John M. Stahl


Director
John M. Stahl

About

Also Known As
John Stahl
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
January 21, 1886
Died
January 12, 1950

Biography

Capable craftsman, in films from 1914, with a flair for lifting trite, sentimental material to higher ground. A master of the "woman's melodrama" and a director latterly acclaimed by film critics and historians for his use of the long take years before it became common after WWII, Stahl directed the original screen versions of several classic weepies, including "Back Street" (1932), "Imi...

Family & Companions

Roxana Wray
Wife
Married in 1932.

Biography

Capable craftsman, in films from 1914, with a flair for lifting trite, sentimental material to higher ground. A master of the "woman's melodrama" and a director latterly acclaimed by film critics and historians for his use of the long take years before it became common after WWII, Stahl directed the original screen versions of several classic weepies, including "Back Street" (1932), "Imitation of Life" (1934) and "Magnificent Obsession" (1935). The latter two were remade in the 1950s, in more florid style, by Douglas Sirk.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1949)
Director
Father Was a Fullback (1949)
Director
The Walls of Jericho (1948)
Director
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
Fill-In Director
The Foxes of Harrow (1947)
Director
Leave Her to Heaven (1946)
Director
The Keys of the Kingdom (1945)
Director
The Eve of St. Mark (1944)
Director
Immortal Sergeant (1943)
Director
Holy Matrimony (1943)
Director
Our Wife (1941)
Director
When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
Director
Letter of Introduction (1938)
Director
Parnell (1937)
Director
Magnificent Obsession (1936)
Director
Imitation of Life (1934)
Director
Only Yesterday (1933)
Director
Back Street (1932)
Director
Seed (1931)
Director
Strictly Dishonorable (1931)
Director
A Lady Surrenders (1930)
Director
In Old Kentucky (1927)
Director
Lovers? (1927)
Director
The Gay Deceiver (1926)
Director
Memory Lane (1926)
Director
Fine Clothes (1925)
Director
Why Men Leave Home (1924)
Director
Husbands and Lovers (1924)
Director
The Dangerous Age (1923)
Director
The Wanters (1923)
Director
One Clear Call (1922)
Director
The Song of Life (1922)
Director
Suspicious Wives (1921)
Director
Sowing the Wind (1921)
Director
The Child Thou Gavest Me (1921)
Director
Greater Than Love (1920)
Director
The Woman in His House (1920)
Director
Women Men Forget (1920)
Director
Her Code of Honor (1919)
Director
The Woman Under Oath (1919)
Director
Wives of Men (1918)
Director
Suspicion (1918)
Director
The Lincoln Cycle (1917)
Director

Writer (Feature Film)

Too Good to Be True (1988)
Story By
Memory Lane (1926)
Story
Husbands and Lovers (1924)
Story
Wives of Men (1918)
Story

Producer (Feature Film)

Parnell (1937)
Producer
Marriage by Contract (1928)
Producer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Our Wife (1941)
Company
When Tomorrow Comes (1939)
Company
Letter of Introduction (1938)
Company
Parnell (1937)
Company
Magnificent Obsession (1936)
Company
Imitation of Life (1934)
Company
Only Yesterday (1933)
Company
Back Street (1932)
Company

Life Events

1901

First stage appearance, in "Du Barry"

1913

Entered film as bit player

1914

Hired by Vitagraph Studios, Brooklyn NY

1914

Directorial debut (no reliable record of early work)

1920

Moved to Hollywood; joined Louis B. Mayer in independent production (date approximate)

1926

Worked under Mayer at MGM

1927

Became vice president and producer Tiffany-Stahl Studios

1930

Returned to directing; joined Universal

Photo Collections

Leave Her to Heaven - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters from Fox's Leave Her to Heaven (1946), starring Gene Tierney. This is an Insert poster, measuring 14 x 36 inches.

