Biography of Richard Fleischer (1916-2006)

American filmmaker born on December 8, 1916 in New York, and died on March 25, 2006 in Los Angeles.

Son and nephew, respectively, Max and Dave Fleischer, famous cartoonists and filmmakers of cartoons, little Richard was raise in a family in which the artistic permeated almost any everyday action. Literature, film, theatre or painting were regular references to his childhood, marked also by the thunderous success achieved by his father and his uncle with the already mythical characters of the vamp Betty Boop and Popeye sailor fortachón. If the first raised a huge cloud by its unusual sensuality within the world of animation, the second would end up being so famous by the intense love story lived with his partner Olivia and their spinach.

His first vocation seemed however aimed toward medicine, whose studies began at Brown University, though he/she opted finally for drama. Once a graduate in Yale, he/she founded a theatre company that would play multiple roles, among which were counted an actor, director and producer. In 1940, he/she irrumpiría in the cinema of RKO, in whose Department of film news, based in New York, he/she worked for three years. This long period of training would be essential in their life, since far from using family influences evident in the world of cinema, he/she decided to form starting from the lower ranks of the profession then move slowly up to become director.

His experience as a documentary filmmaker and Director of newsreels open you at the end doors of Hollywood, where he/she made his debut in the middle of World War II with the propaganda medium-length Design for Death, which won the Oscar of the specialty the following year. Such a formidable entry in the Mecca of cinema could not pass unnoticed, so the RKO signed a long-term contract with his young disciple. For seven years it would remain under the shadow of this producer, who took the opportunity to make ten feature films, assigned mostly to the modest B-series and time that allowed him to be unfolding in the office without great risks. But the times began to change as a result of television. The public stopped go to theaters captivated weekends for the convenience and economy of the world of television, so the reaction was swift and Richard Fleischer was one of the first chosen to lead it. Thus, sand he/she shot in 1953 by three-dimensional system, and a year later, entered into the Disney - old competitor of his father and his uncle in the world of animation - to shoot twenty thousand leagues under the sea in CinemaScope. This film, free adaptation of the Jules Vernenovel, was the first big hit of his career as a director and one of the most famous works of the adventure genre.

Lover of long-term contracts, even with the submissions that could lead to be the employee of studies, in 1955 would end up at Fox, where he/she remained until 1970. Twelve films were the testimony of their passage through this production; they covered the more various genres, from science fiction to the musical passing by the western or suspense film.

Filmed in CinemaScope, the Red trapezium and tragic Saturday, girl would point their first successes in the producer. These two feature films, based on events of the newspaper pages, leave passage to two not very successful forays in cinema of the West (Bandit and duel in the mud), until the Vikings, a magna blockbuster funded in part by the own actor protagonist, Kirk Douglas, returned to stardom. The huge success of the film, a work where the adventure is mixed with the mythical, allowed him to select even more movies that I wanted to do, several of which would be major productions of historical character as Barabbas, or where they predominated the fantastic elements, case of voyage, where a ship and its occupants is miniaturizaban and traveled through the interior of the human body.

The flamboyant doctor Dolittle, a musical starring Rex Harrison, and Tora, Tora, Tora!, war film set in the second world war, were two enormous box office disasters that led to the departure of top executives from Fox and, with them, the by Richard Fleischer. The era of the blockbuster movies seemed to come to an end, although it still had chance of occasionally repeating through titles such as when the destination we reach, with which the actor Charlton Heston was intended to reproduce the success achieved in the planet of the apes.

After a decade of the 1970s, routine custom films and aborted projects, good star of Fleischer seemed to be exhausted. However, these ups and downs gave place to fleeting signs of his talent, as the southern saga contained in Shea.

In the mid-1980s it had the opportunity to return to the territory of the blockbusters thanks to Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis. Two films starring the muscular actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conan the destroyer - sequel to Conan the barbarian, directed by John Milius and Red Warrior, close this trajectory of Director of major companies. Since then survived with pointless projects like Pasta gansa or practical demonstrations of new technologies, case of the ShowScan in Call from Space.


Short films:

1944: Memo for Joe.1945: Flicker Flashbacks; This is America.

Feature films:

1946: Child of Divorce.1947: Design for Death; Banjo.1948. So this is New York; Bodyguard.1949: The Clay Pigeon; Follow me Quietly; Make Mine Laughs; Trapped.1950: Armored Car Robbery.1951: The Narrow Margin.1952: The Happy Time.1953: Arena.1954: 20,000 Leagues under the sea submarino.1955: tragic Saturday; Trapezium rojo.1956 girl: Bandit!; The heck out of the pacifico.1958: the vikingos.1959: duel in the mud; Impulse criminal.1960: Crack in the Mirror.1961: The Big Gamble.1962: barrabas.1966: travel alucinante.1967: like the Dr. Doolittle.1968: the choke of Boston.1969: Che.1970: Tora, Tora, Tora!; Rillington Place.1971 choke: escape without end; Terror ciego.1972: new centuriones.1973: when we reach the destination; The gift has muerto.1974: three outlaws and a gunman; Mr. Majestik.1975: Mandingo.1976: Sara.1977: the Prince and the mendigo.1979: Ashanti/ebony. 1980: jazz.1983 singer: the toughest man; The infierno.1984 well: Conan the destructor.1985: the Warrior rojo.1987: Pasta gansa.1989. Call from Space.


BOURGOIN, Stéphane: Richard Fleischer. (Paris: Edilig, 1986).

FLEISCHER, Richard: Just Tell Me When To Cry. (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1993).

HURTADO, José Antonio-LOSILLA, Carlos: Richard Fleischer, between heaven and hell, (Valencia: Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana, 1997).