Early life. Born in Findlay, Ohio, Lee was the son of a suffragette who founded a newspaper.He studied at Columbia University and served in the infantry during World War I. Acting career. Lee began as an actor. He had early appearances in Wild Winship's Widow (1917), Time Locks and Diamonds (1917), The Mother Instinct (1917), Polly Ann (1917), The Stainless Barrier (1917), The Maternal Spark (1917) and They're Off (1918). He had a lead part in Fred Niblo's The Woman in the Suitcase (1920) and was in Water, Water, Everywhere (1920) and Dangerous Days (1920). Lee supported Hobart Bosworth in His Own Law (1920) and did another with Niblo, Her Husband's Friend (1920). Directing. = Change of profession. = Thomas H. Ince suggested Lee make a choice between acting and directing. Lee moved into directing starting with A Thousand to One (1920), Cupid's Brand (1921), and The Cup of Life (1921).He directed two films for former co-star Hobart Bosworth, Blind Hearts (1921) and The Sea Lion (1921). Lee made What Ho, the Cook (1921), Money to Burn (1922), The Men of Zanzibar (1922), His Back Against the Wall (1922), A Self-Made Man (1922), Dust Flower (1922), and Mixed Faces (1922). = Fox. = Lee went to Fox where he directed Shirley of the Circus (1923). He directed and scripted a 1923 adaptation of the Booth Tarkington novel Alice Adams, which propelled him into the big time. He followed it with Desire (1923) at Metro. He fell ill during the making of Desire.Back at Fox, Lee directed Gentle Julia (1923), another Tarkington adaptation. After Gentle Julia, Lee spent several months studying filmmaking in Europe, a practice he would continue for the next decade.Lee did You Can't Get Away with It (1923), In Love with Love (1924) with Marguerite De La Motte, and an expensive adaptation of The Man Without a Country (1925).Other credits included Havoc (1925), The Outsider (1926) (with Walter Pidgeon), and The Silver Treasure (1927), based on Nostromo by Joseph Conrad. He also directed The Whirlwind of Youth (1927). = Paramount. = Lee went to Paramount in 1926 where he directed Pola Negri in Barbed Wire (1927) and The Secret Hour (1928). Doomsday (1928) starred Florence Vidor and Gary Cooper.Lee was reunited with Negri for Three Sinners (1928) and Loves of an Actress (1928) then did The First Kiss (1928) with Cooper and Fay Wray.In 1929, he directed The Wolf of Wall Street featuring George Bancroft. He followed it with A Dangerous Woman (1929) starring Olga Baclanova, then Lee made the first sound Fu Manchu film, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929). He spent three months touring Europe in 1929.Lee was one of many directors who contributed to the all-star revue Paramount on Parade (1930). The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930) was a sequel to The Mysterious Dr Fu Manchu then Lee made Ladies Love Brutes (1930) and Derelict (1930) with Bancroft, and A Man from Wyoming (1930) with Cooper. = England. = Lee went to Warners to make The Ruling Voice (1931) with Walter Huston. He based himself in England for the next two years where he wrote an English version script of Captain Craddock (1931), did The Guilty Generation (1931) at Columbia and That Night in London (1931) for Paramount in England; the latter starred Robert Donat.Back at Fox, Lee directed Zoo in Budapest (1933), I Am Suzanne (1933) and Gambling (1934); the latter starred George M. Cohan. = Edward Small. = Edward Small hired Lee to write and direct an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) for United Artists starring Donat; it was a huge success and ushered in a cycle of swashbuckling films. Fox had merged to become 20th Century-Fox whose production head Darryl F. Zanuck hired Lee to direct one of the studio's first films, the biopic Cardinal Richelieu (1935) starring George Arliss.Lee received an offer from RKO to write and direct another swashbuckler, The Three Musketeers (1935). For United Artists he did One Rainy Afternoon (1936) and the English-shot Agatha Christie adaptation, Love from a Stranger (1937). Back in Hollywood, Lee was reunited with Small for The Toast of New York (1937), a biopic that was a notorious flop. It was made at RKO who also financed Lee's next film, Mother Carey's Chickens (1938). = Universal. = Lee signed a contract at Universal, where he directed Service de Luxe (1938). He had a big success with Son of Frankenstein (1939) starring Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff. Lee followed it with The Sun Never Sets (1939) with Rathbone and Douglas Fairbanks Jr, and Tower of London (1939) with Rathbone and Karloff. Later films. Lee made another swashbuckler for Small, The Son of Monte Cristo (1940). He returned to RKO to do Powder Town (1942), then made a film for another independent producer, Benedict Bogeaus, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944). Bogeaus liked Lee's work and used him on the swashbuckler Captain Kidd (1945). Lee announced he would then made a film about Robespierre but he ended up retiring in 1945.
Lee began as an actor. He had early appearances in Wild Winship's Widow (1917), Time Locks and Diamonds (1917), The Mother Instinct (1917), Polly Ann (1917), The Stainless Barrier (1917), The Maternal Spark (1917) and They're Off (1918). He had a lead part in Fred Niblo's The Woman in the Suitcase (1920) and was in Water, Water, Everywhere (1920) and Dangerous Days (1920). Lee supported Hobart Bosworth in His Own Law (1920) and did another with Niblo, Her Husband's Friend (1920).
Movies & TV shows
This unhistorical account of pirate Captain Kidd revolves around treasure and treachery. In 1699, William Kidd, presenting himself as an honest shipmaster, dupes King William III into backing his miss...
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
A rope bridge over a gorge in the Peruvian Andes snaps, sending five people plunging to their deaths. A priest sets out to find out more about the life of each of the victims.
