Buffalo Movie Theaters
H. Bruce "Lucky" Humberstone
Birth: Nov. 18, 1901 in Buffalo, New York
Death: Oct. 11, 1984 in Los Angeles
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Burial: Hollywood Forever, Hollywood
Distinction: Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Buffalo-born H. Bruce Humberstone was a juvenile actor and script clerk during his first few years in Hollywood. Humberstone worked in a number of capacities (grip, prop man, production assistant) on several silent westerns of the '20s, during which time he earned the nickname Lucky for reasons that he'd keep changing from interview to interview later in life.
After serving time as an assistant director, Humberstone was given his first solo directing assignment with 1932's Strangers of the Evening. Exhibiting no discernible style of his own, Humberstone was able to shift from comedy to drama to melodrama with ease.
During his long stay at 20th Century-Fox, he directed several of the Charlie Chan films, where he hit upon the dubious technique of keeping star Warner Oland drunk so that Oland would deliver his lines in the slow, hesitant cadence necessary for the Chan role.
Humberstone's best work of the '40s include several Fox Technicolor musicals, the shadow-laden mystery meller I Wake Up Screaming (1941), and Danny Kaye's Wonder Man (1945).
In the '50s, Humberstone switched his attentions to TV work, finding a few spare moments to direct some of the Tarzan theatrical programmers of the era.
H. Bruce Humberstone called it quits after 1962's Madison Avenue, which he produced as well as directed.
A few of the movies directed by Humberstone:
- Sun Valley Serenade (194)1 musical comedy
- Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958)
- Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957)
- Wonder Man (1945) Starring Danny Kay
- Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) Starring Cesar Romero
- Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
- Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937)
- Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936)
- Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936)
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A few of the TV episodes directed by Humberstone:
- Daniel Boone: Crisis by Fire (1966)
- The Smothers Brothers Show: It Don't Mean a Dang If It Ain't Got That Twang (1965)
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis: The Unregistered Nurse (1960)
- Colt .45: The Cause (1960)
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