Edmund Goulding

London-born Edmund Goulding was an actor/playwright/director on the London stage, and entered the British army when WWI broke out. Mustered out of the service because of wounds suffered in battle, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1921. He obtained assignments as a screenwriter in Hollywood, wrote a novel, “Fury,” in 1922 and directed the film version of it (Fury (1923)). Hired as a screenwriter/director by MGM in 1925, Goulding quickly developed a reputation for turning out tasteful, cultured dramas and drawing-room comedies. His films typified the elegance and refinement with which MGM was identified, the best example of this being Grand Hotel (1932). He was entrusted with the pictures of some of MGM’s biggest stars, such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. However, one of his best-known films, and probably the one most atypical of his work, was Nightmare Alley (1947), a dark, brooding drama of greed and corruption among high and low society involving phony mentalists and a conniving psychiatrist.

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