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Encyclopedia > William Dieterle

William Dieterle (July 15, 1893December 9, 1972) was an German born American actor and film director. July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... 1893 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... December 9 is the 343rd day (344th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year that started on a Tuesday. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ...

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. Map of Germany showing Ludwigshafen am Rhein Ludwigshafen am Rhein is a city in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, with about 166,000 inhabitants. ... There are two Max Reinhardts: Max Reinhardt (theatre director) Max Reinhardt (publisher) This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

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 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. Marlene Dietrich in the 1920s Marie Magdalene Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) also known as Maria Magdalena Dietrich was a German actress, entertainer and singer. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... Faust (sometimes Latinized as Faustus) is the protagonist of a popular German tale of a pact with the Devil. ...

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), 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). ... A Midsummer Nights Dream is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare written sometime in the mid-1590s. ...

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 All That Money Can Buy (1941), Love Letters (1945) and Portrait of Jennie (1948). The Devil and Daniel Webster is a short story by Steven Vincent Benet. ... Love Letters is a 1945 film which tells the story of a World War II soldier who writes his friends love letters, but begins falling in love with the friends girlfriend. ... Portrait of Jennie movie poster Portrait of Jennie is a 1948 fantasy film based on the novella by Robert Nathan. ...

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 did make a few films in the United States, including the 1952 film noir The Turning Point, as well as some films in Germany and Italy before retiring in 1965. McCarthyism took place during a period of intense suspicion in the United States primarily from 1950 to 1954, when the U.S. government was actively countering American Communist Party subversion, its leadership, and others suspected of being Communists or Communist sympathizers. ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... The Turning Point is a 1952 crime syndicate drama starring Edmond OBrien. ...

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


  • 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.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
German 43: Resources: Biographies: Dieterle, William (232 words)
One of the most famous exiles of his time, Dieterle was a stage and film actor since 1913.
During the war, he was very active as a co-founder of the anti-fascist magazine The Hollywood Tribune (edited by Dupont) and of the English-speaking exile theater group "The Continental Players." He and his wife, Charlotte Hagenbruch, struggled to secure work permits for German and Jewish refugees throughout this time period.
Dieterle's incredible success and determination landed him jobs at RKO, MGM, Paramount, and Columbia, his favorite genre being bio-pics.
  More results at FactBites »



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