Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock
15 January 1892
|Died||21 July 1950 58) (aged|
|Other names||Rex Hitchcock|
|Occupation(s)||Film director, producer, writer and actor|
|Employer(s)|| Edison Studios |
Fox Film Corporation
|Known for|| Broken Fetters (1916)|
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
The Magician (1926)
The Three Passions (1929)
(m. 1917;div. 1920)
|Relatives||Francis Clere Hitchcock (brother)|
|Honors||Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street|
Rex Ingram (born Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock, 15 January 1892 – 21 July 1950) was an Irish film director, producer, writer, and actor.Director Erich von Stroheim once called him "the world's greatest director".
Born in 58 Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland, (where a plaque commemorates his birth), Ingram was educated at Saint Columba's College, near Rathfarnham, County Dublin. He spent much of his adolescence living in the Old Rectory, Kinnitty, Birr, County Offaly, where his father, Reverend Francis Hitchcock, was the Church of Ireland rector. Ingram emigrated to the United States in 1911.
His brother Francis joined the British Army and fought during World War I, during which he was awarded the Military Cross.
Ingram studied sculpture at the Yale University School of Art, where he contributed to campus humour magazine The Yale Record .He soon moved into film, first taking acting work in 1913 and then writing, producing and directing. His first work as producer-director was in 1916 on the romantic drama The Great Problem . He worked for Edison Studios, Fox Film Corporation, Vitagraph Studios, and then MGM, directing mainly action or supernatural films.
He moved to Metro in 1920, where he was under the supervision of executive June Mathis. Mathis and Ingram would go on to make four films together: Hearts Are Trumps , The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse , The Conquering Power , and Turn to the Right . It is believed the two were romantically involved. Ingram and Mathis had begun to grow distant when her new find, Rudolph Valentino, began to overshadow Ingram's own fame. Their relationship ended when Ingram eloped with Alice Terry in 1921.
Ingram married twice, first to actress Doris Pawn in 1917; this ended in divorce in 1920.He then married Alice Terry in 1921, with whom he remained for the rest of his life. Both marriages were childless. He and Terry relocated to the French Riviera in 1923. They formed a small studio in Nice and made several films on location in North Africa, Spain, and Italy, for MGM and others.
Amongst those who worked for Ingram at MGM on the Riviera during this period was the young Michael Powell, who later went on to direct (with Emeric Pressburger) The Red Shoes and other classics, and technician Leonti Planskoy. By Powell's own account, Ingram was a major influence on him, especially in regard to the themes of illusion, dreaming, magic and the surreal. David Lean said he was indebted to Ingram. MGM studio chief Dore Schary listed the top creative people in Hollywood as D. W. Griffith, Ingram, Cecil B. DeMille and Erich von Stroheim (in declining order of importance).
Carlos Clarens writes: "As Rex Ingram's films became more esoteric, his career declined. The coming of sound forced him to relinquish his studios in Nice. Rather than equip them for talking pictures, he chose instead to travel and pursue a writing career."
Ingram made only one talkie, Baroud , filmed for Gaumont British Pictures in Morocco. The film was not a commercial success; he then left the movie business, returning to Los Angeles to work as a sculptor and writer.
Interested in Islam as early as 1927, he converted to the faith in 1933.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street.
Ingram died of a cerebral hemorrhage in North Hollywood on 21 July 1950, aged 58.He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Critic Carlos Clarens wrote of Ingram: "A full-blown Irishman fascinated by the bizarre and the grotesque (he once employed a dwarf as a valet), Ingram was also a writer of some talent. Frequently pedestrian and pretentious, Ingram's films nevertheless contain splendid flashes of macabre fantasy, such as the ride of the Four Horsemen in the Valentino epic, or the 'ghoul visions' that bring about the death of the miser in The Conquering Power. His more or less mystical bent was apparent in Mare Nostrum and The Garden of Allah , which he filmed in the Mediterranean and North Africa, respectively."
Ingram's complete filmography as a director:
Rodolfo Pietro Filiberto Raffaello Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla, known professionally as Rudolph Valentino and nicknamed The Latin Lover, was an Italian actor based in the United States who starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,The Sheik,Blood and Sand,The Eagle, and The Son of the Sheik.
Greed is a 1924 American silent psychological drama film written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 Frank Norris novel McTeague. It stars Gibson Gowland as Dr. John McTeague; ZaSu Pitts as Trina Sieppe, his wife; and Jean Hersholt as McTeague's friend and eventual enemy Marcus Schouler. The film tells the story of McTeague, a San Francisco dentist, who marries his best friend Schouler's girlfriend Trina.
