Horror History: Sam Newfield

SamNewfieldSam Newfield
Born Dec. 6th, 1899 – Died Nov. 10th, 1964

The big difference between the people making movies back in the early days of cinema and today’s standards is the output. Even in the ’70s and ’80s, it might be a year or two between a director’s films. Nowadays, it could be years before we see a new one. But back in the ’30s and such, there were guys cranking out film after film after film. And nobody was more proficient in this than Sam Newfield.

There were some years that he is reported to have directed 15 to 20 pictures! That is more than 1 a month! Sure, these were low budget films and time really was money back then, so they didn’t the luxury of multiple or even second takes, or reshoots if someone make a mistake. It was action…cut…print. And then on to the next one. There were some titles that were supposedly had a shoot scheduler of only 3 days!

Newfield started his career at the bottom of the business, first as a runner, then set assistant, actor, but always moving up the later until he got to direct. His first film was a silent film made in 1923, but would work in just about every genre, making a ton of westerns and comedies. But in that time, he also made a few horror titles. Such as The Mad Monster (1942), Dead Men Walk (1943), The Monster Maker (1944) and The Flying Serpent (1946).

So while the quality of Newfiled’s films may not be top notch, he was still making those movies quick and fast, never letting anything get in his way to get the film finished in time. And for that, if anything, we have to give him credit for.

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