Norman Taurog

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Norman Taurog (born February 23, 1899 in Chicago , Illinois , † April 7, 1981 in Rancho Mirage , California ) was an American film director .


Norman Taurog was already on the stage as a child and first appeared as an actor in a silent film in 1912 . From 1920 Taurog worked as a director for silent films, mostly short film comedies with comedians like Larry Semon . He also co-wrote the scripts of many of these quickly and cheaply produced comedies. In 1928 he made his first feature film with the sound film musical Lucky Boy . In 1931 he won an Oscar in the category Best Director for the children's film Skippy . He was the youngest ever directing award winner in Oscar history until he was replaced by Damien Chazelle for La La Land in 2017 . The main character of Skippy was Jackie Cooper , who was also Taurog's nephew. Although he worked in many film genres, Taurog directed mainly comedies, family and children's films in the decades that followed. Many of his works became box office hits. For producer David O. Selznick , for example, Taurog created the Mark Twain film adaptation of Tom's Adventure in Technicolor in 1938 , which is still considered one of the best film adaptations of the novel.

Also in 1938, Taurog directed the drama Teufelskerle with Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy as the pastor who gets boys at risk of crime off the streets. Hellbucks brought Taurog another Oscar nomination for Best Director . He has also directed numerous light musical comedies such as Broadway Melody 1940 with Fred Astaire and Girl Crazy with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. He made some of the best comedies with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in the 1950s . In the last years of his career, the quality of his films declined noticeably, for example he was in-house director of the Elvis Presley films in the 1960s . In 1968 he shot his last production. In total, he has made over 180 films in 48 years as a director.

Norman Taurog married Julie Leonard in 1925 and divorced with one child in 1943. Married to Susan Ream from 1944 until his death. The director, who went blind in the last years of his life, died in 1981 at the age of 82. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame bears his name.

Filmography (selection)

  • 1920: The Fly Cop
  • 1920–1922: Various Larry Semon comedies
  • 1928: Lucky Boy
  • 1930: Follow the Leader
  • 1931: Skippy
  • 1931: Newly Rich
  • 1931: Huckleberry Finn
  • 1931: Sooky
  • 1932: The Phantom President
  • 1932: If I Had a Million (If I Had a Million)
  • 1933: Everything for the Child (A Bedtime Story)
  • 1934: Shipwreck under palm trees (We're Not Dressing)
  • 1935: The Big Broadcast of 1936
  • 1936: Rhythm on the Range
  • 1937: Fifty Roads to Town
  • 1938: Tom's adventures (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
  • 1938: Mad About Music
  • 1938: Teufelskerle (Boys Town)
  • 1939: The Wizard of Oz (The Wizard of Oz) only small segments
  • 1940: Broadway Melody 1940 (Broadway Melody of 1940)
  • 1940: Little Nellie Kelly
  • 1940: The young Edison (Young Tom Edison)
  • 1941: These are guys (Men of Boys Town)
  • 1941: Revenge is Sweet (Design for Scandal)
  • 1942: A Yank at Eton
  • 1943: Clear the stage for Lily Mars (Presenting Lily Mars)
  • 1943: Girl Crazy
  • 1945: Broadway Melody 1950 (Ziegfeld Follies) (opening sequence)
  • 1948: The Bride Goes Wild
  • 1948: Words and Music
  • 1949: That Midnight Kiss
  • 1950: The Fisherman of Louisiana (The Toast of New Orleans)
  • 1950: Three Men for Alison (Please Believe Me)
  • 1951: Pretty, Young and in Love (Rich Young and Pretty)
  • 1952: The Whipping Boy (The Stooge)
  • 1952: Terror of the Division (Jumping Jacks)
  • 1952: Becoming a father is not difficult (Room for One More)
  • 1953: The Caddy
  • 1953: A Song, a Kiss, a Girl (The Stars Are Singing)
  • 1954: The likable impostor (Living It Up)
  • 1955: Der Gangsterschreck (You're Never Too Young)
  • 1956: The Birds and the Bees
  • 1956: Well, well, Miss Mutti! (Bundle of Joy)
  • 1956: Where men are still men (Pardners)
  • 1957: Dream in Pink ( The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown)
  • 1958: The Onion Head
  • 1959: Nobody leaves the ship (Don't Give Up the Ship)
  • 1960: Café Europa (GI Blues)
  • 1960: Visit to a Small Planet
  • 1961: Blue Hawaii (Blue Hawaii)
  • 1961: All Hands on Deck
  • 1962: Girls! Girls! Girls!
  • 1962: Whether blond - whether brown (It Happened at the World's Fair)
  • 1963: The devil's loose in paradise (Palm Springs Weekend)
  • 1964: Cowboy Melody (Tickle Me)
  • 1965: Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine)
  • 1965: Sergeant Dead Head
  • 1966: Never Say Yes (Spinout)
  • 1967: Zoff for two (Double Trouble)
  • 1968: Speedway
  • 1968: Darling, Let That Lie (Live a Little, Love a Little)

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