Rex Ingram
(01/15/1892 - 07/21/1950)

Born Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock in Dublin, Ireland, the son of a clergyman. He emigrated to the United States in 1911.

Rex Ingram studied sculpture at the Yale University School of Art, but soon moved into film. First taking acting work from 1913 and then writing, producing and directing. His first work as producer-director was in 1916 on the romantic drama The Great Problem. He worked for Edison Studios, Fox Film Corporation, Vitagraph Studios, and then MGM, directing mainly action or supernatural films.

In 1925 Ingram co-directed (with Fred Niblo) the hugely successful Ben-Hur epic, filming parts of it in Italy. He and his wife, Alice Terry, decided to move to the French Riviera where they set up a small studio in Nice and made several films on location in North Africa, Spain, and Italy for MGM and others.

Amongst others to work for Ingram at MGM lot on the Riviera during this period was the young Michael Powell, who later went on to direct 'The Red Shoes and other classics. By Powell's own account Ingram was a major influence on him. Indeed Ingram's influence on Powell's later work can be detected, especially in its themes in illusion, dreaming, magic and the surreal.

Unimpressed with sound, Rex Ingram made only one talkie, Baroud, filmed for Gaumont British Pictures in Morocco. The film was a not a commercial success and Ingram left the film business, returning to Los Angeles to work as a sculptor and writer.

Rex Ingram's films were considered by many comtempory directors to be artistic and skillful, with an imaginative and bold visual style. In 1949, the Directors Guild of America bestowed an Honorary Life Member Award on him. For his contribution to the motion picture industry he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street.

He wrote two novels, Mars in the House of Death and The Legion Advances.

Available Films

The Conquering Power (1921)

The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)