FRIDAY HARBOR, WA – Who was Andrew V. McLaglen? The man behind the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s Andrew V. McLaglen Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, the award will be given to Richard Chew. The award presentation will occur at the Opening Night Filmmakers Gala, held at the San Juan Island Theatre. Doors will open at 6:30pm and tickets are $45.00 or included with purchase of an all-access festival pass.
Obituary: Andrew V. McLaglen, was a film director whose collaboration with JOHN WAYNE extended the life of the western.
Three long shadows lay heavily across the career of the film director Andrew McLaglen, who has died aged 94: those of two actors, his father, Victor McLaglen, and John “Duke” Wayne, and that of the director John Ford. By making mostly westerns, four of which starred Wayne, and by casting many actors from Ford’s repertory company, such as Harry Carey Jr and Ben Johnson, McLaglen brazenly invited comparison with the great director. Yet he denied being influenced by Ford. “I never thought of John Ford at all. I knew Ford from the time I was 13 years old because my father worked with him. But once you direct, you become your own person,” he said.
Nevertheless, take away Ford’s eye for visual composition and poetry, and play up his machismo, slapstick and sentimentality, and you have a movie by McLaglen. With good scripts and Hollywood legends such as Wayne and James Stewart, McLaglen made some entertaining action movies and was able to extend the life of the western beyond the genre’s sell-by date.
McLaglen was born in London, the year that his father, a former boxer, appeared in his first film, Call of the Road (1920). After establishing himself in about 20 silent British pictures, McLaglen senior was offered a Hollywood contract in 1924, and 18 months later was joined in Los Angeles by his wife, Enid (nee Lamont), daughter and five-year-old son. From a very early age, the young McLaglen was around movie people and on the sets of many of his father’s films. Standing at 6ft 7in, he was even larger than his hulking father, who was a kind of talisman of Ford movies, of which he made more than a dozen.
McLaglen, who was married four times, is survived by a son, Josh, and a daughter, Mary, both film producers, who got their start on their father’s films. His son with Borg, Andrew, died in 2006. Andrew Victor McLaglen, film and television director, was born 28 July 1920, and passed away 30 August 2014
Throughout the weekend, Friday Harbor Film Festival will feature quality documentaries and docu-dramas that highlight compelling stories about humanitarian efforts, environmental issues, social concerns and daring explorations. Each film will be followed by lively discussion with the filmmaker or a local expert. For additional information on this year’s featured films and special events, visit the Festival’s website, www.fhff.org. And for information on how to get to San Juan Island or where to stay, go to www.visitsanjuans.com.