For Immediate Release
April 1, 2015
“The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh”to Highlight the Documentary Section of the 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival
The first feature-length documentary on the legendary Hollywood director screens April 25 and 29
He put John Wayne on a horse and Douglas Fairbanks on a flying carpet. He put a gun in Jimmy Cagney’s hands. He rode with Pancho Villa. He assassinated Lincoln in “Birth of a Nation.” He made films in every genre, from comedies to musicals to Westerns to war dramas to melodramas — more than 150 all told. He was an iconoclastic director who rolled his own cigarettes and wore an eye patch that earned him the moniker the “one-eyed bandit of Hollywood.” He was Raoul Walsh, one of Hollywood’s true icons, a tough-guy action director who left an indelible mark on classic Hollywood cinema.
“The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh” is the first feature-length documentary on Walsh, produced as a “memoir” in which he “recounts” his Hollywood career from the silent film era to the tumultuous 1960s. The documentary makes stunning use of rare, personal and production photos and footage, revealing Walsh’s extraordinary, adventurous life on and off the set. His life is nothing less than the story of Hollywood itself.
A master technician on the set, Walsh was also the original raconteur off the set, racking up a series of outrageous adventures with his actors and off-screen buddies Errol Flynn, Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. A dashing ladies man, he directed (on and off the screen) Theda Bara, Miriam Cooper, Dolores del Rio, Mae West and Gloria Swanson, among others. Walsh was assistant to D. W. Griffith, then directed the first gangster epic, “Regeneration,” in 1915, and created the innovative “The Thief of Bagdad” in 1924. He became Fox’s golden boy in the 1920s and 1930s, directing the 70mm widescreen “The Big Trail” (1930) and “The Bowery”Â (1933). He then was wooed to Warner Bros., where he found his true genius, directing such classic gangster and adventure films as “The Roaring Twenties” (1939), “They Drive By Night” (1940), “High Sierra” (1941), “They Died With Their Boots On” (1941), “Objective, Burma!” (1945) — considered one of the best war films ever produced — and “White Heat” (1949).
Yet Walsh’s private life, so veiled by his self-described adventures and “embellishments,” has never truly been known — until now. This documentary is a must for Walsh fans, classic film fans, and the general audience who wants to know more about American film history. Walsh’s life is the story of Hollywood, a fascinating and adventurous tall tale, yet also a touching and deeply moving love story, in the best American tradition.
“The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh” was written and directed by Marilyn Ann Moss (also author of Walsh’s biography) and Joel Bender; and produced by Paul Lynch (director of cult favorite “Prom Night”).
“The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh” screens at the Island Cinemas 5:30 p.m. Sat., April 25 and 5:15 p.m. Wed, April 29, as part of the 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival.
The directors and producer are available for interviews and Q&As.
An electronic press kit with credits and synopses, as well as a large selection of photographs, can be downloaded from http://bitly.com/walshatnewport
A trailer can be found at: https://vimeo.com/105588430
Contact: Marilyn Ann Moss