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Thomas Leo McCarey (October 3, 1898 – July 5, 1969) was a three-time Academy Award
Academy Award
winning American film director, screenwriter and producer. He was involved in nearly 200 movies, the most well known today being Duck Soup, Make Way for Tomorrow, The Awful Truth, Going My Way, The Bells of St. Mary's, My Son John
My Son John
and An Affair To Remember.[1] While focusing mainly on screwball comedies during the 1930s, McCarey turned towards producing more socially conscious and overtly religious movies during the 1940s, ultimately finding success and acclaim in both genres. McCarey was one of the most popular and established comedy directors of the pre- World War II
World War II
era.

Contents

1 Life and career 2 Death 3 Partial filmography 4 Academy Awards 5 References 6 External links

Life and career[edit] Born in Los Angeles, California, McCarey attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Los Angeles High School.[2] His father was Thomas J. McCarey, whom the Los Angeles Times called "the greatest fight promoter in the world." Leo McCarey would later make a boxing comedy with Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
called The Milky Way (1936).[3] McCarey graduated from the University of Southern California law school[4] and besides the law tried mining, boxing, and songwriting[5] before becoming an assistant director to Tod Browning
Tod Browning
in 1919.[2] It was McCarey's boyhood friend, the actor and future fellow director David Butler, who referred him to Browning.[6] Browning convinced McCarey, despite his photogenic looks, to work on the creative side as a writer rather than as an actor. McCarey then honed his skills at the Hal Roach Studios. Roach had hired him as a gagman in 1923, after McCarey had impressed him with his sense of humor, following a game of handball together at a sports club. McCarey initially wrote gags for the Our Gang
Our Gang
series and other studio stars, then produced and directed shorts, including two-reelers with Charley Chase. Chase would in fact become McCarey's mentor. Upon the comedian's death in 1940, McCarey was quoted as saying, "Whatever success I have had or may have, I owe to his help because he taught me all I know." The two men were especially compatible, as they both enjoyed a hobby on the side trying to write popular songs. While at Roach, McCarey, according to later interviews, cast Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together and guided development of their onscreen characters, thus creating one of the most enduring comedy teams of all time. He only officially appeared as director of the duo's shorts We Faw Down
We Faw Down
(1928), Liberty (1929) and Wrong Again
Wrong Again
(1929), but wrote many screenplays and supervised the direction by others. By 1929, he was vice-president of production for the studio. Less well known from this period are the shorts he directed with Max Davidson
Max Davidson
when Roach put together the Irish-American McCarey with the Jewish-American actor for a series of "dialect comedies." These shorts such as Pass The Gravy have been rediscovered in recent years, after their exhibition in 1994 at the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone
Pordenone
Italy. Pass The Gravy was added to the National Film Registry
National Film Registry
at the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
in 1999.[7] In the sound era McCarey focused on feature-film direction, working with many of the biggest stars of the era, including Gloria Swanson (Indiscreet, 1931), Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(The Kid From Spain, 1932), the Marx Brothers (Duck Soup, 1933), W.C. Fields
W.C. Fields
(Six of a Kind, 1934), and Mae West (Belle of the Nineties, 1934). A series of six films at Paramount came to a crashing halt with his production of Make Way for Tomorrow in 1937. While the story of an elderly couple who have to be separated for economic and family reasons during the Depression was not without humor in its treatment, the results were too unpopular at the box office and the director was let go. Nonetheless the film was recognized early on for its importance by being selected for the permanent collection of the recently formed Museum Of Modern Art
Museum Of Modern Art
in New York City. In later years it became canonical, and even considered by some as McCarey's masterpiece, due to perceptive champions such as Bertrand Tavernier, Charles Silver and Robin Wood. Later in 1937, invited to Columbia, McCarey earned his first Academy Award
Academy Award
for Directing for The Awful Truth, with Irene Dunne
Irene Dunne
and Cary Grant, a screwball comedy that launched Cary Grant's unique screen persona, largely concocted by McCarey (Grant copied many of McCarey's mannerisms). Along with the similarity in their names, McCarey and Cary Grant
Cary Grant
shared an eerie physical resemblance, making mimicking McCarey's intonations and expressions even easier for Grant. As writer/director Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
notes, "After The Awful Truth, when it came to light comedy, there was Cary Grant
Cary Grant
and then everyone else was an also-ran."[citation needed] After the success of The Awful Truth McCarey could have become, like Frank Capra
Frank Capra
, a Columbia contract director with a certain independence, but went his own way, selling the story that would become The Cowboy And The Lady to Sam Goldwyn and moving to RKO
RKO
for three films. A car accident in 1940 prevented him from directing his production of My Favorite Wife, a kind of follow up to The Awful Truth
The Awful Truth
with the same two stars, so it was turned over to Garson Kanin
Garson Kanin
though McCarey worked on some of the editing.[8] McCarey was a devout Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
and deeply concerned with social issues. During the 1940s, his work became more serious and his politics more conservative. In 1944 he directed Going My Way, a story about an enterprising priest, the youthful Father Chuck O'Malley, played by Bing Crosby, for which he won his second Best Director Oscar and Crosby won a Best Actor Oscar. His share in the profits of this smash hit gave McCarey the highest reported income in the U.S. for 1944, and its follow-up, The Bells of St. Mary's
The Bells of St. Mary's
(1945), which paired Crosby with Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
and made by McCarey's newly formed production company, was similarly successful. According to Paul Harrit in Great Directors, McCarey acknowledged that the film is largely based on his aunt, Sister Mary Benedict, who died of typhoid.[2] McCarey testified as a friendly witness early on in the hearings of the Un-American Activities Committee
Un-American Activities Committee
in Congress, which was concerned about supposed Communist
Communist
activity in Hollywood. The public reacted negatively to some of his films after World War II. For instance, his anti-communist film My Son John
My Son John
(1952) failed at the box office. But five years later, he co-wrote, produced, and directed An Affair to Remember
An Affair to Remember
starring Cary Grant
Cary Grant
and Deborah Kerr, a remake (with precisely the same script) of his 1939 film Love Affair with Irene Dunne
Irene Dunne
and Charles Boyer.[9] In 1993, the hugely popular rom-com Sleepless In Seattle by Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron
made such frequent references to An Affair To Remember
An Affair To Remember
that it gave the older film a whole new lease on life in revivals, cable TV, and video, with the result that it is probably McCarey's most popular and accessible film today. He followed this hit with Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), a comedy starring Paul Newman
Paul Newman
and Joanne Woodward. Some years later he directed his last picture, the poorly received Satan Never Sleeps
Satan Never Sleeps
(1962), like My Son John a somewhat strident critique of Communism. Auteurist critic Andrew Sarris has said McCarey "represents a principle of improvisation in the history of the American film."[10] Through most of his career, McCarey's filming method, rooted in the silents, was to drastically alter the story ideas, bits of business, and dialogue in the scripts previously provided to the studios and the actors. He would usually sit at a piano and doodle as the sometimes exasperated crew waited for inspiration. As Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
said about Going My Way
Going My Way
"I think probably 75 per cent of each day's shooting was made up on the set by Leo."[11] While this technique was responsible for a certain awkwardness and some rough edges in the finished works, many of McCarey's scenes had a freshness and spontaneity lacking in the typical mainstream Hollywood
Hollywood
cinema. He was not the only director of his time to work this way: fellow comedy directors Gregory La Cava, Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
and George Stevens
George Stevens
– the last also a Roach graduate – were known for their use of improvisation on the set. French director Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
once paid the great tribute of saying that " Leo McCarey understood people better than any other Hollywood director."[12] Death[edit] Leo McCarey died on July 5, 1969, aged 70, from emphysema.[1][13] He was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. His younger brother, director Ray McCarey, had died 21 years earlier. In 1978, Leo McCarey's production records, including scripts, budgets and correspondence were donated to the Charles Feldman Library at the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
in Beverly Hills.[14] Partial filmography[edit] (As director, unless otherwise specified)

