Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, his family moved to the United States when he was 11 years of age. At university, he trained as an engineer and began working for a lighting company in Chicago, Illinois. However, he had a strong interest in the fledgling motion picture industry and when Essanay Studios offered him the opportunity to become a scriptwriter, he took the job. At that time, some of the East Coast filmmakers began to spend winters in California where the climate allowed them to continue with films requiring warm weather. Soon, a number of film companies worked there year-round and in 1911, Allan Dwan moved to Hollywood where the city's first permanent movie studio was been built. There, he obtained work as a writer and actor and soon as a Director/Producer, the field for which he is most remembered.
Allan Dwan became a true innovator in the motion picture industry. After making a series of westerns and comedies, he directed fellow Canadian, Mary Pickford in several very successful films as well as her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, notably in the acclaimed 1922 Robin Hood.
In 1917, Alan Dwan became President of the Motion Picture Directors Association. Following the introduction of sound into film, in 1937 he directed child-star Shirley Temple in Heidi in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm the following year.
Over his long and successful career, he directed many highly acclaimed motion pictures including 1949 box office smash, The Sands of Iwo Jima. In a career spanning 50 years, he directed more than 400 films, his last coming in 1961. Allan Dwan is one of the directors that spanned the silent to sound era. He directed hundreds of films, most of which are lost due to the poor preservation of silent films. Little historical writing has been devoted to Dwan, but some believe that he will be the last discovered great director from the Classic Hollywood Era.
Allan Dwan is interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6263 Hollywood Blvd.
In addition to the Shirley Temple movies directed by Allan Dwan between 1934 and 1938, these are a few of his other films: Passion - Director (1954), Sands of Iwo Jima - Director (1949), Driftwood - Director (1947), Robin Hood - Director (1922).
Allan Dwan Facts
|Birth Name||Joseph Aloysius Dwan|
|Birthday||April 3, 1885|
|Birthplace||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Date of death||December 28, 1981 (age 96)|
|Height||5' 7½" (1m71) How tall is Allan Dwan compared to you?|
|Sands of Iwo Jima|
|The Iron Mask|
|Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm|
|Shirley Temple: America's Sweetheart Collection, Vol. 2, Baby Take a Bow / Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm / Bright Eyes|