Videos

Movie Clip

Parnell (1937) -- (Movie Clip) The Greatest Patriot Not much equivocation, in the prologue or the speech by Clark Gable as the title character, the Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, in MGM’s synopsis of the barnstorming tour of America the real man made in 1880, opening the romanticized biopic Parnell, 1937, co-starring Myrna Loy.
Parnell (1937) -- (Movie Clip) You Take My Breath Away Connected English political wife Katie O'Shea (Myrna Loy) has won an audience with firebrand Irish MP Parnell (Clark Gable), their first scene together though he has, it turns out, seen her before, in Parnell, 1937.
Imitation Of Life (1934) -- (Movie Clip) I Didn't Advertise Joining the intimate opening scene in which widow Bea (Claudette Colbert) bathes her child (Juanita Quigley, billed as “Baby Jane”), and the introduction of disoriented Louise Beavers as Delilah, in the first screen adaptation of the Fannie Hurst novel, Imitation Of Life, 1934.
Imitation Of Life (1934) -- (Movie Clip) I Wanna Be White First scene for Fredi Washington as the mature Peola, with candor from the original Fannie Hurst novel, extraordinary for Hollywood, expressing anxiety about her race to her mother, Louise Beavers, at a party celebrating the pancake-mix business she co-founded (with Claudette Colbert, the hostess), in Imitation Of Life, 1934.
Imitation Of Life (1934) -- (Movie Clip) The Pancake Queen At the 10th anniversary party for her pancake-mix empire, Claudette Colbert as Bea has noted the arrival of handsome Warren William as Archer, as it turns out induced to attend by her wiseacre marketing genius Elmer (Ned Sparks), in Imitation Of Life, 1934, from the Fannie Hurst novel.
Imitation Of Life (1934) -- (Movie Clip) We're Going Into Business Claudette Colbert as syrup seller Bea presses a boardwalk landlord (Clarence Hummel Wilson) for a lease then announces her hare-brained scheme to her un-salaried housekeeper Delilah (Louise Beavers), bringing their fatherless daughters and meeting the painter (Henry Armetta), in the original Imitation Of Life, 1934.
Leave Her To Heaven (1946) -- (Movie Clip) Ellen Always Wins Vacationing in New Mexico, author Richard (Cornel Wilde) encounters fellow lodge guest Ruth (Jeanne Crain), then her sister Ellen (Gene Tierney), who confides a change in her status, then host Glen (Ray Collins), in Leave Her To Heaven, 1946.
Parnell (1937) -- (Movie Clip) The Honorable Member For Cork Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell (Clark Gable) faces down Prime Minister Gladstone (Montague Love) in Parliament and inspires in general, his paramour-to-be (Myrna Loy) attending, in an early scene from Parnell, 1937.
Leave Her To Heaven (1946) -- (Movie Clip) You Can't Have Any Secrets Now at the retreat in Maine, recently married Ellen (Gene Tierney) teasing author husband Richard (Cornel Wilde), griping, then flipping when her family (Jeanne Crain, Mary Philips) appears on the lake, in Leave Her To Heaven, 1946.
Leave Her To Heaven (1946) -- (Movie Clip) They Met On The Train At the lake in Maine, Glen (Ray Collins) initiates the elaborate flashback, in which author Richard (Cornel Wilde), introduced in the opening, meets dazzling reader Ellen (Gene Tierney), early in John M. Stahl's Leave Her To Heaven, 1946.
Leave Her To Heaven (1946) -- (Movie Clip) He's A Cripple! Ellen (Gene Tierney) consults with Dr. Mason (Reed Hadley) about his patient, her young brother-in-law, then turns duplicitous when husband Richard (Cornel Wilde) arrives, in John M. Stahl's Leave Her To Heaven, 1946.
Magnificent Obsession (1936) -- (Movie Clip) Any Poor Devil Mrs. Eden (Beryl Mercer) is among witnesses helping widow Helen (Irene Dunne) and daughter Joyce (Betty Furness) piece together the mysterious finances of Dr. Hudson after his accidental death, Ralph Morgan also waiting his turn, in the first movie version of Magnificent Obsession, 1936.

Trailer

Companions

Roxana Wray
Wife
Married in 1932.

Bibliography