Photo of Robert Wise Robert Wise

What began as an odd job at RKO Studios at age 14 blossomed into a filmmaking career that spanned a half-century. Born Sept. 10, 1914, in Winchester, Ind., Robert Wise worked his way up to become one of RKO's top editors, contributing to classics such as Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons.

In 1944, Wise moved into the director's seat with The Curse of the Cat People, and during the 1950s, he directed a string of films that explored important topical issues, including Executive Suite, the fact-based I Want to Live! (which garnered an Oscar for Susan Hayward) and Odds Against Tomorrow, believed by many to be the last true film noir.

In the 1960s, Wise reached the peak of his career, directing and producing the blockbuster musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music -- both of which earned him Best Picture and Best Director Oscars. Wise died Sept. 14, 2005.

Robert Wise in The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

1965 G

In Rodgers and Hammerstein's greatest collaboration, a feisty postulant named Maria (Julie Andrews) is sent to care for the unruly, motherless Von Trapp children. She soon tames them -- and finds herself falling for their stern father (Christopher Plummer). Oscar-winning director Robert Wise used stunning Austrian locations to transform the popular stage musical into a cinema classic in which the hills truly seemed to come alive.

  • Robert Wise in West Side Story West Side Story
  • Robert Wise in Run Silent, Run Deep Run Silent, Run Deep
  • Robert Wise in The Andromeda Strain The Andromeda Strain
  • Robert Wise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Robert Wise in The Day the Earth Stood Still The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Robert Wise in I Want to Live! I Want to Live!
  • Robert Wise in The Haunting The Haunting
  • Robert Wise in Cat People / Curse of the Cat People Cat People / Curse of the Cat People
  • Robert Wise in I Walked with a Zombie / Body Snatcher I Walked with a Zombie / Body Snatcher
  • Robert Wise in The House on Telegraph Hill The House on Telegraph Hill
  • Robert Wise in Born to Kill Born to Kill
  • Robert Wise in Somebody Up There Likes Me Somebody Up There Likes Me
  • Robert Wise in The Sand Pebbles The Sand Pebbles
  • Robert Wise in The Battle Over Citizen Kane The Battle Over Citizen Kane
  • Robert Wise in A Storm in Summer A Storm in Summer
  • Robert Wise in Hollywood Screen Tests Hollywood Screen Tests
  • Robert Wise in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows
  • Robert Wise in The Fearmakers Collection The Fearmakers Collection