Samuel Grosvenor Wood was born in Philadelphia on 10 th July 1893. He enjoyed some small, early stage appearances under the name of Chad Applegate. He broke into the moviemaking industry in 1915, and before five years had passed he found himself directing. In 1927 he began working with MGM, and was soon directing big names such as Clarke Gable, Jimmy Durante, and Ginger Rogers.
Wood was a very diverse director, and his range of hits included the Marx Brothers’ ‘A Night at the Opera’ and ‘A Day at the Races’. He went on to direct the 1939 classic ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’. This was quickly followed in the early 1940s by ‘Kitty Foyle’, ‘Our Town’, and ‘The Pride of the Yankees’. He even directed former President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, in ‘King’s Row’.
Unfortunately, Wood was also a member of some right wing groups, and became known as a bigot and fascist. After his death, many claim that he was also too demanding a director, who wanted to shoot each scene over and over. Others claim that this was a good tactic and improved the performances of the actors, no matter how good they thought they already were.After a successful directing career, sometimes mottled with controversy, Sam Wood died on September 22 nd 1949.
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