Isn't Life Terrible?
Isn't Life Terrible?
(1925 short) Long Fliv the King
Long Fliv the King
(1926 short) Mighty Like a Moose
Mighty Like a Moose
(1926 short) Sugar Daddies
Sugar Daddies
(1927 short) Pass the Gravy
Pass the Gravy
(1928 short) Should Married Men Go Home?
Should Married Men Go Home?
(1928 short), also writer Habeas Corpus (1928 short) supervisor We Faw Down
We Faw Down
(1928 short) Liberty (1929 short), also writer Wrong Again
Wrong Again
(1929 short) Big Business (1929 short), supervisor and uncredited writer Indiscreet (1931) Duck Soup (1933) Belle of the Nineties (1934) Six of a Kind (1934) Ruggles of Red Gap
Ruggles of Red Gap
(1935) The Milky Way (1936) Make Way for Tomorrow
Make Way for Tomorrow
(1937), also producer The Awful Truth
The Awful Truth
(1937), also producer The Cowboy and the Lady (1938), writer Love Affair (1939), also producer My Favorite Wife
My Favorite Wife
(1940), producer and writer Once Upon a Honeymoon
Once Upon a Honeymoon
(1942), also writer and uncredited producer Going My Way
Going My Way
(1944), also producer The Bells of St. Mary's
The Bells of St. Mary's
(1945), also producer and writer Good Sam
Good Sam
(1948), also producer and writer My Son John
My Son John
(1952) An Affair to Remember
An Affair to Remember
(1957), also producer and writer Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958), also producer Satan Never Sleeps
Satan Never Sleeps
(1962), also producer

