George Loane Tucker

George Loane Tucker

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 20 Jun 1921 (aged 41)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Secret Gardens, #237
Memorial ID 7907942 · View Source
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Pioneer Motion Picture Director. He wrote and directed the landmark "Traffic in Souls" (1913), one of America's earliest feature films. A six-reel "expose" of white slavery in Manhattan, it was the first full-length crime drama and introduced sex as a viable (and very profitable) subject for Hollywood to tackle. It cost $7500 to make and grossed over half a million. Tucker was born in Chicago. At one time a railroad clerk, he entered films as an actor in 1909 and began directing two years later, mainly for the IMP company and its successor, Universal. Ambitious as well as talented, he first gained note with a 30-minute version of "The Scarlet Letter" (1911). Tucker's belief that the future of cinema lay in features (they were starting to become popular in Europe) put him at odds with Universal boss Carl Laemmle, who wanted to continue with shorts. "Traffic in Souls" was an act of sheer chutzpah on the director's part. Basing his script on a hot topic of the time, he shot the film without authorization and financed it largely out of his own pocket; he then quit the studio (or was fired) before it reached the screens. Laemmle subsequently used the profits from Tucker's work to buy the land on which he built Universal City Studios in Hollywood. Rather than wait for the American film industry to follow his lead, Tucker moved to England and won considerable success as a director of prestige pictures, among them "She Stoops to Conquer" (1914), "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1915), "The Manxman" (1916), and "Arsene Lupin" (1916). He married British actress Elizabeth Risdon in 1916. Paramount then lured Tucker back to the US and he enjoyed his biggest hit with "The Miracle Man" (1919), which made stars of Lon Chaney, Thomas Meighan, and Betty Compson. He died at 49 after a long illness, during production of "Ladies Must Live" (1921). Tucker's achievements are difficult to assess today; of his 60 films only "Traffic in Souls" and two fragments of "The Miracle Man" survive. But he had an unquestionable impact on filmaking of the 1910s. Photoplay magazine, the foremost movie journal of the era, eulogized him as "First of the Immortals".

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: TLS
  • Added: 26 Sep 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7907942
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Loane Tucker (11 Jun 1880–20 Jun 1921), Find a Grave Memorial no. 7907942, citing Hollywood Forever, Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .