A stage actor and director, Michael Gordon broke into films in 1940 as a dialogue director, then became a film editor. He directed his first feature in 1942. He started out with low-budget crime thrillers, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s turned out several well-crafted dramas, notably Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), which garnered José Ferrer an Academy Award. His career was interrupted, however, by the anti-Communist hysteria in the 1950s, led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Because of Gordon's early affiliation with several leftist organizations, he was accused of Communist leanings by the Red-baiting politicians of the era, and found himself blacklisted and unable to obtain work. He made one film in Australia, then returned to the U.S. Gordon started getting jobs again in the late 1950s, and this time, instead of turning out the tight, gritty little dramas he was known for, did a complete 180 and worked on glossy, big-budget mainstream comedies. He was, however, responsible for what is arguably Doris Day's best vehicle, the stylish Pillow Talk (1959).