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Curtis Harrington (September 17, 1926May 6, 2007) was an American film and television director whose work included experimental films, horror films, and episodic television.


Harrington was born in Los Angelesmarker and attended Occidental Collegemarker and the University of Southern Californiamarker and graduated from the University of California, Los Angelesmarker, with a film studies degree.

He began his career as a film critic, writing a book on Josef von Sternberg in 1948. He directed several avant-garde short films in the 1940s and '50s, including Fragment of Seeking, Picnic, and The Wormwood Star. Harrington worked with Kenneth Anger, serving as a cinematographer on Anger's Puce Moment and acting in Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.

Harrington had cameo roles in films such as Orson Welles's The Other Side of the Wind and Bill Condon's Gods and Monsters. (Harrington knew James Whale at the end of Whale's life, and was a major contributor to Condon's film.) He also directed Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971) with Shelley Winters, What's the Matter With Helen? with Winters and Debbie Reynolds (1972), and The Killer Bees (1974) with Gloria Swanson in one of her last film roles.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Harrington directed episodes of Dynasty, Wonder Woman, The Twilight Zone, and Charlie's Angels for television.

Harrington was the driving force in locating the original James Whale production of The Old Dark House (made by Universal Pictures in 1932) and even though the rights had been sold to Columbia Pictures for a remake, he got Eastman Housemarker to restore the negative. On the Kino DVD, there is a filmed interview of Harrington explaining why and how this came about.

He died in 2007. He is considered one of the forerunners of New Queer Cinema.

Filmography as director


  1. glbtq >> arts >> New Queer Cinema

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