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Brian G. Hutton, Director of ‘Where Eagles Dare,’ ‘Kelly’s Heroes,’ Dies at 79

Brian G. Hutton, who directed Clint Eastwood in the WWII actioners “Where Eagles Dare” (1968) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970) and also directed Elizabeth Taylor in two films, has died. He was 79.

“Where Eagles Dare,” a thriller based on the Alistair MacLean novel, also starred Richard Burton, while “Kelly Heroes,” a heist film masquerading as a war film, sported a large ensemble cast that included Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.

Hutton’s 1972 drama “X, Y and Zee” starred Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine and Susannah York concerned an an architect, his mistress, and the wife intent on breaking them at all costs. Follow-up film “Night Watch,” starring Taylor and Laurence Harvey, was a thriller.

Hutton did not direct again until 1980’s Lawrence Sanders adaptation “The First Deadly Sin,” starring Frank Sinatra as a New York police detective and Faye Dunaway his dying wife.

His final directorial effort was the 1983 adventure romance “High Road to China,” starring Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong.

Hutton made his feature directorial debut with 1965’s “Wild Seed,” a sensitive romantic drama. The following year he helmed “The Pad and How to Use It,” a comedy based on a play by Peter Shaffer.

While Hutton directed nine films, he actually spent more of his career as an actor. He appeared in the John Sturges Westerns “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, and “Last Train From Gun Hill,” starring Douglas; the Roger Corman movie “Carnival Rock”; Elvis Presley pic “King Creole”; the 1958 crime drama “The Case Against Brooklyn,” starring Darren McGavin; and Frank Borzage’s “The Big Fisherman.”

Hutton also guested on a number of Western-themed TV series including “Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “Rawhide,” “Wagon Train,” as well as on “Playhouse 90” and “Perry Mason,” among other shows.

Hutton was born in New York City, and in addition to his own acting and directing, he also ran an acting class at the he ran the Beverly Hills Playhouse. In the mid-’80s he left showbiz for a career in real estate.

 

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