Robert Florey  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Robert Florey (14 September 1900, Paris - 16 May 1979, Santa Monica, California) was a French-born screenwriter, director of short films, and actor best-known for The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra.

He moved to Hollywood in 1921.

Florey worked as assistant director to Josef von Sternberg, Frank Borzage, and Victor Fleming before making his feature directing debut in 1926. He directed more than 50 movies over the next 23 years, from the first Marx Brothers movie The Cocoanuts (1929), to horror movies such as Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) starring Bela Lugosi, to skillful low-budget crime programmers like The Crooked Way (1949).

Florey made a significant but uncredited contribution to the script of the classic 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. Florey was also originally slated to direct Frankenstein but was assigned by Universal Pictures to direct Murders in the Rue Morgue instead. Florey, with the help of cinematographer Karl Freund and elaborate sets representing 19th century Paris, made Murders into an American version of German expressionist films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

For many film historians, Florey's finest work is in these low-budget programmers and B movies. Florey hit a peak at Paramount in the late 30s with films including Hollywood Boulevard (1936), King of Gamblers (1937), and Dangerous to Know (1938), all distinguished by their fast pace, cynical tone, and striking use of moody, semi-expressionistic camera angles and lighting effects.

Other notable films include two experimental short films The Life and Death of 9413--a Hollywood Extra (1928) co-directed with Slavko Vorkapich, Skyscraper Symphony (1929), and the horror classic The Beast with Five Fingers (1946). He was also assistant director to Charlie Chaplin on Chaplin's film Monsieur Verdoux (1947).

Florey was one of the first seasoned feature directors to turn to television in the 1950s, working in the new medium for over a decade and producing shows for The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone.

He also wrote a number of books, including Pola Negri (1927) and Charlie Chaplin (1927), Hollywood d'hier et d'aujord'hui (1948), La Lanterne magique (1966), and Hollywood annee zero (1972).




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Robert Florey" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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