William Dieterle

William Dieterle

William Dieterle (July 151893December 91972) was a German actor and film director, who in 1937 attained American citizenship.

Career

He was born Wilhelm Dieterle in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the youngest child of nine, to parents Jacob and Berthe Dieterle. As a child, he lived in considerable poverty and earned money by various means including carpentry work and as a scrap dealer. He became interested in theater early and by the age of sixteen, he had joined a travelling theater company. His striking good looks and ambition soon paved the way as a leading romantic actor in theater productions. In 1919, he attracted the attention of Max Reinhardt in Berlin who hired him as an actor for his productions. He started acting in German films in 1921 to make more money and quickly became a popular character actor. He tired of acting quickly and wanted to direct.

He directed his first film in 1923, "Der Mensch am Wege", which co-starred a young Marlene Dietrich. Following that, he returned to acting for several years and appeared in such notable German films as "Das Wachsfigurenkabinett" ("Waxworks") (1924) and F.W. Murnau's "Faust" (1926). In 1927, Dieterle and his wife, Charlotte Hagenbruch, formed their own production company and directed more films, such as the recently restored "Sex in Chains" (1928) in which he also played the lead role.

In 1930, Dieterle emigrated to the United States when he was offered a job in Hollywood to make German versions of American films. He adapted quickly to Hollywood filmmaking and was soon directing original films. His first, "The Last Flight" (1931), was a success and has been recently hailed as a forgotten masterpiece. Other films made during the 1930s include "Jewel Robbery" (1932), "Adorable" (1933), "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1935), "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936), "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937), "Juarez" (1939) and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939).

Dieterle became a citizen of the United States in 1937.

During the 1940s, Dieterle works were infused with more lush, romantic expression and many critics see the films of this period as some of his best works. They include "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941), "Love Letters" (1945) and "Portrait of Jennie" (1948).

Dieterle's career declined during the 1950s as a result of the McCarthyism period. Although he was never blacklisted directly, his libertarian film "Blockade" (1938) as well as some of the people he worked with were considered suspect.

He continued to make films in the United States in the 1950's, including the film noir "The Turning Point" (1952), "Salome" (1953) with Rita Hayworth, "Elephant Walk" (1954) with Elizabeth Taylor, and a biopic of Richard Wagner, "Magic Fire" (1955) for Republic Pictures. He made some films in Germany and Italy, and a notorious U.S. flop, "Quick, Let's Get Married" (1964) -- also known as "The Confession" or "Seven Different Ways" -- with Ginger Rogers before retiring in 1965.

Dieterle is remembered as a tireless director of refinement and elegance who always wore a large hat and white gloves on the set.

