Gerd Oswald has never been heralded as a heavy-hitting auteur by the majority of critics. And while his films lack the sort of flamboyant stylistic techniques or complex thematic concerns that separate a true auteur director from his jobbing colleagues, Oswald was a consummate craftsman who distinguished himself with a series of modest Westerns and noirish thrillers, as well as memorable television work. His most famous feature film is the 1956 melodramatic thriller "A Kiss Before Dying," starring Robert Wagner as a murderous college student who attempts to lead a normal life after killing his girlfriend, played by Joanne Woodward. Based on the novel by Ira Levin, the film is a sharply stylish entertainment. Oswald also directed the effectively unnerving noir "The Screaming Mimi," based on the Fredric Brown novel of the same name, which served as the basis for Dario Argento's first film, "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage." Some of Oswald's notable Westerns include "The Brass Legend" and "Fury at Showdown." He also directed several episodes of "The Outer Limits," as well as two memorable "Star Trek" episodes, "The Alternative Factor" and "The Conscience of the King."