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Gilbert Gunn Biography

  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Writer-turned-director Gilbert Gunn was a specialist in action movies and thrillers, although he occasionally helmed comedies as well later in his career. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1912, he emerged as a screenwriter in the later '30s, initially working in comedies such as the Tommy Trinder vehicle Save a Little Sunshine, directed by Norman Lee. Gunn subsequently scripted the Lee-directed thriller The Door With Seven Locks (aka Chamber of Horrors, 1940), starring Leslie Banks (in a role that echoed his portrayal of Zaroff in The Most Dangerous Game). Gunn's career was interrupted by the Second World War, and he didn't return to feature films until the late '40s, again as a screenwriter.

By 1953, Gunn had moved into the director's chair, and his career peaked within a few years, with The Traitor (1957), a thriller about a former resistance fighter who discovers that someone is killing off the survivors from his World War II unit, on which he served as uncredited co-director; and The Strange World of Planet X (aka The Cosmic Monsters, 1958), a science fiction thriller starring American actor Forrest Tucker, which got the widest (and most enduring) international distribution of any movie that Gunn ever made, despite some shoddy special effects. Everything that Gunn handled as director, in terms of acting and pacing, worked well, even on an obviously perilously low budget. His later movies, into the mid-'60s, were less distinctive or distinguished. He passed away in late 1967, at the age of 55. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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