Seiter, William A.: Career, Filmography

William A. Seiter was born June 10, 1890  in New York City.

After attending Hudson River Military Academy, Seiter broke into films in 1915 as a bit player at Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios, doubling a cowboy. He graduated to director in 1918.

At Universal in the mid-1920s, Seiter directed the popular Reginald Denny vehicles, most of which co-starred Seiter’s then wife Laura La Plante (his second wife was actress Marian Nixon).

In the early talkie era, Seiter nurtured the talents of RKO’s comedy duo Wheeler & Woolsey in Caught Plastered (1931) and Diplomaniacs (1933).

He also directed Laurel and Hardy in Sons of the Desert (1933), one of their best feature films.

Seiter’s other films include Sunny, Going Wild, Kiss Me Again, Hot Saturday, Way Back Home, Girl Crazy, Rafter Romance, Roberta, Room Service, Susannah of the Mounties, Allegheny Uprising, You Were Never Lovelier, Up in Central Park, One Touch of Venus.

Among the stars directed by Seiter during his career were Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Henry Fonda, Margaret Sullavan, Barbara Stanwyck, Jack Haley, Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, John Wayne, Fred MacMurray, Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth and the Marx Brothers.

Seiter adhered to the script, refusing to add any nuance or creativity to the project.

On his final four films, before he retired in 1954, Seiter served as both producer and director. These films included The Lady Wants Mink (1953), a satire of the then topical “raise your own coat” craze.

He died in Beverly Hills, California, July 26, 1964, of heart attack, aged 74.

Lewis Seiler Filmography:

Darwin Was Right (1924)

No Man’s Gold (1926)

The Great K & A Train Robbery (1926)

The Last Trail (1927)

Outlaws of Red River (1927)

Tumbling River (1927)

Wolf Fangs (1927)

Square Crooks (1928)

A Song of Kentucky (1929)

The Ghost Talks (1929)

Frontier Marshal (1934)

Charlie Chan in Paris (1935)

Here Comes Trouble (1936)

The First Baby (1936)

Career Woman (1936)

Turn Off the Moon (1937)

Crime School (1938)

Penrod’s Double Trouble (1938)

Heart of the North (1938)

The Kid from Kokomo (1939)

You Can’t Get Away with Murder (1939), Bogart

Hell’s Kitchen (1939)

Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

It All Came True (1940)

Murder in the Air (1940)

Flight Angels (1940)

Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940)

South of Suez (1940)

Kisses for Breakfast (1941)

The Smiling Ghost (1941)

You’re in the Army Now (1941)

The Big Shot (1942)

Pittsburgh (1942), John Wayne

Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

Something for the Boys (1944)

Molly and Me (1945)

Doll Face (1945)

If I’m Lucky (1946)

Whiplash (1948)

Breakthrough (1950)

The Tanks Are Coming (1951)

The Winning Team (1952)

Operation Secret (1952)

The Bamboo Prison (1954)

Women’s Prison (1955)

Over-Exposed (1956)

The True Story of Lynn Stuart (1958)