~Robert Florey~

Born: September 14, 1900 in Paris, France
Died: May 16, 1979 in Santa Monica, California, USA
~Robert Florey & Harold Lloyd~
~Peter Lorre & Robert Florey~
~On the set of One Hour of Love, 1927 with Montegue Love with his hands up in the air~

~Photograph donated by Brian Taves~
~110-65: On the set of Face Value, 1927~

~Photograph donated by Brian Taves~
~On the set of Ex-Lady, 1933 with Gene Raymond, Bette Davis & Robert Florey~
~On the set of Till We Meet Again, 1936~
~On the set of The Beast with Five Fingers, 1946 with Robert Florey, Andrea King and Peter
Robert Florey (1900-1979) came to Hollywood in 1921 as correspondent for Cinemagazine.  His
ambition was to direct, and he had already spent five years as an assistant in the Swiss and French
film industries, as well as the stage.  This background was formative in making him what I labeled
the French Expressionist@ in my 1987 biography.  

Florey won wide acclaim, and a career as a studio contract director, through a series of
experimental films made from 1927-30 that were the first such to be widely seen in the United
States, most notably THE LIFE AND DEATH OF 9413B, A HOLLYWOOD EXTRA.  He made early
sound films (including THE COCOANUTS, the first Marx Brothers film) in New York, London, and
Berlin, then returned to the US, scripting FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and writing and directing
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932).  In these and subsequent films, such as THE BEAST
WITH FIVE FINGERS (1946), the impact of German expressionism was unmistakable, but merged
with a French touch that mingled increasingly realist strains, as in THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK
(1941).  The style  that would be labeled film noir years hence was already evident in his THE
FLORENTINE DAGGER (1935).  Yet Florey could also direct a rousing big-budget Technicolor
adventure musical, the 1943 World War II version of THE DESERT SONG, sadly locked away in
studio vaults and only occasionally revived to acclaim in such venues as Cinecon.  

Several years after codirecting MONSIEUR VERDOUX (1946) with Chaplin, Florey became the first
Hollywood director to commit himself to the new field of filmed dramatic television.  He found that
he often had in this medium a greater liberty of stylistic innovation than was possible under the
studio system, and won the first DGA television director's award.  After a dozen years, he finished
his career with several of the most acclaimed TWILIGHT ZONE episodes.  He retired to resume his
writing about Hollywood history, for which he was also awarded the Legion of Honor.  From 1939 to
his death, Florey was happily married to Virginia Dabney (1907-2000), an actress who had
appeared in many of his 1930s films.

Biography contributed by Brian Taves
~Many Thanks to author and friend of
SilentHollywood.com Brian Taves for the donation
of many of these wonderful photographs of Director
Robert Florey.

Brian's biography of Robert Florey, titled: Robert
Florey, The French Expressionist is on sale now, but
just about out of print. Don't miss an opportunity to
have this book among your film library.  

Click the book cover to the left to place your order.
~Silent Filmography~

Skyscraper Symphony (1929) (uncredited)
... aka "Skyscrapers" - USA (alternative title)
The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928)
Hello New York! (1928)
Face Value (1927)
The Romantic Age (1927)
One Hour of Love (1927)
Johann the Coffinmaker (1927)
The Love of Zero (1927)


Skyscraper Symphony (1929) (uncredited)
... aka "Skyscrapers" - USA (alternative title)
The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928) (concept)
Johann the Coffinmaker (1927) (story)
The Love of Zero (1927) (story)

~Assistant Director~

The Magic Flame (1927)
Exquisite Sinner (1926)
The Masked Bride (1925)
Parisian Nights (1925)
Parisette (1921)
L'orpheline (1921)


The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928) (uncredited) .... Casting Director
Robin Hood (1922) (uncredited) .... Taxpaying Peasant
... aka "Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood" - USA (complete title)
Parisette (1921)
Saturnin ou le bon allumeur (1921) .... Un gazier
L'orpheline (1921) .... Un apache

~Miscellaneous Crew~

La bohème (1926) (production assistant) (uncredited)


The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1928) (producer) (uncredited)

~Costume Designer~

The Big Parade (1925) (uncredited)

~Art Department~

The Big Parade (1925) (set designer)
~Virginia Dabney (The future Mrs. Robert Florey), Robert Florey, Anna May Wong & Evelyn Brent
on the set of
Daughter of Shangai, 1937.

~Photograph donated by Brian Taves~
~Anna May Wong & Director Robert Florey on the set of DAUGHTER OF SHANGAI, 1937~

~Photograph donated by Brian Taves~
~Robert Florey~

~Photograph Donated by Brian Taves~