William Schloss was born in New York City to a Jewish family. Schloss means “castle” in German, and Castle probably chose to translate his surname into English to avoid the discrimination often encountered by Jewish entertainers of his time. He spent most of his teenage years working on Broadway in a number of jobs ranging from set building to acting. This put him in a good stead to become a director, and he left for Hollywood at the age of 23, going on to direct his first film 6 years later. He also worked an as assistant to director Orson Welles, doing much of the second unit location work for Welles’ noir classic, The Lady from Shanghai.
Castle was famous for directing films with many gimmicks which were ambitiously promoted, despite being reasonably low budget B-movies. Five of these were scripted by adventure novelist Robb White. Recently, two of his films have been remade, House on Haunted Hill in 1999, and Thirteen Ghosts in 2001 (the latter retitled Thir13en Ghosts… read more