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Ida Lupino ~ Biography (1918 - 1995)

b. Brixton, London

    Ida Lupino had not worked in fifteen years. Nor did she feel inclined to come out for tributes. Surely she had been invited.

For she was a woman director of real personality; her pictures are as tough and quick as those of Samuel Fuller. She was a pioneer for women, especially because she carved out her own territory instead of just waiting to be asked. But her own movies should not obscure Ida Lupino the actress. She knew how to play routine roles and play them well. But there are a few occasions when she had an out-of-the-ordinary part, and then she was riveting.

For instance, when her character turns nasty and crazy in They Drive By Night (40, Raoul Walsh), there is nothing to do but sit back and watch an astonishing emotional explosion. In The Hard Way (42, Vincent Sherman), as the strong sister driving Joan Leslie into show business, she senses a movie unknown to the other players. She is a demon, so forceful we have to realize how often in her career she kept the brakes on. In the first few scenes of Road House (48, Jean Negulesco), we could be meeting a woman from Jim Thompson—burned, dangerous, impatient, and pitiless. But then she sees that she has only a dud script and plain guys to work with. She decides to behave and the film goes downhill. "If only," you say so often with Ida Lupino. If only she and Gloria Grahame could have played wicked sisters—they looked alike, and they were both too odd for placid movies.

The daughter of comedian Stanley Lupino, she added to her familys vaudeville heritage a formal training at RADA. She was on the fringe of the British film industry when the visiting Allan Dwan a small part in Her First Affaire (33). She made several more films and Paramount signed her up (she was still only fifteen) with the idea of her playing Alice in Wonderland. That fell through, but she appeared in Come On Marines! (34, Henry Hathaway); Paris in Spring (35, Lewis Milestone); Smart Girl (35, Aubrey Scottio); Peter Ibbetson (35, Hathaway); and Anything Goes (36, Milestone). Her career faltered, picked up with The Gay Desperado (36, Rouben Mamoulian), but lapsed again with Sea Devils (37, Benjamin Stoloff) and Artists and Models (37, Walsh). She was even out of work for some time, but returned with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (39, Peter Godfrey), The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (39, Alfred Werker), and The Light That Failed (39, William Wellman).

Warners then signed her as the mollish interest for gangster films and she flourished in They Drive by Night and High Sierra (41, Walsh), as well as the Jack London-based The Sea Wolf (41, Michael Curtiz). A variety of good, tough parts followed in which she seemed more worldly-wise than her age might have suggested: Out of the Fog (41, Anatole Litvak); Ladies in Retirement (41, Charles Vidor); Moontide (42, Archie Mayo); The Hard Way; Forever and a Day (43, Frank Lloyd et al); In Our Time (44, Sherman); Devotion (46, Curtis Bernhardt), playing Emily Bronte; The Man I Love (46, Walsh), with its great opening, and then the sentimental camp of Deep Valley (47, Negulesco); Escape Me Never (47, Peter Godfrey); and Road House, in which she credibly stills the assembly with a husky performance of several songs. Her delivery was randy and bossy, and in Hemingway's Across the River and Into the Trees his Italian heroine had copied Lupino's way of talking.

Finished with Warners, and with her first husband, actor Louis Hayward, she married the Columbia executive Collier Young, and turned to writing, directing, and producing. She produced Not Wanted (49, Elmer Clifton), and directed Never Fear and Outrage, two minor but interesting films. She played the blind woman in Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground (51) and reportedly did some directing while Ray was ill. As an actress, she worked in Woman in Hiding (49, Michael Gordon); Beware, My Lovely (52, Harry Horner); Private Hell 36 (54, Don Siegel); The Big Knife (55, Robert Aldrich); Women's Prison (55, Lewis Seller); While the City Sleeps (56, Fritz Lang); and Strange Intruder (56, Irving Rapper).

She proved herself a competent director of second features, and an early discoverer of feminist themes. Thus The Bigamist is not just melodrama, but a critique of woman's vulnerability. Married again, this time to actor Howard Duff, she turned to TV but directed again, in 1966, The Trouble with Angels—which gathered together Rosalind Russell, Hayley Mills, and Gypsy Rose Lee in a convent, showing that idiosyncrasy was not dead yet. She directed for TV, and was outstanding as a man's woman fed up with the man in Junior Bonner (72, Sam Peckinpah). She also appeared in The Devil's Rain (75, Robert Fuest); The Food of the Gods (76, Bert I. Gordon); and My Boys Are Good Boys (78, Bethel Buckalew).

