Biography of Leo McCarey (1898-1969)

Director of American cinema, born on October 3, 1898 in Los Angeles and died on July 5, 1969, in the same city.


Among the filmmakers who contributed to reaffirm the classic Hollywood style, bathed by the glamour of the stars and a contagious Joie de vivre, Leo McCarey occupied a very unique space. Prototype of efficient craftsman, with unsurpassed capacity for crazy comedy and romantic melodrama, obtained great recognitions between criticism from the two Oscar which was awarded in the second leg of his career: in 1937 by the mischievous Puritan and in 1944 by following my path. These first revaluations of its figure would continue after his death, to the end that from the Decade of the 1980s is regarded as one of the most significant authors of the cinematic firmament by remarkable cleaning of its staging.

Trained at the school of comedy slapstick, genus for which oversaw and directed about three hundred short films, his entry into cinema was however a matter of geographical proximity, rather than a vocation. In fact, come to graduating in law from the University of California and to practice as a lawyer, but her marriage in 1920 prompted him to try his luck in the nearby film industry, which was based in the sunny California. Its beginnings in this area occurred as a third Assistant Director of Tod Browning in the Universal, famous for his horror films. Until hired by Hal Roach, was erected in one of the most effective gags for the popular group "The gang" ("Our Gang") as well as the couple formed by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, or comedians as peculiar in its style as Harold Lloyd and W. C. Fields.

The arrival of the sound caused the slow death of the slapstick genre, which McCarey decided to accept the contract offered by the Fox to integrate into her womb as director of frivolous comedies in the style of wife half (1930) and indiscreet (1931), or parodies like Torero (1932) force. However, the following year jumped to the Paramount, where to find more space for creativity and above all to show hitherto almost unknown versatility. After the legendary collaboration with the Marx Brothers in duck soup (1933), one of the most blissfully absurd comedies in the history of cinema, he chained titles of different genres to his final leap to fame with the mischievous Puritan (1937), which step would gain him a reputation as a strong and effective director while full of narrative talent.

However, were their musical melodramas with Bing Crosby who gave him the absolute respect of the film industry. Following my way (1944) and the bells of Santa María (1945) showed the sentimental and religious facet of a director who wanted to achieve a cinema humanist, close to social problems everyday and bathed in a sparkling liberalism. These successes would back continuity with the romantic comedy you and I (1957), starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerrin his stellar roles. This film has become with the passage of time one of the classics more honored in the history of cinema through sequels and remakes as something to remember (1993), which starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. But at the end of the 1950's classic style of Leo McCarey started to already be a vital sign of the illustrious past, so that after the mocking Satan never dies (1962) imposed on itself a discreet withdrawal.


Short films:

1924: Publicity Pays; Young Oldfield; Stolen Goods; Jeffries Jr; Why Husbands Go Mad; A Ten minute Egg; Seeing Nellie Homer; Sweet Daddy; Why Men Work; Outdoor Pajamas; Sittin' Pretty; Too Many breasts; Bungalow Boobs; Accidental Accidents; All Wet; The Poor Fish; The Royal Razz. 1925: Hello Baby; Fighting Fluid; The Family Entrance; Plain and Fancy Girls; Should Husbands Be Watched?; Hard Boiled; Is Marriage the Bunk?; Bad Boy; Big Red Ridding Hood; Looking for Sally; What Price Goofy?; Isn't Life Terrible; Innocent Husbands; No Father to Guide Him; The Caretaker completo Daughter; The Uneasy Three; His Wooden Wedding. 1926: Charley My Boy; Mama Behave; dog Shy; Mum completo the Word; Long Live the King; Mighty Like a Moose; Crazy Like a Fox; Bromo and Juliet; Tell'em Nothing; Be Your Age. 1928: We Faw Down; Should Married Men Go Home?; Two Tars; Should Women Drive?; A Pair of Tights; Blow By Blow; The Boy Friend; Came the Dawn; Do Gentlemen Snore?; Dumb Daddies; Going Ga-Ga; Pass the Gravy; Tell It to the Judge; That Night. 1929: Liberty; Wrong Again; Dad's Day; Fredd'em and Weep; Hurdy Gurdy; Madame Q.; Sky Boy; The Unkissed Man; When Money Comes; Why is Plumber?

Feature films:

1921: The secreta.1929 lineage: The Sophomore; Red Hot Rhythm. 1930: Bad company; Wife half. 1931: Indiscreet. 1932: Bullfighter to the fuerza.1933: ganso.1934 soup: joyride; It is not a sin; Obliga.1935 nobility: the milky way. 1937: The impish Puritan. 1938: You and me. 1940: My Favorite Wife.1942: Once Upon a Honeymoon.1944: according to my camino.1945: the bells of Santa maria.1948: the good Sam.1952: my son John.1957: you and me. 1958: A husband in trouble. 1961: Satan never dies.


MARIAS, Miguel. Leo McCarey. (Madrid: Nickelodeon, 1999).