The words "A Hal Wallis Production" grace the opening credits of several of America’s best-loved films. During nearly half a century of work in...more
The words "A Hal Wallis Production" grace the opening credits of several of America’s best-loved films. During nearly half a century of work in Hollywood, Wallis produced timeless classics such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Becket, True Grit, Rooster Cogburn and, perhaps the finest representative of American cinematic art, the haunting masterpiece Casablanca. A self-proclaimed "starmaker," Wallis helped launch young talents such as Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and Charlton Heston; introduced the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; and brought Elvis Presley to the silver screen. Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars is the first biography of the man behind these legendary films and iconic actors. Noted film historian Bernard F. Dick, using extensive research from studio memos, film archives, and personal correspondences, examines Wallis’s creative genius and his stature as Hollywood’s "Gentleman Producer." Several of the people closest to Wallis, including his publicity director Walter Seltzer and his second wife Martha Hyer Wallis, granted Dick exclusive interviews, and their insights reveal glimpses, unseen until now, of Wallis’s remarkable life and career. Born to poor immigrants in Chicago just before the dawn of the twentieth century, Wallis stands as a rare example of the American dream come to life. At the beginning of his career, he quickly rose through the ranks of the Warner Brothers hierarchy on the basis of his organizational skills and creative powers. As a producer at Warner Brothers and later at Paramount, Wallis was always most attracted to narratives that mirrored the transformations that marked his own life: from commoner to gentleman, destitution to luxury, the hard streets to Easy Street. Wallis produced great films across a number of genres, including comedy, tragedy, action, romance, melodrama, gangster, and Western, and the hands-on producer left his mark on cinematic touchstones such as The Maltese Falcon and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, Wallis brought talented young actors into the limelight while soliciting career-defining performances from the era’s biggest stars, including Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, and Humphrey Bogart. Bernard Dick’s study of Hal Wallis proves that the title of the great producer’s autobiography—Starmaker—was no idle boast. less
Finished reading biography "Hall Wallis -Producer to the Stars" by Bernard F. Dick. Produced Casablanca, Beckett, Anne of the Thousand Days worked with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley,Lizabeth Scott . Married to actress Martha Hyer.