Rowland V. Lee
Rowland Vance Lee (September 6, 1891 – December 21, 1975) was an American film director, actor writer, and producer.
Rowland V. Lee
Rowland V. Lee in 1928
|Died||December 21, 1975 84) (aged|
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer|
|Relatives||Robert N. Lee (brother)|
Lee was born in 1891 in Findlay, Ohio. His mother was a suffragette who founded a newspaper.
Lee began as an actor. He had early appearances in Wild Winship's Widow (1917), Time Locks and Diamonds (1917), The Mother Instinct (1917), Polly Ann (1917), The Stainless Barrier (1917), The Maternal Spark (1917) and They're Off (1918).
He had a lead part in Fred Niblo's The Woman in the Suitcase (1920) and was in Water, Water, Everywhere (1920) and Dangerous Days (1920). Lee supported Hobart Bosworth in His Own Law (1920) and did another with Niblo, Her Husband's Friend (1920).
Change of profession
Lee went to Fox where he directed Shirley of the Circus (1923). He directed and scripted a 1923 adaptation of the Booth Tarkington novel Alice Adams, which propelled him into the big time. He followed it with Desire (1923) at Metro. He fell ill during the making of Desire.
Back at Fox, Lee directed Gentle Julia (1923), another Tarkington adaptation. After Gentle Julia, Lee spent several months studying filmmaking in Europe, a practice he would continue for the next decade.
In 1929, he directed The Wolf of Wall Street featuring George Bancroft. He followed it with A Dangerous Woman (1929) starring Olga Baclanova, then Lee made the first sound Fu Manchu film, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929). He spent three months touring Europe in 1929.
Lee was one of many directors who contributed to the all-star revue Paramount on Parade (1930). The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930) was a sequel to The Mysterious Dr Fu Manchu then Lee made Ladies Love Brutes (1930) and Derelict (1930) with Bancroft, and A Man from Wyoming (1930) with Cooper.
Lee went to Warners to make The Ruling Voice (1931) with Walter Huston. He based himself in England for the next two years where he wrote an English version script of Captain Craddock (1931), did The Guilty Generation (1931) at Columbia and That Night in London (1931) for Paramount in England; the latter starred Robert Donat.
Lee received an offer from RKO to write and direct another swashbuckler, The Three Musketeers (1935). For United Artists he did One Rainy Afternoon (1936) and the English-shot Agatha Christie adaptation, Love from a Stranger (1937).
Back in Hollywood, Lee was reunited with Small for The Toast of New York (1937), a biopic that was a notorious flop. It was made at RKO who also financed Lee's next film, Mother Carey's Chickens (1938).
Lee made another swashbuckler for Small, The Son of Monte Cristo (1940). He returned to RKO to do Powder Town (1942), then made a film for another independent producer, Benedict Bogeaus, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944). Bogeaus liked Lee's work and used him on the swashbuckler Captain Kidd (1945). Lee announced he would then made a film about Robespierre but he ended up retiring in 1945.
The Rowland V. Lee Ranch and later life
Lee focused on running his ranch in the San Fernando Valley which he had bought in 1935. He raised cattle and alfalfa. In August 1940, two girls drowned in his private lake while Lee was away.
He converted part of his acreage overlooking the Chatsworth Reservoir into a motion picture location. Among the films shot there were I've Always Loved You, Strangers on a Train (1951), At Sword's Point, The Night of the Hunter (1956), Friendly Persuasion (1956),The Light in the Forrest (1958) and Back Street (1961). By the early 1960s though the land had become too valuable to use as a location.
Lee died in 1975 in Palm Desert, California, of a heart attack at home having just finished writing a screenplay, a mystery called The Belt. He was survived by his wife, Eleanor, and brother, Donald W. Lee, a former Hollywood film writer. While it has been reported incorrectly that the former Rowland V. Lee Ranch was subdivided and developed after his death, in fact development of the property began much earlier. Portions of the ranch had begun to be developed by the late 1950s, with the Corporate Pointe industrial park among the first major projects to be built in the area. Development continued throughout the 1960s, with much of the ranch becoming suburban single-family housing typical of the western San Fernando Valley. The section of the former ranch containing Lee Lake was the last major portion to be developed, becoming the gated community Hidden Lake Estates, which was completed by 1971. The lake remains intact as a part of the gated community.
