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James Dugan (director)

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James S. Dugan
Born(1898-05-19)May 19, 1898
Los Angeles, California, United States
DiedAugust 5, 1937(1937-08-05) (aged 39)
Hollywood, California, United States
Years active1921–1937

James Dugan (May 19, 1898 – August 5, 1937), also known as James S. Dugan or Jimmy Dugan was an American film director of the silent and early sound film eras. While mostly used as an assistant or second unit director, he had the opportunity to helm a few silent films. Dugan's career was cut short when he died in 1937 due to heart disease.

Life and career

Born on May 19, 1898 in Los Angeles, California, Dugan would enter the film industry at the age of 23, assisting the prolific director/actor Jerome Storm on the 1921 silent film, Her Social Value. In 1927 he would have his first opportunity to have the top directing slot when he was tagged to direct the western film, The Desert Pirate. Over the next 2 years he would again take the directing reins twice more, but other than that brief foray, the remainder of his career would see him return to either assistant or unit direction roles.[1] In 1935, although he had worked with her on several films, Dugan would remove himself as assistant director on Mae West's film, Klondike Annie, citing differences with the actress.[2]

In the midst a career in which he was continuously working, Dugan would die on August 5, 1937 from heart disease, mere months after the release of the final film he worked on, A Family Affair.[3] He was survived by a wife and two children.[4]


(as per AFI's database)[1]

Year Title Role Silent (S)/Talkie (T) Notes
1921 Her Social Value Assistant director S
1921 Trust Your Wife Assistant director S
1926 Rose of the Tenements Assistant director S
1926 The Adorable Deceiver Assistant director S
1926 Going the Limit Assistant director S
1927 Aflame in the Sky Assistant director S
1927 The Desert Pirate Director S
1927 The Lure of the Night Club Assistant director S
1927 Moulders of Men Assistant director S
1928 Dead Man's Curve Assistant director S
1928 Dog Justice Assistant director S
1928 Her Summer Hero Director S
1928 King Cowboy Assistant director S
1928 Phantom of the Range Director S
1928 Sinners in Love Assistant director S
1928 Night Parade Actor - "Artie" S
1929 The Drifter Assistant director S
1929 Outlawed Assistant director S
1929 Warming Up Cast - "Brill" T
1931 Everything's Rosie Assistant director T
1933 She Done Him Wrong Assistant director T
1934 Belle of the Nineties Assistant director T
1934 Four Frightened People Assistant director T
1934 The Lemon Drop Kid Assistant director T
1935 Accent on Youth Assistant director T
1935 Goin' to Town Assistant director T
1936 Wives Never Know Second unit director T
1936 Yours for the Asking Assistant director T
1937 A Family Affair Assistant director T


  1. ^ a b "James Dugan". American Film Institute. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Klondike Annie: Detail View". Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "James Dugan". All Movie. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Obituaries: James Dugan". Variety. August 11, 1937. p. 62.
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James Dugan (director)
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