Academy Awards[edit]

Wins[15]

1937 Best Director: The Awful Truth 1944 Best Director: Going My Way 1944 Best Writing (Original Story): Going My Way

Nominations

1939 Best Writing (Original Story): Love Affair 1940 Best Writing (Original Story): My Favorite Wife 1945 Best Director: The Bells of St. Mary's 1952 Best Writing (Motion Picture Story): My Son John 1957 Best Music, Song: "An Affair To Remember" from An Affair to Remember

References[edit]

^ a b "Leo McCarey, Director, is Dead. Won Oscars for Going My Way. Was Also a Winner in 1937 of Academy Award
Academy Award
for 'The Awful Truth'". New York Times. July 6, 1969. Retrieved 2014-12-10.  ^ a b c Harrit, Paul. "Leo McCarey", Great Directors, Issue 23, Senses of Cinema ^ Bann, Richard W., " Leo McCarey at Hal Roach Studios, 1998 ^ " Leo McCarey Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved May 10, 2010.  ^ "Leo McCarey", Harvard Film Archive ^ Jacques Lourcelles, Anthologie Du Cinema, 1973 ^ Max Davidson, by Richard M. Roberts and Robert Farr, Classic Images, July 2002 ^ Gene Fowler, Minutes Of The Last Meeting, Viking Press, 1954 ^ Leo McCarey Biography, Turner Classic Movies ^ Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema, 1968 ^ Remembering Leo McCarey, Action Magazine, September–October 1969 ^ Reported by Andrew Sarris in "The American Cinema". New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1968, p. 100 ^ Obituary Variety, July 9, 1969, page 55. ^ Variety. April 5th, 1978 ^ "Oscars.org -- Leo McCarey" Archived 2013-11-13 at Archive.is. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved November 13, 2013.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leo McCarey.

Leo McCarey on IMDb Exhaustive Leo McCarey filmography on The Lucky Corner Our Gang website Leo McCarey: Hollywood
Hollywood
Auteur, Hollywood
Hollywood
Renegade Leo McCarey at Find a Grave News story about the auction of a counterfeit Oscar statuette which the owner claimed was McCarey's Paul Vecchiali, Le génie américain: Leo McCarey, "La furia umana", n. 1, 2009, http://www.lafuriaumana.it Literature on Leo McCarey Ralph Bellamy on Leo McCarey's style of direction

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Films directed by Leo McCarey

Wild Company
Wild Company
(1930) Let's Go Native
Let's Go Native
(1930) Part Time Wife
Part Time Wife
(1930) Indiscreet (1931) The Kid from Spain
The Kid from Spain
(1932) Duck Soup (1933) Six of a Kind (1934) Belle of the Nineties (1934) Ruggles of Red Gap
Ruggles of Red Gap
(1935) The Milky Way (1936) Make Way for Tomorrow
Make Way for Tomorrow
(1937) The Awful Truth
The Awful Truth
(1937) Love Affair (1939) Once Upon a Honeymoon
Once Upon a Honeymoon
(1942) Going My Way
Going My Way
(1944) The Bells of St. Mary's
The Bells of St. Mary's
(1945) Good Sam
Good Sam
(1948) My Son John
My Son John
(1952) An Affair to Remember
An Affair to Remember
(1957) Rally Round the Flag, Boys!
Rally Round the Flag, Boys!
(1958) Satan Never Sleeps
Satan Never Sleeps
(1962)

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Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Director

1927–1950

Frank Borzage
Frank Borzage
(1927) Lewis Milestone
Lewis Milestone
(1928) Frank Lloyd
Frank Lloyd
(1929) Lewis Milestone
Lewis Milestone
(1930) Norman Taurog
Norman Taurog
(1931) Frank Borzage
Frank Borzage
(1932) Frank Lloyd
Frank Lloyd
(1933) Frank Capra
Frank Capra
(1934) John Ford
John Ford
(1935) Frank Capra
Frank Capra
(1936) Leo McCarey (1937) Frank Capra
Frank Capra
(1938) Victor Fleming
Victor Fleming
(1939) John Ford
John Ford
(1940) John Ford
John Ford
(1941) William Wyler
William Wyler
(1942) Michael Curtiz
Michael Curtiz
(1943) Leo McCarey (1944) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1945) William Wyler
William Wyler
(1946) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1947) John Huston
John Huston
(1948) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1949) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1950)

