Directors: Heisler, Stuart–Versatile–Westerns (Gary Cooper); Melodramas (Susan Hayward); Noir (Alan Ladd)

July 12, 2022

Career Summation

Occupational Inheritance:

Nationality: US

Social Class: working, father carpenter



Formal Education:

Training: editor, 1921-1936

First Film: Straight from the Shoulder (1936); aged 40; The Hurricane (1937)

Breakthrough: Among the Living, 1941, aged 45; Glass Key, 1942; age 46

First Oscar Nomination: special effects, Tulsa, 1949; age 53

Gap between First Film and First Nom:

Other Oscars:

Other Oscar Nominations:

Oscar Awards:

Nominations Span:

Genre (specialties):


Last Film:


Career Length: editor, then director, 1936-1962

Career Output: 25 (1936-1956); then 1 film 1962; viable 20 years



Death: 1979; aged 82

Heisler (December 5, 1896 – August 21, 1979) was an American film and television director.

He was a son of Luther Albert Heisler (1855–1916), a carpenter, and Frances Baldwin Heisler (1857–1935).

He worked as a motion picture editor from 1921 to 1936, then worked as film director for the rest of his career.

Heisler directed the 1944 propaganda film The Negro Soldier, a documentary-style recruitment piece aimed at getting African-Americans to enlist in the U.S. military during World War II.

He found commercial and critical success in the late forties directing Susan Hayward in two of her breakthrough performances: Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947), her first Oscar nomination, and the commercial hit Tulsa (1949).

He received an Oscar nomination in 1949 for his contribution to the visual effects of the film Tulsa.

Partial Filmography

As Editor

The Love Light (1921)
They Shall Pay (1921)
Cytherea (1924)
Tarnish (1924)
The Silent Stranger (1924)
In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter (1924)
Stella Dallas (1925)
Lady Be Good (1928)
Three-Ring Marriage (1928)
Hard to Get (1929)
Raffles (1930)
Whoopee! (1930)
The Kid from Spain (1932)
The Masquerader (1933)
Roman Scandals (1933)
Kid Millions (1934)
We’re Not Dressing (1934)
The Wedding Night (1935)
Peter Ibbetson (1935), Gary Cooper
Klondike Annie (1936)
Poppy (1936)
The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936)

As Director

Straight from the Shoulder (1936)
The Hurricane (1937)


The Biscuit Eater (1940)
The Monster and the Girl (1941)
Among the Living (1941)
The Glass Key (1942)
The Remarkable Andrew (1942)
The Negro Soldier (1944)
Along Came Jones (1945), Gary Cooper
Blue Skies (1946)
Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947)
Tulsa (1949)
Tokyo Joe (1949)


Chain Lightning (1950)
Dallas (1950)
Storm Warning (1951)
Journey into Light (1951)
Saturday Island (1952)
The Star (1952)
Beachhead (1954)
This Is My Love (1954)
I Died a Thousand Times (1955)
The Lone Ranger (1956)
The Burning Hills (1956)


Hitler (1962)