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Andre De Toth
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Filmmaker
    (May 15, 1913-October 27, 2002)
    Born in Mako, Hungary
    Birth name was Toth Endre Antal Mihaly
    Directed the films ‘Passport to Suez’ (1943), ‘None Shall Escape’ (1944), ‘Pitfall’ (1947), ‘Man in the Saddle’ (1951), ‘House of Wax’ (1953), ‘Crime Wave’ (1954), ‘The Indian Fighter’ (1955), ‘Hidden Fear’ (1957), ‘Day of the Outlaw’ (1959), ‘The Mongols’ (1961) and ‘Play Dirty’ (1968)
    He earned a law degree before becoming a stage actor and then a director.
    He was married seven times, divorced six times.
    An actor said, ‘When you’ve made a film with de Toth, you’ve served your time in Hell.’
    He was dismissive of younger directors, saying ‘I wouldn’t let them direct traffic.’
    He was a one-eyed director whose best-known movie, ‘House of Wax,’ was a 3-D film. (Or as star Vincent Price noted, ‘It’s one of the great Hollywood stories. When they wanted a director for a 3-D film, they hired a man who couldn’t see 3-D at all!’)
    One of his wives was 1940s pin-up girl Veronica Lake.
    ’House of Wax’ is considered one of the best 3-D films, with many critics suggesting it benefited from de Toth’s inability to see depth, since it led him to concentrate on the story and performances instead of throwing objects at the camera.
    He was a great raconteur, even if some of his stories (such as the time he was scouting locations in the Middle East and was kidnapped by Arabs who had mistaken him for Moshe Dayan because of his eye patch) were hard to swallow.
    He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Society (1995).
    His advice was ‘Don’t be careful. Have fun. I did.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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