Born October 14, 1916, in New Haven, Connecticut, Jack Arnold is famous for his 1950’s Sci-Fi, Horror flics. As a child he was and avid reader of science fiction and began his career as an actor on and off Broadway.
He then served in World War II and found himself working in US Army in the Signal Corps under famous documentary film maker Robert J. Flaherty. In 1953 his first theatrical release was a crime drama, film noir, Girls in the Night.
He then directed his best Sci-Fi/Horror movies like It Came from Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Revenge of the Creature (1955), This Island Earth (1955), Tarantula (1955), Science Fiction Theatre (TV 4 episodes 1955-56),
I love science fiction. As a youngster, I used to buy all the pulp magazines. I loved them. I was very pleased when I was assigned to direct my first SF film because I was still an avid fan. The more I did this type of film the better I liked it, because the studio left me alone. Fortunately, no one at that time at the studio was an expert at directing SF films, so I claimed to be one. I wasn’t, of course, but the studio didn’t know that. So they never argued with me.Jack Arnold
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), The Space Children (1958) and Monster on the Campus (1958). In between this great run he directed some more film noir like The Glass Web (1953), Outside the Law (1956) and The Tattered Dress (1957).
He also had a few Westerns like The Man from Bitter Ridge (1955), Red Sundown (1956), Man in the Shadow (1957) and No Name on the Bullet (1959). In 1959 he directed the comedy The Mouse that roared starring Peter Sellers.
Starting in the 60’s he would focus mostly on directing television episodes such as Peter Gunn (6 episodes), Mr. Lucky (15 episodes), Gilligan’s Island (26 episodes), Mr. Terrific (9 episodes), It Takes a Thief (8 episodes), The Brady Bunch (15 episodes)and The Love Boat (8 episodes).
Some other TV shows he directed just 1 to 4 episodes were Wagon Train, World of Giants, The Eleventh Hour, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Perry Mason, The Danny Thomas Hour, Mod Squad, The Virginian, Love American Style, Alias Smith and Jones, McCloud, The Magician, Ellery Queen, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Fall Guy, to name a few.
Jack Arnold dominated the science fiction field during his brief career. No imprint lingers so indelibly on the face of modern fantasy film as that of this obscure yet brilliant artist. All his films, no matter how tawdry, were marked with a brilliant personal vision. He exists as an éminence grise on the horizon of fantasy film, inscrutable, mysterious, almost impossible both to analyze and to ignore.John Baxter (Author)
Arnold died of arteriosclerosis in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California at the age of 75. His daughter Susan Arnold is a casting director and producer. She is known for such films as Revenge of the Nerds, Gremlins, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Independence Day, 24 episodes of Taxi, Piranha, Grosse Pointe Blank and Benny & Joon.