King Vidor was an American film director, producer, and writer. He made movies like “The Big Parade” and “The Crowd,” which are still popular today. During his long career, which lasted almost 70 years, he was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Director and won eight international film awards. His movies are thought to be some of the most creative of his time because he never shied away from unusual topics and was known for taking risks. He was born in Texas, and as a young boy, he lived through the terrible Galveston Hurricane of 1900. As a teenager, he worked as a ticket collector at a local Galveston theater. He was creative and ambitious from the start, and he quickly moved up to become a projectionist. Before he turned 20, he made his first movie as a director. It was a short drama called “Hurricane in Galveston.” Within a few years, he was directing full-length movies, and 1922’s “Peg o’ My Heart” was his first big hit. The success of “The Big Parade,” which is considered one of the best war movies from the silent era, solidified his place in Hollywood. In the years that followed, he became known as a very creative director and won many awards for his work. He has the “Longest Career as a Film Director,” according to Guinness World Records. His career lasted 67 years.
Early years and childhood
On February 8, 1894, King Wallis Vidor was born into a middle-class family in Galveston, Texas, U.S. Charles, his father, started the Texas-based Miller-Vidor Lumber Co.
King Vidor lived through the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which killed a third of the city’s people. This terrible thing would stay in his mind for the rest of his life.
He went to San Antonio’s Peacock Military Academy, where he learned how important it is to be disciplined and work hard. From the start, he was a creative person who was very interested in the new medium of movies.
To learn more about movies, he started working as a ticket taker at a Galveston theater. He soon got a job as a projectionist. He was excited by the new medium’s possibilities, so he started shooting news events in the area and selling the clips to companies that made newsreels.
King Vidor’s Career
In 1913, King Vidor made two short movies called “Hurricane in Galveston” and “The Grand Military Parade.” In 1915, he moved to Hollywood. Now that he was married, the young man got a job at Universal Studios as a clerk and a movie extra.
Soon, he wrote and directed a series of six short films about young people who break the law for Judge Willis Brown. In 1919, he made his first full-length movie, which was called “The Turn in the Road.” After “Peg o’ My Heart” did well in 1922, Goldwyn Studios gave him a long-term deal (later to be absorbed into MGM).
In 1925, he was the director of “The Big Parade,” a movie about World War I starring John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, and Claire McDowell. It was one of the first movies that didn’t make war look good, and it is considered one of the best war movies of the time. Vidor became one of the best directors in Hollywood because of how well this movie did.
When talkies came out in the late 1920s, it hurt the careers of many people in Hollywood. King Vidor, who liked to try new things, wasn’t scared and made his first talkie, “Hallelujah!,” in 1929. It was one of the first movies made by a major studio that was all black. The film broke new ground, so Vidor was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.
In 1931, he was the director of “The Champ,” a movie about an alcoholic boxer who tries to get his life back on track for the sake of his young son. The movie starring Wallace Beery was a huge critical and commercial success, and it was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture.
During the next few years, King Vidor’s career continued to grow, and he often directed movies that were liked for both how meaningful they were and how creatively they were made. In the 1930s, some of his other well-known movies were “Our Daily Bread,” “The Wedding Night,” “So Red the Rose,” “The Texas Rangers,” and “Stella Dallas” (1937).
In the 1946 Western “Duel in the Sun,” Jennifer Jones played a half-Native American girl who gets caught up in racism and forbidden love. This was another well-known film of his. Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore were also in the film’s main roles, and it was both controversial and well-liked.
In the 1950s, the great director’s work slowed down, and he didn’t make as many movies as he used to. One of the most popular movies from this time was “War and Peace,” a war drama from 1956 that got King Vidor nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.
He didn’t make many movies after that, and his last one, “The Metaphor,” came out in 1980. This was the end of a career that lasted almost 70 years.
Works of note
The silent movie “The Crowd,” which was directed by King Vidor, was up for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production. Even though it wasn’t a big hit when it came out, the movie has always been praised as one of the best and most enduring American silent films.
One of his most important movies is “The Champ.” Not only did it do well at the box office and with critics, but it also started the trend of stories about an alcoholic trying to change for the sake of his child. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and won the award for Best Story.
Awards & Achievements
King Vidor was up for an Academy Award for Best Director five times, but he didn’t win any. In 1979, he was given an Honorary Academy Award for his “unmatched achievements as a creator and innovator in the world of film.”
At the 11th Moscow International Film Festival in 1979, he was given the Honorable Prize for his work in film.
Personal History and Legacies
He was married three times. From 1915 to 1924, he was married to Florence Arto, but they split up. They had one daughter together.
In 1926, he married Eleanor Boardman, with whom he had two daughters. 1931 was the end of this marriage.
In 1932, he married Elizabeth Hill for the third time.
On November 1, 1982, at the age of 88, he died of a heart problem.
Estimated Net worth
King is one of the wealthiest Directors and is on the list of the most well-known Directors. From what we can tell from Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, King Vidor is worth about $1.5 million.