Keighley, William: Director’s Career; Filmography

William Jackson Keighley was born on August 4, 1889, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After graduating from the Ludlum School of Dramatic Art, Keighley began acting at the age of 23.  He then pursued acting and directing on Broadway.

With the advent of sound films, he relocated to Hollywood. Under contract at Warner, he helmed films in a wide variety of genres.

He was the initial director of The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, but was replaced by Michael Curtiz.

During World War II, he supervised the First Motion Picture Unit of the U.S. Army Air Forces.

He retired in 1953 and moved to Paris with his actress wife Genevieve Tobin.

In retirement he became a renowned still photographer.

He died of a stroke on June 24, 1984, in New York.


1930s: 24

The Match King (1932) (co-director)
Ladies They Talk About (1933) (co-director)
Easy to Love (1934) (solo directorial debut)
Journal of a Crime (1934)
Dr. Monica (1934)
Kansas City Princess (1934)
Big Hearted Herbert (1934)
Babbitt (1934)
The Right to Live (1935)
G Men (1935)
Mary Jane’s Pa (1935)
Special Agent (1935)
Stars Over Broadway (1935)
The Singing Kid (1936)
Bullets or Ballots (1936)
The Green Pastures (1936)
God’s Country and the Woman (1936)
The Prince and the Pauper (1937)
Varsity Show (1937)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (co-director)
Valley of the Giants (1938)
Secrets of an Actress (1938)
Brother Rat (1938)
Yes, My Darling Daughter (1939)
Each Dawn I Die (1939)

1940s: 9
The Fighting 69th (1940)
Torrid Zone (1940)
No Time for Comedy (1940)
Four Mothers (1941)
The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
George Washington Slept Here (1942)
Target for Today (1944 documentary) (uncredited)
Honeymoon (1947)
The Street with No Name (1948)

1950s: 3
Rocky Mountain (1950)
Close to My Heart (1951)
The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

Career Summary

Career Span: 1932-1953 (21 years)

Career Output: 36 features

Age at Directing First Film: 43

Age at Directing Last Film: 64

Age at Death: 94

Genre: Versatile; gangster films

Best Films:

Accolades (Awards): Never nominated for Best Director


Frequent Actors: James Cagney

Frequent Cinematographers