146 Great Directors: Robert Wise

“I don’t like to do remakes. Usually, for one reason or another you have to see the original film, and it always rather bugs you when you find yourself doing a certain scene, and you keep being reminded of what it was like in the first film.”

What Got This Director Here?
: West Side Story? Hard to pin down.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: I haven’t seen West Side Story in a very long time, so let’s say The Day The Earth Stood Still.

What Did I Watch: Curse of the Cat People, which he technically co-directed.

Where Does He Fit: It’s practically obligatory when discussing the movie to point out that the title of Curse of the Cat People is a terrible lie of a title. The good news is that Robert Wise, still in his hack days of ruining Orson Welles’ life and playing helper to some other director named Gunther von Fritsch, is doing warmup for The Haunting, sort of. There’s no atmosphere in spookiness to be found here beyond one genuinely suspenseful scare, but we nevertheless have a lot of cast repeats. Saying more would spoil the surprises, but basically: no cat people, just Elizabeth Russell in the last of her deranged cameos…and more.


Most Valuable Asset: Flexibility.
Most Excited For: A West Side Story rewatch, then The Haunting.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Sure. Too high, though.

Coming Up Next: Poland’s political auteur Andrzej Wajda.


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