Phil Karlson
Phil Karlson was a film director known for his no-nonsense film noirs. Karlson directed 99 River Street
99 River Street
99 River Street is a 1953 film noir, starring John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, and Peggie Castle.The film was directed by Phil Karlson, produced by Edward Small, with cinematography by Franz Planer.-Plot:...

, Kansas City Confidential and Hell's Island
Hell's Island
Hell's Island is an American color film noir starring John Payne and dircted by Phil Karlson. The film was the last teaming of actor Payne and film director Karlson. The film was shot in the VistaVision wide-screen format...

all with actor John Payne
John Payne (actor)
John Payne was an American film actor who is mainly remembered as a singer in 20th Century Fox musical films, and for his leading roles in Miracle on 34th Street and the NBC western television series The Restless Gun.-Background:Payne was born in Roanoke, Virginia...

 in the early 1950s. Other films include Rocky (1948), The Phenix City Story
The Phenix City Story
The Phenix City Story is a film noir directed by Phil Karlson and written by Daniel Mainwaring and Crane Wilbur. The drama features John McIntire, Richard Kiley, among others.-Plot:...

(1955), 5 Against the House
5 Against the House
5 Against the House is a 1955 American heist film starring Kim Novak, Guy Madison and Brian Keith, directed by Phil Karlson and based on a story by Jack Finney...

(1955) and The Young Doctors
The Young Doctors (film)
The Young Doctors is a 1961 film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Ben Gazzara, Fredric March, Dick Clark, Ina Balin, Eddie Albert, Phyllis Love, Aline MacMahon, George Segal and Dolph Sweet. The film is based on the 1959 novel "The Final Diagnosis" by Arthur Hailey...


Phil Karlson was the son of popular Irish actress Lillian O'Brien.

He studied painting at Chicago's Art Institute, and law, at his father's request, at Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University is a comprehensive co-educational private Roman Catholic university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions located in Los Angeles, California, United States...

 in California.

Karlson got into the film industry working as a prop man while a law student. After working a number of film jobs, including being an assistant director for a number of Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
William "Bud" Abbott and Lou Costello performed together as Abbott and Costello, an American comedy duo whose work on stage, radio, film and television made them the most popular comedy team during the 1940s and 1950s...

 films, Karlson directed his first film in 1944 and in 1948 directed the first film starring Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

, Ladies of the Chorus
Ladies of the Chorus
Ladies of the Chorus is a 1948 Hollywood film produced by Columbia Pictures. It stars Marilyn Monroe in her first major role as Peggy Martin, a dancer who falls in love with a wealthy man portrayed by Rand Brooks...

. He worked on a number of low-budget projects for Monogram Pictures
Monogram Pictures
Monogram Pictures Corporation is a Hollywood studio that produced and released films, most on low budgets, between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Monogram is considered a leader among the smaller studios sometimes referred to...

 and Eagle-Lion Films
Eagle-Lion Films
Eagle-Lion Films was a British film production company owned by J. Arthur Rank intended to release British productions in the United States. In 1947 it acquired PRC Pictures, a small American production company, to produce B Pictures to accompany the British releases...

 before making his mark in 1950. It was then that he was known for directing tough, realistic and sometimes violent gritty crime films. In the 1960s the quality of his directed films declined, which included working on Kid Galahad
Kid Galahad
Kid Galahad is a 1962 musical film starring Elvis Presley as a boxer. The film was released by United Artists. The film opened at #9 at the box office when released in the United States in August 1962...

(1962) with Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 and two Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

 Matt Helm
Matt Helm
Matt Helm is a fictional character created by author Donald Hamilton. He is a U.S. government counter-agent—a man whose primary job is to kill or nullify enemy agents—not a spy or secret agent in the ordinary sense of the term as used in spy thrillers.-The character and the series:The...

 spy films, including The Wrecking Crew
The Wrecking Crew
Wrecking Crew may refer to:In film:*Wrecking Crew , an American film directed by Frank McDonald*The Wrecking Crew , a 1969 film starring Dean Martin and Elke Sommer...

(1969) co-starring Sharon Tate
Sharon Tate
Sharon Marie Tate was an American actress. During the 1960s she played small television roles before appearing in several films. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic performances, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for...

 and Elke Sommer
Elke Sommer
Elke Sommer , born Baroness Elke Schletz, is a German actress, entertainer and artist.-Career:Sommer was born in Berlin to a Lutheran minister and his wife...

. He had his biggest success in 1973 when he directed the hit film, Walking Tall
Walking Tall
Walking Tall is a 1973 semi-biopic of Sheriff Buford Pusser, a former professional wrestler-turned-lawman in McNairy County, Tennessee. It starred Joe Don Baker as Pusser...

. The film made the director a rich man many times over, thanks to the fact that he owned a huge part of the movie.

External links

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