
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  • 1918
    Age 23
    In April 1918 Wanger was transferred to the Committee on Public Information, and joined an effort to combat anti-war or pro-German sentiment in Allied Italy.
    More Details Hide Details This was partly accomplished through a series of short propaganda films screened in Italian cinemas promoting democracy and Allied war aims. Wanger was very impressed with the potential of film to shape people's minds towards achieving a better-educated and more peaceful world.
  • 1917
    Age 22
    Following the American entry into World War I in 1917, Wanger served with the United States Army in Italy initially in the Signal Corps where he worked as a pilot on reconnaissance missions, and later in propaganda operations directed at the Italian public.
    More Details Hide Details It was during this period that Wanger first came into contact with filmmaking.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1908
    Age 13
    In order to assimilate into American society, his mother altered the family name simply to Wanger in 1908.
    More Details Hide Details The Wangers were well-connected and upper middle class, something which later differentiated Wanger from the other Jewish film moguls who came from more ordinary backgrounds. Wanger attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he developed an interest in Amateur theatre. After leaving Dartmouth, Wanger became a professional theatrical producer in New York City where he worked with figures such as the influential British manager Harley Granville-Barker and the Russian actress Alla Nazimova.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1894
    Born
    Born on July 11, 1894.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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