Paul Wendkos Movies and Career Information

Paul Wendkos profile image
Sep 20, 1925
Paul Wendkos was an American television and film director. Following World War II service in the United States Navy and his education at Columbia University on the GI Bill of Rights, Wendkos made his first feature, a documentary on a school for the blind called Dark Interlude in 1953. Wendkos' first feature film was The Burglar. His fluid camera technique caught the attention of the head of Columbia Pictures, Harry Cohn, who not only wished to distribute the film but put Wendkos under contract. A variety of films followed, beginning with the hard-hitting crime drama The Case Against Brooklyn, the suspenseful war dramas Tarawa Beachhead and Battle of the Coral Sea, the youth-oriented Gidget and two sequels, Gidget Goes Hawaiian and Gidget Goes to Rome, as well as Because They're Young. Wendkos also worked extensively in television, directing many episodes of Playhouse 90, Alcoa Theatre, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, The Rifleman, Mr. Novak, Honey West, The Big Valley, I Spy, The Invaders and Hawaii Five-O. When Wendkos worked on I Spy, he was dismissed from the production when the producers deemed the episodes he had filmed to have been too "arty".

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