Cy Endfield

Happy birthday to writer/director Cy Endfield, born Nov. 10, 1914 in Scranton, PA. While in college, Endfield took an interest in avant-garde theater, and eventually directed theater productions in the New York area throughout the late 1930s. In 1940, he came to the attention of Orson Welles, who hired Endfield to work for his Mercury Productions company at RKO in Hollywood. Following Welles’ fallout with RKO over the production of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), CyEndfieldMercury was expelled from RKO and Endfield became a contract director at MGM. After serving in WWII, Endfield worked as a writer and director on various radio, television, and film projects, including directing The Argyle Secrets (1948). In 1950, he came into his own as an independent, writing and directing two noir films that took an uncompromising view of social class disparities and corrupt journalism respectively: The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me) and The Underworld Story. Unfortunately, HUAC took notice of these films during their anti-Communist witch hunt, and even though he was not affiliated with the Communist party, Endfield was blacklisted. He moved to England in 1952, where he lived and worked for the remainder of his life. Among the movies he directed during this period was one more noir film, The Limping Man (1953), under the pseudonym Charles de Lautour. Endfield was also an uncredited writer for the noir feature, Crashout (1955). Endfield is probably best known for his film Zulu (1964), which he wrote and directed. His last film was Universal Soldier (1971), after which he lost interest in making movies. In 1980, working together with Chris Rainey, Endfield invented the “Microwriter”, a pocket-sized word-processing computer with a unique keyboard that could be operated by one hand. Endfield died in 1995 at age 80.


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