Robert Aldrich

Robert Aldrich was an American film director, writer and producer, notable for such films as Kiss Me Deadly (1955), The Big Knife (1955), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), The Dirty Dozen (1967). Born in Cranston, Rhode Island, the son of Lora Lawson and newspaper publisher Edward Burgess Aldrich. He was a grandson of U.S. Senator Nelson W. Aldrich and a cousin of Nelson Rockefeller. He studied economics at the University of Virginia. In 1941, he dropped out of college for a $50-a-week job at RKO Radio Pictures. In doing so, he was also dropped by his family, losing a potential stake in Chase Bank he would have inherited. It's been said that "No American film director was born as wealthy as Aldrich—and then so thoroughly cut off from family money." He quickly rose in film production as an assistant director, and worked with Jean Renoir, Abraham Polonsky, Robert Rossen, Joseph Losey and Charlie Chaplin as an assistant on Limelight. He became a television director in the 1950s, directing his first feature film, Big Leaguer, in 1953. During the 1950s, Aldrich directed mostly action films like Apache and Vera Cruz with Burt Lancaster. Aldrich soon gained recognition as an auteur filmmaker, depicting his liberal humanist thematic vision in many genres, in films such as Kiss Me Deadly (1955), a film noir classic, The Big Knife (1955), an adaptation of Clifford Odets's play about Hollywood business, and Attack (1956), a WWII infantry combat film exploring how U.S. ...

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The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

A cargo aircraft crashes in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for a replacement aircraft they will ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  James Stewart  •  Richard Attenborough  •  Peter Finch  •  Hardy Krüger

A cargo aircraft crashes in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for a replacement aircraft they will ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  James Stewart  •  Richard Attenborough  •  Peter Finch  •  Hardy Krüger

Apache (1954)

Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. On the way he manages to escape and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Jean Peters  •  John McIntire  •  Charles Bronson

Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. On the way he manages to escape and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Jean Peters  •  John McIntire  •  Charles Bronson

Emperor of the North Pole (1973)

Hobos encounter a sadistic railway conductor that will not let anyone "ride the rails" for free.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Lee Marvin  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Keith Carradine  •  Charles Tyner

Hobos encounter a sadistic railway conductor that will not let anyone "ride the rails" for free.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Lee Marvin  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Keith Carradine  •  Charles Tyner

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

One evening, Hammer gives a ride to Christina, an attractive hitchhiker on a lonely country road, who has escaped from the nearby lunatic asylum. Thugs waylay them and force his car to crash. When Hammer returns to semi-consciousness, he hears Christina being ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Ralph Meeker  •  Albert Dekker  •  Paul Stewart  •  Juano Hernández

One evening, Hammer gives a ride to Christina, an attractive hitchhiker on a lonely country road, who has escaped from the nearby lunatic asylum. Thugs waylay them and force his car to crash. When Hammer returns to semi-consciousness, he hears Christina being ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Ralph Meeker  •  Albert Dekker  •  Paul Stewart  •  Juano Hernández

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

12 American military prisoners in World War II are ordered to infiltrate a well-guarded enemy château and kill the Nazi officers vacationing there. The soldiers, most of whom are facing death sentences for a variety of violent crimes, agree to the mission and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Lee Marvin  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Charles Bronson  •  Jim Brown

12 American military prisoners in World War II are ordered to infiltrate a well-guarded enemy château and kill the Nazi officers vacationing there. The soldiers, most of whom are facing death sentences for a variety of violent crimes, agree to the mission and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Lee Marvin  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Charles Bronson  •  Jim Brown

The Frisco Kid (1979)

Rabbi Avram arrives in Philadelphia from Poland en route to San Francisco where he will be a congregation's new rabbi. An innocent and inexperienced traveller, he is tricked by con men to pay for the trip to go west, then they leave him and his belongings scattered ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Gene Wilder  •  Harrison Ford  •  Ramon Bieri  •  Val Bisoglio

Rabbi Avram arrives in Philadelphia from Poland en route to San Francisco where he will be a congregation's new rabbi. An innocent and inexperienced traveller, he is tricked by con men to pay for the trip to go west, then they leave him and his belongings scattered ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Gene Wilder  •  Harrison Ford  •  Ramon Bieri  •  Val Bisoglio

The Longest Yard (1974)

In this rough-and-tumble yarn, actually filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prision, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Reynolds  •  Eddie Albert  •  Ed Lauter  •  Bernadette Peters

In this rough-and-tumble yarn, actually filmed on-location at the Georgia State Prision, the cons are the heroes and the guards are the heavies. Eddie Albert is the sadistic warden who'll gladly make any sacrifice to push his guards' semi-pro football team to a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Reynolds  •  Eddie Albert  •  Ed Lauter  •  Bernadette Peters

Too Late the Hero (1970)

A WWII film set on a Pacific island. Japanese and allied forces occupy different parts of the island. When a group of British soldiers are sent on a mission behind enemy lines, things don't go exactly to plan. This film differs in that some of the 'heroes' are very ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Michael Caine  •  Cliff Robertson  •  Ian Bannen  •  Henry Fonda

A WWII film set on a Pacific island. Japanese and allied forces occupy different parts of the island. When a group of British soldiers are sent on a mission behind enemy lines, things don't go exactly to plan. This film differs in that some of the 'heroes' are very ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Michael Caine  •  Cliff Robertson  •  Ian Bannen  •  Henry Fonda

Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)

A renegade USAF general, Lawrence Dell, escapes from a military prison and takes over an ICBM silo near Montana and threatens to provoke World War 3 unless the President reveals details of a secret meeting held just after the start of the Vietnam War between Dell ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Roscoe Lee Browne  •  Charles Durning  •  Joseph Cotten

