Conway, Jack: Director Career; Filmography (MGM Contract Director)

Jack Ryan Conway was born as Hugh Ryan Conway on July 17, 1887, in Graceville, Minnesota.

Conway started out as an actor, joining a repertory theater group after high school. He then moved into films and, in 1911, became a member of D.W. Griffith’s stock company, appearing in westerns. Four years later, he made his mark as a director and gained experience at Universal (1916–17 and 1921–23), before moving on to MGM in 1925.

MGM Contract Director (1925-1948)

He remained at MGM until his last film, in 1948, often helming prestige features with the studio’s top male star, Clark Gable: Boom Town (1940), Honky Tonk (1941), The Hucksters (1947), all box office hits.

Conway was one of a team of MGM contract directors, who did not display a specific individual style, worked well within the studio strictures.

A competent craftsman, he delivered commercially successful features on time, and within budget.

In his most famous film, A Tale of Two Cities (1935), he utilized 17,000 extras for the Paris mob scenes alone.

Another popular hit was the sophisticated all-star comedy Libeled Lady (1936).

Conway also directed Viva Villa!, a hit MGM film starring Wallace Beery that was nominated for four Academy Awards.

His first marriage was to silent film actress Viola Barry. His second marriage was to Virginia Bushman, daughter of silent screen star Francis X. Bushman.

He retired from films in 1948 and died four years later, on October 11, 1952, at his home from pulmonary disease.

Filmography as Director

Her Indian Hero (1912, short)
House of Pride (1912, short)
His Only Son (1912, short)
In the Long Run (1912, short)
The Struggle (1913, short)
When Sherman Marched to the Sea (1913, short)
The Wrong Prescription (1914, short)
The Penitentes (1915)
Bitter Sweet (1916, short)
The Mainspring (1916)
The Measure of a Man (1916)
The Social Buccaneer (1916)
The Beckoning Trail (1916)
The Silent Battle (1916)
Because of a Woman (1917)
Bond of Fear (1917)
The Charmer (1917)
Come Through (1917)
A Jewel in Pawn (1917)
Polly Redhead (1917)
The Little Orphan (1917)
Her Soul’s Inspiration (1917)
A Diplomatic Mission (1918)
Desert Law (1918)
Her Decision (1918)
Little Red Decides (1918)
You Can’t Believe Everything (1918)
Lombardi, Ltd. (1919)
The U.P. Trail (1920)
The Dwelling Place of Light (1920)
Riders of the Dawn (1920)
The Money Changers (1920)
A Daughter of the Law (1921)
The Millionaire (1921)
The Rage of Paris (1921)
The Kiss (1921)
The Servant in the House (1921)
The Killer (1921)
The Spenders (1921)
Across the Deadline (1922)
Another Man’s Shoes (1922)
The Long Chance (1922)
Don’t Shoot (1922)
Step on It! (1922)
Lucretia Lombard (1923)
Sawdust (1923)
What Wives Want (1923)
Trimmed in Scarlet (1923)
The Prisoner (1923)

Quicksands (1923)
The Roughneck (1924)
The Heart Buster (1924)
The Trouble Shooter (1924)
Soul Mates (1925)
The Only Thing (1925)
The Hunted Woman (1925)
Brown of Harvard (1926)
Twelve Miles Out (1927)
The Understanding Heart (1927)
Alias Jimmy Valentine (1928)
While the City Sleeps (1928)
The Smart Set (1928)
Bringing Up Father (1928)


Untamed (1929)
Our Modern Maidens (1929)
The Unholy Three (1930)
They Learned About Women (1930)
New Moon (1930)
Just a Gigolo (1931)
The Easiest Way (1931)
Red-Headed Woman (1932)
But the Flesh Is Weak (1932)
Arsène Lupin (1932)
The Solitaire Man (1933)
The Nuisance (1933)
Hell Below (1933)
The Gay Bride (1934)
The Girl from Missouri (1934)
Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
Viva Villa! (1934)
A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
One New York Night (1935)
Libeled Lady (1936)
Saratoga (1937)
Too Hot to Handle (1938)
A Yank at Oxford (1938)
Lady of the Tropics (1939)
Let Freedom Ring (1939)
Boom Town (1940)
Honky Tonk (1941)
Love Crazy (1941)
Crossroads (1942)
Assignment in Brittany (1943)
Dragon Seed (1944)
Desire Me (1947)
The Hucksters (1947)
High Barbaree (1947)
Julia Misbehaves (1948)