- Wild Winship's Widow (1917) - Archibald Herndon
- Time Locks and Diamonds (1917) - Edgar Seymour
- The Mother Instinct (1917) - Jacques
- Polly Ann (1917) - Howard Straightlane
- The Stainless Barrier (1917) - Richard Shelton
- The Maternal Spark (1917) - Howard Helms
- They're Off (1918) - Randolph Manners
- The Woman in the Suitcase (1920) - W.H. 'Billy' Fiske
- Water, Water, Everywhere (1920) - Arthur Gunther
- Dangerous Days (1920) - Graham Spencer
- His Own Law (1920) - Jean Saval
- Her Husband's Friend (1920) - Billy Westover (final film role)
- P : also producer
- W : also writer
- P, W : also producer and writer
- A Thousand to One (1920)
- Cupid's Brand (1921 short)
- The Cup of Life (1921)
- Blind Hearts (1921)
- The Sea Lion (1921)
- What Ho, the Cook W (1921)
- Money to Burn (1922) horror-comedy
- The Men of Zanzibar (1922)
- His Back Against the Wall (1922)
- A Self-Made Man W (1922)
- Dust Flower (1922)
- Mixed Faces (1922)
- Shirley of the Circus (1922)
- Alice Adams W (1923)
- Desire (1923)
- Gentle Julia (1923)
- You Can't Get Away with It (1923)
- In Love with Love (1924)
- The Man Without a Country (1925)
- Havoc (1925)
- The Outsider (1926)
- The Silver Treasure (1926)
- The Whirlwind of Youth (1927)
- Barbed Wire P, W (1927)
- The Secret Hour W (1928)
- Doomsday P (1928)
- Three Sinners P (1928)
- Loves of an Actress W (1928)
- The First Kiss P (1928)
- The Wolf of Wall Street (1929)
- A Dangerous Woman (1929)
- The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu P (1929) (uncredited)
- Paramount on Parade (1930) (sequence director)
- The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu P (1930)
- Ladies Love Brutes (1930)
- A Man from Wyoming (1930)
- Derelict (1930)
- The Ruling Voice W (1931)
- The Guilty Generation (1931)
- That Night in London (1932)
- Zoo in Budapest W (1933)
- I Am Suzanne! W (1933)
- The Count of Monte Cristo W (1934)
- Gambling (1934)
- Cardinal Richelieu (1935)
- The Three Musketeers W (1935)
- One Rainy Afternoon (1936)
- Love from a Stranger (1937)
- The Toast of New York (1937)
- Mother Carey's Chickens (1938)
- Service de Luxe P (1938)
- Son of Frankenstein P (1939)
- The Sun Never Sets P (1939)
- Tower of London P (1939)
- The Son of Monte Cristo P (1940)
- Powder Town (1942)
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey P (1944)
- Captain Kidd P, W (1945)
- Barbed Wire (1927) (uncredited)
- Doomsday (1928)
- Three Sinners (1928)
- The First Kiss (1928)
- The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929) (uncredited)
- The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930)
- The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case (1932), production supervisor
- Service de Luxe (1938)
- Son of Frankenstein (1939)
- The Sun Never Sets (1939)
- Tower of London (1939)
- The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944)
- The Big Fisherman (1959)
- What Ho, the Cook (1921)
- A Self-Made Man (1922)
- Alice Adams (1923)
- Barbed Wire (1927)
- The Secret Hour (1928)
- Loves of an Actress (1928)
- The Ruling Voice (1931)
- Le capitaine Craddock (1931)
- Monte Carlo Madness (1932)
- Zoo in Budapest (1933)
- I Am Suzanne! (1933)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (1934)
- The Three Musketeers (1935)
- The Big Fisherman (1959)
- "Bessie Love Will Have Leading Role With Arthur Trimble". Exhibitors Trade Review: 1175. September 30, 1922.
- "Woman paper founder to be buried today". Los Angeles Times. June 10, 1953. ProQuest 166490572.
- "Rowland Lee, 84, Of Films Is Dead". The New York Times. December 22, 1975.
- "Silencer Saves Day For Star". Los Angeles Times. February 11, 1923. ProQuest 161332732.
- "Convalescing". Los Angeles Times. April 1, 1923. ProQuest 161456564.
- "Director Advances With "Man Without Country"". Los Angeles Times. July 13, 1924. ProQuest 161678705.
- "He's Gripped By Booster Spirit". Los Angeles Times. March 29, 1925. ProQuest 161763193.
- "George O'Brien To Sheik In Fox Film". Los Angeles Times. June 17, 1925. ProQuest 161800390.
- M. H. (June 6, 1927). "Soundings". The New York Times. ProQuest 103943899.
- G. Kingsley (December 22, 1928). "Director Renews With Lasky". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 162111034.
- "Pola's New Vehicle Set In Blossoms". The Washington Post. February 18, 1928. ProQuest 149878721.
- G. Kingsley (June 22, 1927). "Pola Negri's Next Chosen". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 161968345.
- Martin Fridson (December 26, 2013). "The Non-Original Wolf Of Wall Street". Forbes. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Baclanova To Lead Cast In Talking Film". The Washington Post. January 20, 1929. ProQuest 150006025.
- "Actress lands long contract". Los Angeles Times. July 28, 1929. ProQuest 162283945.
- "He Returned". Daily Standard (6453). Queensland, Australia. September 21, 1933. p. 7. Retrieved January 25, 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "News Items Of The Studios". The New York Times. March 5, 1933. ProQuest 100767372.
- "Puppets, Dangling From Her Finger Tips". Los Angeles Times. December 24, 1933. ProQuest 163139284.
- "The Regent". The Argus (27, 923). Victoria, Australia. February 17, 1936. p. 5. Retrieved January 25, 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- E. Schallert (November 5, 1945). "Robespierre story soon to be narrated". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 165638050.
- "Two girls drown in private lake". Los Angeles Times. August 29, 1940. ProQuest 165089484.
- H. Sutherland (June 4, 1967). "Movie ranch becomes residential community". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155713458.
- "Rowland V. Lee Ranch". Movie Sites.
- Thomas M. Pryor (October 24, 1957). "Film Team Seeks Aid Of Psychology". The New York Times. ProQuest 114073774.
- Resting Places
- Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p.253.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
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