Robert Wise was born 10 th September 1914 in Indiana. The youngest of three brothers, he managed to get a job as a cutter at RKO when he was nineteen years of age. Studio executives could see potential in Wise, and he quickly rose to the ranks of editor. When Orson Welles was looking for an editor for ‘Citizen Kane’ the name Robert Wise came up, and Wise went on to do an admirable job on the movie. He went on to work as editor on a number of movies, including: ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ and ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’.
This led to a role directing some low budget movies, and Wise was asked to complete the direction of the 1944 ‘Curse of the Cat People’. He then went on to movies such as ‘The Body Snatcher’. Although most of his directing roles at RKO were on B-movies, a couple of more notable roles were on the films ‘Blood on the Moon’ and ‘The Set-up’.
As the 1950s loomed, Wise left RKO and headed for 20 th Century Fox. Here is directing career really took off. He directed movies such as ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, ‘The Executive Suite’, ‘I want to Live’, and ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’. He enjoyed widespread fame and notched up a number of awards with his ‘West Side Story’, and went on to movies such as ‘The Haunting’ and the world-famous hit ‘The Sound of Music’.Wise went on to form a production company with a former RKP colleague and friend. This produced hits such as ‘The Andromeda Strain’, ‘Audrey Rose’, and ‘Start Trek: The Motion Picture’ in the 1980s.
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