1951–1975

George Stevens
George Stevens
(1951) John Ford
John Ford
(1952) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1953) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1954) Delbert Mann
Delbert Mann
(1955) George Stevens
George Stevens
(1956) David Lean
David Lean
(1957) Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli
(1958) William Wyler
William Wyler
(1959) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1960) Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
and Robert Wise
Robert Wise
(1961) David Lean
David Lean
(1962) Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson
(1963) George Cukor
George Cukor
(1964) Robert Wise
Robert Wise
(1965) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1966) Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols
(1967) Carol Reed
Carol Reed
(1968) John Schlesinger
John Schlesinger
(1969) Franklin J. Schaffner
Franklin J. Schaffner
(1970) William Friedkin
William Friedkin
(1971) Bob Fosse
Bob Fosse
(1972) George Roy Hill (1973) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
(1974) Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(1975)

1976–2000

John G. Avildsen
John G. Avildsen
(1976) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1977) Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(1980) Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
(1981) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(1984) Sydney Pollack
Sydney Pollack
(1985) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1986) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
(1987) Barry Levinson
Barry Levinson
(1988) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1989) Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
(1990) Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme
(1991) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
(1992) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1993) Robert Zemeckis
Robert Zemeckis
(1994) Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
(1995) Anthony Minghella
Anthony Minghella
(1996) James Cameron
James Cameron
(1997) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1998) Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes
(1999) Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh
(2000)

2001–present

Ron Howard
Ron Howard
(2001) Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
(2002) Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
(2003) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
(2004) Ang Lee
Ang Lee
(2005) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
(2008) Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow
(2009) Tom Hooper
Tom Hooper
(2010) Michel Hazanavicius
Michel Hazanavicius
(2011) Ang Lee
Ang Lee
(2012) Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu (2014) Alejandro G. Iñárritu (2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
(2016) Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro
(2017)

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Story

Ben Hecht
Ben Hecht
(1927/28) None given (1928/29) None given (1929/30) John Monk Saunders (1930/31) Frances Marion
Frances Marion
(1931/32) Robert Lord (1932/33) Arthur Caesar (1934) Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur (1935) Pierre Collings, Sheridan Gibney (1936) Robert Carson, William Wellman (1937) Eleanore Griffin, Dore Schary (1938) Lewis R. Foster (1939) Benjamin Glazer, John Toldy (1940) Harry Segall (1941) Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
(1942) William Saroyan
William Saroyan
(1943) Leo McCarey (1944) Charles G. Booth (1945) Clemence Dane
Clemence Dane
(1946) Valentine Davies (1947) Richard Schweizer, David Wechsler (1948) Edna Anhalt, Edward Anhalt (1950) James Bernard, Paul Dehn (1951) Frank Cavett, Fredric M. Frank, Theodore St. John (1952) Dalton Trumbo (1953) Philip Yordan
Philip Yordan
(1954) Daniel Fuchs (1955) Dalton Trumbo (1956)

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Director

Henry King (1943) Leo McCarey (1944) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1945) Frank Capra
Frank Capra
(1946) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1947) John Huston
John Huston
(1948) Robert Rossen
Robert Rossen
(1949) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1950) László Benedek (1951) Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
(1952) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1953) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1954) Joshua Logan (1955) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1956) David Lean
David Lean
(1957) Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli
(1958) William Wyler
William Wyler
(1959) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
(1960) Stanley Kramer
Stanley Kramer
(1961) David Lean
David Lean
(1962) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1963) George Cukor
George Cukor
(1964) David Lean
David Lean
(1965) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1966) Mike Nichols
Mike Nichols
(1967) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1968) Charles Jarrott (1969) Arthur Hiller
Arthur Hiller
(1970) William Friedkin
William Friedkin
(1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
(1972) William Friedkin
William Friedkin
(1973) Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski
(1974) Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(1975) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(1976) Herbert Ross (1977) Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino
(1978) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
(1979) Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(1980) Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
(1981) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1982) Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1983) Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(1984) John Huston
John Huston
(1985) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1986) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
(1987) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
(1988) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1989) Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
(1990) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1991) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
(1992) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1993) Robert Zemeckis
Robert Zemeckis
(1994) Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
(1995) Miloš Forman
Miloš Forman
(1996) James Cameron
James Cameron
(1997) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1998) Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes
(1999) Ang Lee
Ang Lee
(2000) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2001) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2002) Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
(2003) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
(2004) Ang Lee
Ang Lee
(2005) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2006) Julian Schnabel
Julian Schnabel
(2007) Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle
(2008) James Cameron
James Cameron
(2009) David Fincher
David Fincher
(2010) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2011) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
(2012) Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
(2013) Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater
(2014) Alejandro G. Iñárritu (2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
(2016) Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 71548355 LCCN: n80015724 ISNI: 0000 0000 8151 6025 GND: 119062194 SUDOC: 050476416 BNF: cb13514418s (data) MusicBrainz: 90f7470f-5609-44e8-bc1d-d29d1eae9ed6 NDL: 00551744 BNE: XX1068711 SN

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