John Gilbert was an American actor, screenwriter and director. He rose to fame during the silent film era and became a popular leading man known as "The Great Lover". His breakthrough came in 1925 with his starring roles in The Merry Widow and The Big Parade. At the height of his career, Gilbert rivaled Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw.
Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim was an Austrian-American director, screenwriter, actor, and producer, most noted as a film star and avant-garde, visionary director of the silent era. His 1924 film Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers' rights problems, Stroheim found it difficult to find work as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema.
Mare Nostrum is a 1926 American silent war drama film directed by Rex Ingram. It was the first production made by Ingram while in voluntary exile and stars Ingram's wife, Alice Terry. The film is set during World War I, and follows a Spanish merchant sailor who becomes involved with a German spy. It is based on the novel of the same name by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Long thought lost, the film has recently been re-discovered and restored.
Vicente Blasco Ibáñez was a journalist, politician and bestselling Spanish novelist in various genres whose most widespread and lasting fame in the English-speaking world is from Hollywood films that were adapted from his works.
Blood and Sand is a 1922 American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. It was based on the 1909 Spanish novel Sangre y arena by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez and the play version of the book by Thomas Cushing.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a 1921 American silent epic war film produced by Metro Pictures Corporation and directed by Rex Ingram. Based on the 1916 Spanish novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, it was adapted for the screen by June Mathis. The film stars Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard, Bridgetta Clark, Rudolph Valentino, Wallace Beery, and Alice Terry.
Alice Frances Taaffe, known professionally as Alice Terry, was an American film actress and director. She began her career during the silent film era, appearing in thirty-nine films between 1916 and 1933. While Terry's trademark look was her blonde hair, she was actually a brunette, and put on her first blonde wig in Hearts Are Trumps (1920) to look different from Francelia Billington, the other actress in the film. Terry played several different characters in the 1916 anti-war film Civilization, co-directed by Thomas H. Ince and Reginald Barker. Alice wore the blonde wig again in her most acclaimed role as "Marguerite" in film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), and kept the wig for any future roles. In 1925 her husband Rex Ingram co-directed Ben-Hur, filming parts of it in Italy. The two decided to move to the French Riviera, where they set up a small studio in Nice and made several films on location in North Africa, Spain, and Italy for MGM and others. In 1933, Terry made her last film appearance in Baroud, which she also co-directed with her husband.
John Francis Seitz, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer and inventor.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a 1962 American drama film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb, Paul Lukas, Yvette Mimieux, Karl Boehm and Paul Henreid. It is loosely based on the 1916 novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, which had been filmed in 1921 with Rudolph Valentino. Unlike the first film, it was a critical and commercial disaster, which contributed greatly to the financial problems of MGM.
James Gordon Edwards was a Canadian-born film director, producer, and writer who began his career as a stage actor and stage director.
June Mathis was an American screenwriter. Mathis was the first female executive for Metro/MGM and at only 35, she was the highest paid executive in Hollywood. In 1926 she was voted the third most influential woman in Hollywood, behind Mary Pickford and Norma Talmadge. Mathis is best remembered for discovering Rudolph Valentino and writing such films as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), and Blood and Sand (1922).
Thomas Meighan was an American actor of silent films and early talkies. He played several leading-man roles opposite popular actresses of the day, including Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson. At one point he commanded $10,000 per week.
Francelia Billington was an early American silent-screen actress, and an accomplished camera operator.
Foolish Wives is a 1922 American erotic silent drama film produced and distributed by Universal Pictures under their Super-Jewel banner and written and directed by Erich von Stroheim. The drama features von Stroheim, Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George, and others.
The Devil's Pass Key is a 1920 silent drama film directed by Erich von Stroheim. Considered a “lost film”, no print is officially known to exist.
Photoplay Productions is an independent film company, based in the UK, under the direction of Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stanbury. Is one of the few independent companies to operate in the revival of interest in the lost world of silent cinema and has been recognised as a driving force in the subject.
Latin lover is a stereotypical stock character, part of the Hollywood star system. It appeared for the first time in Hollywood in the 1920s and, for the most part, lost popularity during World War II. In time, the type evolved, developing various local variants and gradually incorporating attributes other than the originally defining physical characteristics.
Grant Whytock was an American film editor and producer who worked on more than 80 films over the course of his career.
Rex Ingram, film director of the silent era, who was credited with the discovery of Rudolph Valentino, died last night of a cerebral hemorrhage after a brief illness. He was 58 years old.