Oscar Directors: Negulesco, Jean–Background, Career, Awards, Filmography

September 23, 2020

Jean Negulesco Career Summation

Occupational Inheritance:

Nationality: Romanian American

Social Class: lower-middle; father hotel keeper



Formal Education:

Training: Painter’ portraiture; assistant producer, second unit director; worked his way up

First Film:


First Oscar Nomination: Johnny Belinda, 1948; aged 48

Gap between First Film and First Nom:

Other Oscars:

Other Oscar Nominations:

Oscar Awards:

Nominations Span:

Genre (specialties): first great master of CinemaScope (Xox)


Peak/Popular: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Titanic (1953), Three Coins in the Fountain (1954); 3 great successes back to back.

Last Film:


Career Length:

Career Output:



Death: aged 93

Jean Negulesco (born Ioan Negulescu; February 29, 1900 (O.S.) – July 18, 1993) was a Romanian-American film director and screenwriter.

He first gained notice for his film noirs and later made such notable films as Johnny Belinda (1948), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Titanic (1953), and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954).

He was called “the first real master of CinemaScope.”

Born in Craiova, Negulesco was the son of a hotel keeper and attended Carol I High School.

When he was 15, he was working in a military hospital during World War I. Georges Enesco, the Romanian composer, came to play the violin to the war wounded; Negulesco drew a portrait of him, and Enesco bought it. Negulesco decided to be a painter and studied art in Bucharest.

Negulesco went to Paris in 1920, and enrolled in the Académie Julian. He sold one of his paintings to Rex Ingram.

In 1927, he visited New York City for an exhibition of his paintings and settled there.

He then made his way to California, at first working as a portraitist.

He became interested in movies and made an experimental feature film, financed as well as written and directed by himself, called Three and a Day. Through his contact with the film’s star, Mischa Auer, he managed to get a job at Paramount.

He did the opening montage for the film musical Tonight We Sing and worked on The Story of Temple Drake and A Farewell to Arms (1932).

He worked his way to assistant producer, second unit director.[1]

Negulesco went to Warner Brothers in 1940. He made his reputation at Warner Bros by directing short subjects, particularly a series of band shorts featuring unusual camera angles and dramatic use of shadows and silhouettes.

Negulesco’s first feature film as director was Singapore Woman (1941). In 1948, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Directing for Johnny Belinda.

In 1948 Negulesco went to work for 20th Century Fox. He was the first director to make two films in Fox’s CinemaScope – How to Marry a Millionaire and Three Coins in the Fountain; the former receiving a nomination for a BAFTA Award for Best Film.[9]

His 1959 movie The Best of Everything was on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time.

During his Hollywood career and in his 1984 autobiography Things I Did and Things I Think I Did, Negulesco claimed to have been born on 29 February 1900; he apparently was motivated to make this statement because birthdays on Leap Year Day are comparatively rare (and even though 1900 was not a Leap Year in the Gregorian calendar, it was under the Julian calendar, which applied in Romania at that time).

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6212 Hollywood Blvd.

From the late 1960s Negulesco lived in Marbella, Spain, where he died, at age 93, of heart failure.


Alice in Movieland (1940)
The Flag of Humanity (1940)
Joe Reichman and His Orchestra (1940)
Henry Busse and His Orchestra (1940)
Skinnay Ennis and His Orchestra (1941)
The Dog in the Orchard (1941)
Jan Garber and His Orchestra (1941)
Cliff Edwards and His Buckaroos (1941)
Freddie Martin and His Orchestra (1941)
Marie Green and Her Merry Men (1941)
Hal Kemp and His Orchestra (1941)
Those Good Old Days (1941)
University of Southern California Band and Glee Club (1941)
Carioca Serenaders (1941)
At the Stroke of Twelve (1941)
The Gay Parisian (1941)
Carl Hoff and His Orchestra (1942)
Calling All Girls (1942)
The Playgirls (1942)
Spanish Fiesta (1942)
The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady (1942)
Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (1942)
The Spirit of Annapolis (1942)
Six Hits and a Miss (1942)
United States Marine Band (1942)
Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica School (1942)
The United States Army Air Force Band (1942)
A Ship Is Born (1942)
Army Show (1942
Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra (1943)
Three Cheers for the Girls (1943)
The All American Bands (1943)
All Star Melody Masters (1943)
Childhood Days (1943)
Hit Parade of the Gay Nineties (1943)
Women at War (1943)
Cavalcade of Dance (1943)
Sweetheart Serenade (1943)
Food and Magic (1943)
Over the Wall (1943)
The Voice That Thrilled the World (1943)
The United States Service Bands (1943)
The United States Army Band (1944)
Roaring Guns (1944)
Grandfather’s Follies (1944)
South American Sway (1944)
Listen to the Bands (1944)
The Dark Wave (1956)

Feature Films

Crash Donovan (1936)
City for Conquest (1940) (uncredited)
Singapore Woman (1941)
The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)
The Conspirators (1944)
Three Strangers (1946)
Nobody Lives Forever (1946)
Humoresque (1946)
Deep Valley (1947)
Johnny Belinda (1948)
Road House (1948)
The Forbidden Street (1949)
Three Came Home (1950)
Under My Skin (1950)
Take Care of My Little Girl (1951)
The Mudlark (1951)
Lydia Bailey (1952)
Lure of the Wilderness (1952)
O. Henry’s Full House (1952) (segment)
Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)
Titanic (1953)
Scandal at Scourie (1953)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
River of No Return (1954) (uncredited)
Woman’s World (1954)
The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)
Daddy Long Legs (1955)
Boy on a Dolphin (1957)
A Certain Smile (1958)
The Gift of Love (1958)
Count Your Blessings (1959)
The Best of Everything (1959)
Jessica (1962)
The Pleasure Seekers (1964)
The Invincible Six (1970)
Hello-Goodbye (1970)

Many of Negulesco’s home movies are held by the Academy Film Archive; the archive has preserved a number of them, including behind-the-scenes footage of Negulesco’s films.