Harmon Jones

Actor

BIOGRAPHY

Harmon Jones (June 3, 1911 – July 10, 1972) was a Canadian-born film editor and director who worked for many years at the 20th Century-Fox studio in Southern California. He is credited as the editor for about 20 feature films through 1950. In the middle of his career, he became a film and television director. Between 1951 and 1969, he directed about fifteen feature films as well as dozens of episodes of popular television series of the 1950s and 1960s. There is apparently no published account of the beginnings of Jones' career; at the time, it was common for editors at the major film studios to work as uncredited assistant editors for several years prior to an initial assignment as an editor. Between 1944 and 1951 Jones is credited as the editor for more than 20 feature films; Hal Erickson has called him "one of the leading lights of the 20th Century Fox film-editing department". John Gallagher noted that "studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck was himself a brilliant editor and maintained the best editorial department in Hollywood." Jones' credits include four of the earlier films directed by Elia Kazan, including Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Jones last credit as an editor is for Stella (1950). He then became a director for 20th Century Fox. As Erickson described it, "Jones graduated to the director's chair with the Monty Woolley vehicle As Young as You Feel (1951), which featured up-and-coming Marilyn Monroe. His first directorial projects showed promise, especially his brace of baseball pictures — Pride of St. Louis (1952) and The Kid from Left Field (1953). Soon, however, Jones was churning out routine westerns and so-so costume flicks." Some recent critics do not agree; thus Toby Roan has written, "Harmon Jones didn’t direct many features before heading to TV. His five Westerns — The Silver Whip (1953), City of Bad Men, A Day of Fury (1956), Canyon River (1956) and Bullwhip (1958) — are perfect examples of what a medium-budget studio Western could be. A Day Of Fury is a fantastic film, one of the best Westerns to come out of Universal in the 50s — and that’s saying something. If Jones had made more Westerns, I’m sure we’d be grouping him with directors like George Sherman, Gordon Douglas and Phil Karlson." Jones apparently left 20th Century Fox in 1954; his 1955 film Target Zero was produced by Warner Bros., and Day of Fury (1956) by Universal Studios. In 1957 Jones began directing episodes of several popular television series such as Perry Mason, Rawhide and Death Valley Days. Jones' last credits are from 1969, for several episodes of television series. Jones' editing of Gentleman's Agreement (1947) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Jones was the father of Robert C. Jones, and the grandfather of Leslie Jones, both of whom are film editors who have also been nominated for Academy Awards. The editor for Jones' last feature film, Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966), was his son Robert C. Jones.

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FILMOGRAPHY

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