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R.I.P.
Andre de Toth, 1910-2002
An Appreciation by ALEX GRANT


On Sunday,October 27th, 2002 the much admired Hungarian-American film director Andre de Toth died at age 89 from a massive heart attack in Burbank,California.

He had fathered 19 children,two by actress Veronica Lake in the 1940s, and had 13 grandchildren at the last count. He leaves his seventh wife Ann Green as survivor,too.

I was well acquainted with both at Pinewood Studios, England in the mid 1970s.The couple were hard at work on a film TOM,DICK AND HARRIET to reunite the cast of Ken Russell’s WOMEN IN LOVE-Glenda Jackson,Oliver Reed, and Alan Bates. A specialist at hard-hitting crime melodramas (CRIME WAVE,1953) and tough-as-nails westerns (THE DAY OF THE OUTLAW,1959) – de Toth made 10 westerns, 6 with Randolph Scott- the filmmaker has also been a cowboy after he fled Europe having, to his eternal shame, been conscripted to photograph the Nazi atrocities in the Warsaw Ghetto.

He directed Gary Cooper (SPRINGFIELD RIFLE) and Kirk Douglas (THE INDIAN FIGHTER) in two spirited off-beat oaters. A petite dapper man,the epitome of the handsome European matinee-idol, suave and seductive, de Toth broke his back thrice whilst skiing. Surgeons insisted that he would never walk again. Yet he was a pilot subsequently, a sculptor, a painter and an all-round exceptional human being. A true gentleman and a scholar,too.

De Toth’s 1994 autobiography FRAGMENTS….is the least vainglorious ‘confessioal’ –totally bereft of 'gossip'- ever to grace the Hollywood landscape.

PASSPORT TO SUEZ: director 1944-
DARK WATERS: director 1944-
NONE SHALL ESCAPE: director 1947-
THE OTHER LOVE: director 1947-
RAMROD: director 1948-
THE PITFALL: director 1949-
SLATTERY'S HURRICANE: director 1950-
THE GUNFIGHTER: story 1951-
MAN IN THE SADDLE: director 1952-
CARSON CITY: director 1952-
LAST OF THE COMANCHES: director 1952-
SPRINGFIELD RIFLE: director 1953-
HOUSE OF WAX: director 1953-
THE STRANGER WORE A GUN: director 1953-
THUNDER OVER THE PLAINS: director 1954-
THE BOUNTY HUNTER: director 1954-
CRIME WAVE: director 1954-
RIDING SHOTGUN: director 1954-
TANGANYIKA: director 1955-
THE INDIAN FIGHTER: director 1957-
HIDDEN FEAR: director, screenwriter, story 1957-
MONKEY ON MY BACK: director 1958-
THE TWO-HEADED SPY: director 1959-
DAY OF THE OUTLAW: director 1960-
MAN ON A STRING: director 1961-
THE MONGOLS/ I MONGOLI: director 1961-
MORGAN THE PIRATE/ MORGAN IL PIRATA: director, screenwriter 1964-
GOLD FOR THE CAESARS/ ORO PER I CESARI: director 1967-
BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN: executive producer 1968-
PLAY DIRTY: director, executive producer 1970-
EL CONDOR: producer 1987- GANGLAND


© Alex Grant November 2002

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