A renegade USAF general, Lawrence Dell, escapes from a military prison and takes over an ICBM silo near Montana and threatens to provoke World War 3 unless the President reveals details of a secret meeting held just after the start of the Vietnam War between Dell ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Roscoe Lee Browne  •  Charles Durning  •  Joseph Cotten

Ulzana's Raid (1972)

Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Bruce Davison  •  Jorge Luke  •  Richard Jaeckel

Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Bruce Davison  •  Jorge Luke  •  Richard Jaeckel

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

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Two aging film actresses live as virtual recluses in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane Hudson, a successful child star, cares for her crippled sister Blanche, whose career in later years eclipsed that of Jane. Now the two live together, their relationship affected by ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Bette Davis  •  Joan Crawford  •  Victor Buono  •  Wesley Addy

Two aging film actresses live as virtual recluses in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane Hudson, a successful child star, cares for her crippled sister Blanche, whose career in later years eclipsed that of Jane. Now the two live together, their relationship affected by ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Bette Davis  •  Joan Crawford  •  Victor Buono  •  Wesley Addy

World for Ransom (1954)

In Singapore, a private detective and the British authorities are on the trail of a crime syndicate that kidnaps a nuclear physicist with the aim of selling him to the highest bidder.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Dan Duryea  •  Gene Lockhart  •  Patric Knowles  •  Reginald Denny

In Singapore, a private detective and the British authorities are on the trail of a crime syndicate that kidnaps a nuclear physicist with the aim of selling him to the highest bidder.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Dan Duryea  •  Gene Lockhart  •  Patric Knowles  •  Reginald Denny

Vera Cruz (1954)

After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico to fight in their revolution for money. The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin and his men, and together they are hired by the Emperor Maximillian and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Gary Cooper  •  Burt Lancaster  •  Denise Darcel  •  Cesar Romero

After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico to fight in their revolution for money. The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin and his men, and together they are hired by the Emperor Maximillian and the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Gary Cooper  •  Burt Lancaster  •  Denise Darcel  •  Cesar Romero

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Bette Davis  •  Olivia de Havilland  •  Agnes Moorehead  •  Joseph Cotten

An aging, reclusive Southern belle plagued by a horrifying family secret descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Bette Davis  •  Olivia de Havilland  •  Agnes Moorehead  •  Joseph Cotten

Autumn Leaves (1956)

A woman falls for a younger man with severe mental problems.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Joan Crawford  •  Cliff Robertson  •  Vera Miles  •  Lorne Greene

A woman falls for a younger man with severe mental problems.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Joan Crawford  •  Cliff Robertson  •  Vera Miles  •  Lorne Greene

The Killing of Sister George (1968)

When June Buckridge arrives at her London flat and announces 'They are going to murder me', her long-time lover and doll-cuddling flat mate Alice 'Childie' McNaught realizes that things are going to change. For June is referring to her character 'Sister George', a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Susannah York  •  Beryl Reid  •  Coral Browne  •  Ronald Fraser

When June Buckridge arrives at her London flat and announces 'They are going to murder me', her long-time lover and doll-cuddling flat mate Alice 'Childie' McNaught realizes that things are going to change. For June is referring to her character 'Sister George', a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Susannah York  •  Beryl Reid  •  Coral Browne  •  Ronald Fraser

The Big Knife (1955)

Movie star Charlie Castle draws the ire of Hollywood producer Stanley Hoff when he refuses to sign a new seven-year contract. Castle is sick of the low quality of the studio's films and wants to start a new life. While his estranged wife supports him in the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Jack Palance  •  Ida Lupino  •  Wendell Corey  •  Jean Hagen

Movie star Charlie Castle draws the ire of Hollywood producer Stanley Hoff when he refuses to sign a new seven-year contract. Castle is sick of the low quality of the studio's films and wants to start a new life. While his estranged wife supports him in the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Jack Palance  •  Ida Lupino  •  Wendell Corey  •  Jean Hagen

The Grissom Gang (1971)

The Grissom Gang is a remake of the notorious 1949 British melodrama No Orchids For Miss Blandish. Kim Darby plays a 1920s-era debutante who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Her captors are the Grissoms, a family comprised of sadists and morons, and headed by Ma ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Kim Darby  •  Scott Wilson  •  Tony Musante  •  Robert Lansing

The Grissom Gang is a remake of the notorious 1949 British melodrama No Orchids For Miss Blandish. Kim Darby plays a 1920s-era debutante who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Her captors are the Grissoms, a family comprised of sadists and morons, and headed by Ma ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Kim Darby  •  Scott Wilson  •  Tony Musante  •  Robert Lansing

The Angry Hills (1959)

Nazis chase a U.S. newsman (Robert Mitchum) paid to smuggle names of Greek resistance leaders to London.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Robert Mitchum  •  Stanley Baker  •  Elisabeth Müller  •  Gia Scala

Nazis chase a U.S. newsman (Robert Mitchum) paid to smuggle names of Greek resistance leaders to London.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Robert Mitchum  •  Stanley Baker  •  Elisabeth Müller  •  Gia Scala

The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)

A dictatorial film director hires an unknown actress to play the lead role in a planned movie biography of a late, great Hollywood star.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Kim Novak  •  Peter Finch  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Valentina Cortese

A dictatorial film director hires an unknown actress to play the lead role in a planned movie biography of a late, great Hollywood star.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Aldrich
CAST:  Kim Novak  •  Peter Finch  •  Ernest Borgnine  •  Valentina Cortese
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