Richard Fleischer

"In a Hollywood career that lasted over forty years and produced in excess of fifty movies in different genres, Richard Fleischer never really succeeded in imposing a recognizable signature on his work. A solid and highly professional director, he made a handful of distinguished films, an equal amount of duds and wrote an entertaining autobiography Just Tell Me When to Cry (1993)." - Richard Armstrong (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Richard Fleischer

Director
(1916-2006) Born December 8, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Crime, Thriller, Action, Crime Drama, Adventure, Psychological Thriller, Science Fiction, Police Detective Film, Family-Oriented Adventure, Docudrama, Crime Thriller
Key Collaborators: Albert S. D'Agostino (Production Designer), Lyle Wheeler (Production Designer), Earl Felton (Screenwriter), Richard H. Kline (Cinematographer), Elmo Williams (Editor), Samuel E. Beetley (Editor), Jack Martin Smith (Production Designer), Douglas Fowley (Character Actor), Herman Schlom (Producer), Robert De Grasse (Cinematographer), Leigh Harline (Composer), Lionel Newman (Composer)

“His work, though of varied quality, has been largely underestimated, perhaps because he had to work under the thumb of such highly individualistic producers as Stanley Kramer, Walt Disney, and Darry F. Zanuck. His virtuosity and skill are evident in The Vikings and even in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, despite their large budgets; but the large budget of the tiresome and solemn Barabbas overwhelmed him.” - Georges Sadoul (Dictionary of Film Makers, 1972)
"This filmmaker's oeuvre ranges from excellent to terrible. At times he can be almost a master of an action genre (Bandido, 56; 10 Rillington Place, 71), yet he is also capable of being plodding and pretentious (The Last Run, 71; The Don is Dead, 73)." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Veteran director with a knack for action and suspense; his The Narrow Margin (1952) is regarded by many critics as one of the finest film noirs ever made. A rapid, efficient director who has often filmed real life crime stories such as The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), Compulsion (1959), The Boston Strangler (1968) and 10 Rillington Place (1970)." - The Virgin International Encyclopedia of Film, 1992
"This stalwart Hollywood director, the son of animation pioneer Max Fleischer, studied drama at Yale and joined New York's RKO-Pathé newsreel operation in 1942, where he wrote and directed for the This is America series and wrote and produced Flicker Flashbacks. His success there earned him a chance to move to the 'real' RKO studio in Hollywood, where he proved his mettle on a series of suspenseful, noirish grade-B programmers like Bodyguard (1948)." - Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, 1995
"Responsible critics have advanced Fleischer as a candidate for Walsh's laurels in the adventure category. Since The Narrow Margin, Fleischer's career has spluttered, alas at less than 50 percent efficiency. That is, even if the director be given the benefit of the doubt for Violent Saturday, The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, Bandido, The Vikings, and These Thousand Hills. On the theory that a director must be judged by all his films rather than by his more bearable ones, the burden of proof falls on Fleischer's champions. Crack in the Mirror alone would be sufficient to disqualify most directors from serious consideration." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"One of the most consistent, reliable and prolific of the many directors who got their start during the 40s, Richard Fleischer has maintained a steady output, directing just over forty features in as many years. He has directed every type of picture, but has specialised in intimate thrillers at one extreme and large scale costumers and action movies at the other." - Joel W. Finler (The Movie Directors Story, 1985)
"Capable American director whose best work is in the delineation of unusual crime themes, most notably Violent Saturday (1955), Compulsion (1958) and The Boston Strangler (1968)." - Margaret Hinxman (The International Encyclopedia of Film, 1972)
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Armored Car Robbery (1950) ✖︎, The Narrow Margin (1952) ✖︎, Violent Saturday (1955), The Vikings (1958), Barabbas (1962)
Worth a Look
Child of Divorce (1946), Trapped (1949) ✖︎, The Clay Pigeon (1949) ✖︎, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), These Thousand Hills (1959), Compulsion (1959), Fantastic Voyage (1966), 10 Rillington Place (1971), The Last Run (1971), The New Centurions (1972), Soylent Green (1973), Mandingo (1975)
Approach with Caution
Bodyguard (1948) ✖︎, Follow Me Quietly (1949) ✖︎, The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), Between Heaven and Hell (1956), Bandido (1956), The Boston Strangler (1968), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), See No Evil (1971)
Not Recommended
Doctor Dolittle (1967), Mr. Majestyk (1974), Ashanti (1979)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
✖︎ 1,000 Noir Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Narrow Margin
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