Director Rowland V. Lee's wacky 1942 comedy, about an absent-minded scientist working on a secret formula at an explosives plant, stars Edmond O'Brien, Victor McLaglen, Dorothy Lovett, June Havoc, Edd...
The Son of Monte Cristo
Rightful owner of the kingdom, the Duchess of Zona, is engaged in a power struggle with the evil General Gurko. Edmond, the son of Monte Cristo, dons many disguises to come to the aid of the Duchess.
The Sun Never Sets
The Randolph family have a tradition of working in the British colonial service. Clive comes home from a mission in the Gold Coast of Africa accompanied by his wife Helen. He discovers his younger bro...
Son of Frankenstein
One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to discover that he is controlled by Ygor, who is bent on revenge.
Tower of London
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King Edward IV of Eng...
Mother Carey's Chickens
Fay Bainter stars in this 1938 film, based on the novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin, about a financially-strapped mother and her children who relocate from the city to a small rural town. It was remade by ...
Service de Luxe
Glamorous and efficient Helen Murphy runs a service that will provide any type of assistance to wealthy customers, but what she's really looking for is a man who can take care of himself.
Love from a Stranger
Ann Harding plays a lovely but somewhat naive young woman who goes on a European vacation after winning a lottery. Swept off her feet by charming Basil Rathbone, Harding finds herself married before s...
The Toast of New York
After the American Civil War, Jim Fisk, a former peddler and cotton smuggler, arrives in New York, along with his partners Nick and Luke, where he struggles to make his way through the treacherous wor...
One Rainy Afternoon
Suave French actor Philippe Martin provokes a scandal when, in a darkened theater, he mistakes young Monique for his mistress, Yvonne, and tries to kiss her. Charged with assault, the quick-thinking P...
The Three Musketeers
The young Gascon D'Artagnan arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, Aramis, and Ath...
The cunning Cardinal Richelieu must save King Louis XIII from treachery within his inner circle.
I Am Suzanne!
A dancer falls in love with a puppeteer, much to the consternation of her manipulative manager. The puppeteer himself seems more interested in his puppets than in romance with her. Can she find true...
Zoo in Budapest
Zani is an unusual young man who has spent his entire life in a zoo in Budapest. His only true friends are the zoo's animals. When Zani meets Eve, a young orphan girl, they fall in love. To be togethe...
That Night in London
A young bank clerk steals £500 and plans to go on a spree before shooting himself but a bad girl turned good tries to convince him to return the money and stay alive
The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case
A young woman is being menaced by an escaped killer who is looking for missing treasure and she turns to a famous detective for protection. However, when a woman is kidnapped, the city's criminal Unde...
Two rival seamen fight for both a promotion to a captaincy in their shipping line and the attentions of a Havana saloon singer. Sparks fly as they both try to out do each other in obtaining what they...
The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu
The villainous master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu sets out to destroy the people he holds responsible for the death of his family.
A Man from Wyoming
A Man from Wyoming is a 1930 American romance film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Gary Cooper, June Collyer, and Regis Toomey. Written by Albert S. Le Vino and John V.A. Weaver, the film is a...
Ladies Love Brutes
The movie stars George Bancroft, Mary Astor and Fredric March who are all excellent in their roles. The story begins as Joe Forziati (Bancroft), an Italian immigrant who has battled his way to success...
Paramount on Parade
This 1930 film, a collection of songs and sketches showcasing Paramount Studios' contract stars, credits 11 directors (including Dorothy Arzner, Ernst Lubitsch, Victor Schertzinger and Edmund Goulding...
The Wolf of Wall Street
A ruthless stockbroker sells short in the copper business and ruins the life of his friends by ruining their finances.
A Dangerous Woman
A woman who drives white men to their deaths with her seductive ways lives with the commissioner of an African outpost. The commissioner learns that his brother is going to be his next assistant, and ...
The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu
A Chinese doctor vows revenge against the allied troops who killed his wife and child during the Boxer Rebellion.
The Secret Hour
An Elderly fruit grower sends a photo of his foreman, not himself, to a waitress he wishes to marry. She falls in love with the foreman.
A woman allows her husband, who she knows no longer loves her, to believe that she has been killed in a train wreck. Her husband later finds her as a hostess in a gambling den.
Loves of an Actress
Rachel becomes the leading actress in the Comédie Française through the patronage of three influential men: Baron Hartman, the wealthiest man in France; Count Vareski, a relative of Napoleon; and Dr. ...
A woman must choose between a life on the farm and a life of luxury.
The First Kiss
The Talbots, formerly one of the Eastern Shore's first families, have gone to seed: Pap is a drunk, soddenly decaying in his ruined ancestral home, and three of his sons (William, Carol, and Ezra) are...
His Back Against the Wall
Jeremy Dice, a finisher in a New York East Side tailor shop who prides himself on being a smart dresser and dancer, proves to be cowardly when he retreats from a bully who gets fresh with his girl, an...
Patriotism, love and treason in the United States during the First World War. Barker manages to give every scene the right climate through inventive use of color. From semi-documentary to cruel melodr...
His Own Law
American melodramatic war movie. An American marries the widow of one of his French army friends, who never got back from the front. They live their lives together and take care of the child, who was ...
The Woman in the Suitcase
Mary Moreland discovers the photograph of a woman not her mother in her father's suitcase and sets out to find her in hopes of returning her father to his rightful place in the family.
Water, Water, Everywhere
Cowboy Billy Fortune is in love with Hope Beecher, who prefers Billy's friend Ben Morgan, but resists his advances because of his fondness for drink. Hope's discontent is echoed by the town wives' pub...
Young Polly-Ann works in a small town inn as a maidservant. A troupe of actors comes to town and the innocent girl falls in love with one of its members. Howard Straightlane is sent to the small town ...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rowland_V._Lee", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.