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Harry Fraser (director)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harry L. Fraser
Harry l fraser portrait.jpg
Fraser in 1930
Born31 March 1889
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died8 April 1974 (age 85)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1916–1951

Harry L. Fraser (31 March 1889 – 8 April 1974) was an American film director and screenplay writer.


Born in 1889 in San Francisco, Fraser directed over 80 films between 1925 and 1951, including the 1934 John Wayne film Randy Rides Alone and the Frank Buck 1937 cliffhanger serial Jungle Menace. He had a small acting role in the John Wayne film 'Neath the Arizona Skies. He also wrote screenplays.

In his autobiography, Fraser described filming a scene in Jungle Menace in which a boa constrictor attacks the heroine Dorothy (Charlotte Henry). The villain has tied Dorothy hand and foot and she thrashes about wildly, terrified when she suddenly sees the huge snake:

The snake was in no hurry. Slowly he slithered across the girl's body, while she screamed and struggled. He turned, looking for a spot to slip under her to make his first wrap. I motioned to the reptile crew to get ready, and a split-second later gave them the signal to move in. But now, the maddened snake fought them and did its best to coil around one of the men. Before that happened, however, I had cut, and we had a good cliff-hanger with our terror-stricken heroine to close the episode.[1][2]

Fraser, like fellow silent-film directors William Beaudine, Christy Cabanne, Elmer Clifton, and Lambert Hillyer, was a resourceful director who could be relied upon to deliver a professional-quality feature film on ever-decreasing budgets. Fraser was exceptionally adept in this regard, as both a director and scriptwriter. He became the favorite director of the Weiss Brothers, who usually worked with tight schedules and rock-bottom budgets, and padded out their features with reels of footage taken from Weiss's older films. Fraser would be assigned to work the old films into new storylines.

Fraser's efficiency was noted by the serial unit at Columbia Pictures, where he worked as a second-unit director and scriptwriter for The Spider Returns (1941), Batman (1943), and Chick Carter, Detective (1946), among other cliffhangers.

Fraser died in 1974 in Pomona, California, eight days past his 85th birthday.

Partial filmography

Poster for film Spirit of Youth
Poster for film Spirit of Youth
Joe Louis and Spirit of Youth director Harry L. Fraser
Joe Louis and Spirit of Youth director Harry L. Fraser
Original poster for Frank Buck in Jungle Menace (1937)
Original poster for Frank Buck in Jungle Menace (1937)


  1. ^ Harry L. Fraser. I Went That-a-Way. The Scarecrow Press, Inc. (November 1, 1990). P 117
  2. ^ Lehrer, Steven (2006). Bring 'Em Back Alive: The Best of Frank Buck. Texas Tech University press. pp. xi–xii. ISBN 0-89672-582-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 May 2021, at 06:21
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