Though Richard Fleischer's name is one we rarely hear, he nevertheless directed a large group of film with which we are all familiar. He got his start at RKO in the 1950s, where he directed B noirs (including The Narrow Margin and Trapped) that, today, are held in high esteem. Later, he moved on to higher-profile, bigger budget projects, proving himself useful to studios in search of a solid director who was willing to be what one writer recently described as "a studio craftsman...[whose films were] undoubtedly subject to the styles and demands of the year, the decade, the industry, the genre, the stars, and so forth." Among those later films are such well-known, well-love titles as 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Soylent Green, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Jazz Singer (It's not just me who loves this one, is it?) and Conan the Destroyer.

Fleischer was 89; he died of natural causes.

[Thanks to GreenCine Daily for some links.]