Filmography

* 1923 : "Der Mensch am Wege"
* 1927 : "Behind The Altar"
* 1928 : "The Saint and Her Fool"; "Sex in Chains"
* 1929 : "Durchs Brandenburger Tor. Solang noch Untern Linden"
* 1929 : "Ich liebe für Dich"
* 1929 : "Frühlingsrauschen"
* 1929 : "Das Schweigen im Walde"
* 1930 : "The Costume Falls"
* 1930 : "Kismet"
* 1930 : "Ludwig der Zweite, König von Bayern"
* 1930 : "The Dance Goes On"
* 1931 : "The Last Flight"
* 1931 : "Dämon des Meeres"
* 1931 : "Eine Stunde Glück"
* 1931 : "Her Majesty, Love"
* 1932 : "Man Wanted"
* 1932 : "Jewel Robbery"
* 1932 : "The Crash"
* 1932 : "Six Hours to Live"
* 1932 : "Scarlet Dawn"
* 1933 : "Lawyer Man"
* 1933 : "Grand Slam"
* 1933 : "Adorable"
* 1933 : "The Devil's in Love"
* 1933 : "Female"
* 1933 : "From Headquartes"
* 1934 : "Fog Over Frisco"
* 1934: "Fashions of 1934"
* 1934 : "Dr Monica"
* 1934 : "Madame Du Barry"
* 1934 : "The Firebird"
* 1934 : "The Secret Bride"
* 1935 : "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
* 1935 : "Dr Socrates"
* 1935 : "The Story of Louis Pasteur"
* 1936 : "The White Angel"; "Satan Met a Lady"
* 1937 : "The Great O'Malley"
* 1937 : "The Prince and the Pauper"
* 1937 : "Another Dawn"
* 1937 : "The Life of Emile Zola"
* 1938 : "Blockade"
* 1939 : "Juarez"
* 1939 : "The Hunchback of Notre Dame "
* 1940 : "The Magic Bullet"; "A Dispatch from Reuter's"
* 1941 : "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
* 1942 : "Syncopation"; "Tennessee Johnson"
* 1944 : "Kismet"; "I'll Be Seeing You"
* 1945 : "Love Letters"
* 1945 : "This Love of Ours"
* 1946 : "The Searching Wind"
* 1946 : "Duel in the Sun" (not credited)
* 1948 : "Portrait of Jennie"
* 1949 : "The Accused"
* 1949 : "Rope of Sand"
* 1950 : "Paid in Full"
* 1950 : "Vulcano"
* 1950 : "September Affair"
* 1950 : "Dark City"
* 1951 : "Peking Express"
* 1951 : "Red Mountain"
* 1952 : "Boots Malone"
* 1952 : "The Turning Point"
* 1953 : "Salome"
* 1954 : "Elephant Walk"
* 1955 : "Magic Fire"
* 1956 : "Screen Directors Playhouse" (TV)
* 1956 : "Le Choix de..." (TV)
* 1957 : "Omar Khayyam"
* 1959 : "Il Vendicatore"
* 1960 : "Die Herrin der Welt - Teil II"
* 1960 : "Ich fand Julia Harrington"
* 1960 : "Fastnachtsbeichte"
* 1960 : "Les Mystères d'Angkor"
* 1961 : "Die Große Reise" (TV)
* 1962 : "Gabriel Schillings Flucht" (TV)
* 1962 : "Das Vergnügen, anständig zu sein" (TV)
* 1962 : "Antigone" (TV)
* 1964 : "The Confession"
* 1966 : "Samba" (TV)

References

*Wakeman, John (ed.) World Film Directors, Vol. 1, 1890-1945. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
*Hillstrom, Laurie Collier (ed.) International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997.

Bibliography

*Books
**Close up : the contract director.- Metuchen ; New-York : Scarecrow Press, 1976.
**Strangers in paradise : the Hollywood emigres 1933-1950 / John Russel Taylor.- London : Faber & Faber, 1983 ISBN 1892597004
**William Dieterle / Hervé Dumont.- Paris : CNRS éditions : Cinémathèque française, 2002
**William Dieterle, der Plutarch von Hollywood / Marta Mierendorff.- Berlin 1993 ISBN 227106001X
*Magazines
**Avant-Scène du Cinéma, n° 196, November 1977
**Cahiers du Cinéma, n° 532, February 1999
**Classic Film Collector, n° 50, Springtime 1976
**Ecran, n° 12, February 1973
**Film in Review, vol 8 n° 4, April 1957
**Jeune Cinéma, n° 222, May-June 1993
**Sight and Sound vol 22 n° 1, July-September 1952
**Sight and Sound, vol 19 n° 3, May 1950
**Velvet Light Trap, n° 15, Autumn 1975
**Wide Angle, vol 8 n° 2, 1986

External links

* [http://www.theyshootpictures.com/dieterlewilliam.htm They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?]
*
* [http://film.virtual-history.com/person.php?personid=785 Virtual History - Tobacco cards]
*fr icon [http://cinema.encyclopedie.personnalites.bifi.fr/index.php?pk=8508 William Dieterle] in the Bibliothèque du Film
* [http://www.deutsches-filminstitut.de/dt2tp0111.htm William Dieterle] in the Deutsche Filminstitut


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