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Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino ~ Key Facts

1918:
Born 4 February in London, UK, daughter of famed British comedian Stanley Lupino

1933:
Supporting role in the British film Her First Affaire. Arrives in the US

1934:
American debut in Search for Beauty

1938:
Marries Louis Hayward

1939:
Appears in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & The Light That Failed

1940:
Appears in They Drive by Night

1942:
Appears in Moontide

1944:
Appears in In Our Time

1945:
Divorces Hayward

1946:
Appears in Devotion

1948:
Appears in Road House. Marries Collier Young

1949:
Makes her (uncredited) directing debut with Not Wanted

1951:
Divorces Young. Marries Howard Duff. 1 daughter, Bridget Duff

1952:
Works both behind and in front of the screen for TV, a regular on Four Star Playhouse

1953:
Directs The Bigamist in which she plays support, the only time she directs herself. Directs her best movie, The Hitch-Hiker

1979:
Retires from film and TV

1984:
Divorces Duff

1995:
Dies of a stroke while battling colon cancer on 3 August in Los Angeles

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Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino ~ Filmography

01/ Love Race, The (1931) .... Uncredited
02/ Prince of Arcadia (1933)
03/ Money for Speed (1933)
04/ I Lived with You (1933)
05/ High Finance (1933)
06/ Her First Affaire (1933)
07/ Ghost Camera, The (1933)
08/ Search for Beauty (1934)
09/ Come on Marines (1934)
10/ Ready for Love (1934)
11/ Paris in Spring (1935)
12/ Smart Girl (1935)
13/ Peter Ibbetson (1935)
14/ Anything Goes (1936)
15/ One Rainy Afternoon (1936)
16/ Yours for the Asking (1936)
17/ Gay Desperado, The (1936)
18/ Sea Devils (1937)
19/ Let's Get Married (1937)
20/ Artists & Models (1937)
21/ Fight for Your Lady (1937)
22/ Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, The (1939)
23/ Lady and the Mob, The (1939)
24/ Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The (1939)
25/ Light That Failed, The (1939)

26/ They Drive by Night (1940)
27/ High Sierra (1941)
28/ Sea Wolf, The (1941)
29/ Out of the Fog (1941)
30/ Ladies in Retirement (1941)
31/ Moontide (1942)
32/ Life Begins at Eight-Thirty (1942)
33/ Forever and a Day (1943)
34/ Hard Way, The (1943)
35/ In Our Time (1944)
36/ Pillow to Post (1945)
37/ Devotion (1946)
38/ Man I Love, The (1947)
39/ Deep Valley (1947)
40/ Escape Me Never (1947)
41/ Road House (1948)
42/ Lust for Gold (1949)

43/ Woman in Hiding (1950)
44/ Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) (uncredited)
45/ On the Loose (1951) (uncredited)
46/ On Dangerous Ground (1952)
47/ Beware, My Lovely (1952)
48/ Four Star Playhouse (1952) TV Series
49/ Jennifer (1953)
50/ Bigamist, The (1953)
51/ Private Hell 36 (1954)
52/ Women's Prison (1955)
53/ Big Knife, The (1955)
54/ While the City Sleeps (1956)
55/ Strange Intruder (1956)
56/ Mr. Adams and Eve (1957) TV Series

57/ Backtrack! (1969)

58/ Columbo: Short Fuse (1972) (TV)
59/ Women in Chains (1972/I) (TV)
60/ Junior Bonner (1972)
61/ Strangers in 7A (1972) (TV)
62/ Female Artillery (1973) (TV)
63/ I Love a Mystery (1973) (TV)
64/ Letters, The (1973) (TV)
65/ Columbo: Swan Song (1974) (TV)
66/ Devil's Rain, The (1975)
67/ Food of the Gods, The (1976)
68/ My Boys Are Good Boys (1978)

Did you know?
She is the only woman to direct an episode of The Twilight Zone. She directed The Masks

Ida Lupino ~ Photo Gallery

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Ida Lupino Books available @ amazon.com.

Ida Lupino ~ Film Posters

You won't be surprised to know but the company with the most varied of Ida Lupino repro. film posters is amazon. There are a vast array of his posters there - far, far more than here.

They come in various sizes and usually work out to be less than $10 per poster which I don't think is too bad. You get an unusual and beautiful item to hang on your walls and I bet your friends won't have it.

Here, occasionally, you will find an original poster from the time of the release of the movie. They are obviously far more expensive but if you have the money they are worth it as they are works of art in their own right.

Ida Lupino Film Posters available @ amazon.com.

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