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Paul Wendkos

paul wendkos, paul wendkos director
Paul Wendkos born September 20, 1925 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died November 12, 2009 in Malibu, California was an American television and film director


  • 1 Biography
    • 11 Early Life
    • 12 Columbia Pictures
    • 13 Later Career
  • 2 Personal life
  • 3 References
    • 31 Additional sources
  • 4 External links


Early Life

Wendkos served in World War II in the United States Navy and went to Columbia University on the GI Bill Wendkos made his first feature, a documentary on a school for the blind called Dark Interlude in 1953

Columbia Pictures

Wendkos' first feature film was The Burglar His fluid camera technique caught the attention of the head of Columbia Pictures, Harry Cohn, who not only wished to distribute the film but put Wendkos under contract

Wendkos directed episodes of Playhouse 90 then did The Case Against Brooklyn 1958 for producer Charles Schneer at Columbia He directed a TV movie for Columbia about Jesse James, Bitter Heritage 1958 and episodes of Behind Closed Doors 1958

Wendkos directed another for Schneer, the war movie Tarawa Beachhead 1958 He had a massive hit with the teen film Gidget 1959 starring Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson and James Darren Face of a Fugitive 1959 was a Western for Schneer, and Battle of the Coral Sea 1959 was a war movie with Robertson

Wendkos went back to TV for Five Fingers, Tightrope], Law of the Plainsman, Alcoa Theatre, Two Faces West, and Route 66

He returned to Columbia for two youth movies with Darren and Michael Callan, Because They're Young 1960 and Gidget Goes Hawaiian 1961 He did a drama, Angel Baby 1961 with George Hamilton, then made Gidget Goes to Rome 1962 , the youth-oriented Gidget and two sequels, Gidget Goes Hawaiian and Gidget Goes to Rome, as well as Because They're Young

Wendkos later directed episodes of Ben Casey, Dr Kildare, The Rifleman, Mr Novak, Honey West, The Big Valley, I Spy, The Invaders and Hawaii Five-O When Wendkos worked on I Spy, he was dismissed from the production when the producers deemed the episodes he had filmed to have been too "arty"

In 1968 Wendkos signed a five-picture contract with Mirisch Productions, beginning with the war films Attack on the Iron Coast and Hell Boats, followed by two westerns set in Mexico but filmed in Spain, Guns of the Magnificent Seven and Cannon for Cordoba He also made the first feature film for Quinn Martin, The Mephisto Waltz

Later Career

From 1970 until his retirement in 1999, Wendkos specialized in made-for-television movies—one of these was The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story 1988, based on a TWA hijacking in 1985 It picked up five Emmy nominations, including one for Wendkos

Personal life

Wendkos married Ruth Bernat on March 1, 1953, and had one son, Jordan Elkan Wendkos Ruth died in June 1978 In 1983, Wendkos married Lin Bolen, former NBC VP and producer; they lived in Malibu, California, until his death

Wendkos was ill for several years following a stroke He died on November 12, 2009, in Malibu He was survived by his son, Jordan, granddaughter, Justine Wendkos, and his wife, Lin Bolen Wendkos


  1. ^ http://onfilmchicagoreadercom/movies/capsules/26615_BURGLAR
  2. ^ http://wwwthewrapcom/movies/column-post/gidget-director-paul-wendkos-dies-10047
  3. ^ a b http://wwwtimesonlinecouk/tol/comment/obituaries/article6945136ece
  4. ^ Frank Swertlow, The Wrap —'Gidget' Director Paul Wendkos Dies Retrieved 2009-11-13
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Additional sources

  • The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968, by Andrew Sarris
  • The American Vein: Directors and Directions in Television by Christopher Wicking and Tise Vahimagi Talisman Books England / EP Dutton United States, 1979

External links

  • Paul Wendkos on IMDb
  • Moviefone brief bio

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