Andre de Toth, a film director who made such visually compelling fare as the 3-D version of "House of Wax" and wrote scripts for classics such as "The Gunfighter," died of an aneurysm Oct. 27 at his home in Burbank, Calif.
He was reportedly 89, although references to his birth year vary between 1900 and 1913. In an interview this year, he claimed to be 88, 91 and 101.
The 3-D craze was at its peak in the early 1950s -- about 70 films were made during that time -- but film historian Ephraim Katz called "House of Wax" (1953) "probably the best." Mr. de Toth's film used the technology to advance the plot, about the murderous owner of a wax museum.
Mr. de Toth's blindness in one eye prevented him from seeing the full effect of the visual manipulation.
The blunt Hungarian-born filmmaker worked across genres and disliked contracts. He directed about 40 movies between 1939 and 1987, often with themes of treachery and revenge. They including the western "Ramrod" (1947) with Joel McCrea, the thriller "Crime Wave" (1954) with Sterling Hayden and the World War II action film "Play Dirty" (1968) with Michael Caine.
His Academy Award-nominated story for "The Gunfighter" (1950), co-written with William Bowers, was strikingly original because the title character, played by Gregory Peck, can't avoid his fate.
The film's success led to several jobs directing vigorous and panoramic Westerns, including "Man in the Saddle" (1951) with Randolph Scott, "Springfield Rifle" (1952) with Gary Cooper and "Day of the Outlaw" (1959) with Robert Ryan.
In addition to his prolific film career, he was a sculptor, pilot, race-car driver and scuba diver.
He had seven marriages, including one to actress Veronica Lake, and 19 children and stepchildren.
He also survived a kidnapping in Egypt shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He was scouting a film location when toughs mistook him for the Israeli military hero Moshe Dayan, who also wore an eye patch.
Mr. de Toth was the son of a former Hussar officer who expected his son to follow the military tradition. There was often discord between father and unruly son, who took to painting, sculpting and playwrighting.
Further parental dismay followed, according to his autobiography, when the father took his teenage son to a brothel, only to find that his son was already well-known there.
In those early years, he claimed to have gone to Vienna for a love interest and, while there, was shot during an attempted coup. He awoke the next morning in the morgue. (He lost the eye as a youth but never said how.)
He worked in the Hungarian film industry in the 1930s. As the Nazis advanced, he went to England and then to Hollywood.
He directed low-budget suspense films before gaining notoriety for the movie "None Shall Escape" (1944), a fictional and prescient story about postwar trials of Nazis.