Sjöström, Victor David

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Sjöström, Victor David

 

(also known as Victor Seastrom). Born Sept. 20, 1879, in Silbodal; died Jan. 3, 1960, in Stockholm. Swedish motion-picture director and actor.

Sjöström began acting at the Vasa Theater in Stockholm in 1896. He made his debut in motion pictures in 1912, appearing in The Vampire, and the same year he made the film The Gardeners. His early films tended toward melodrama, but Ingeborg Holm (1913), The Strike (1914), One of Many (1914), and Third Way (1916) are noteworthy for their treatment of social problems. Sjöström’s films are outstanding for their powerful visual images and their portrayal of extraordinary men struggling against social injustice and the forces of nature. Of special interest is their innovative montage. They established Sjöström as the founder of the classical Swedish school of film-making.

Sjöström developed a new style in his films The Outlaw and His Wife (1917), The Girl From Stormytorpet (1917), The Sons of Ingmar (1918), Karin, Daughter of Ingmar (1919), and The Phantom Carriage (1920), in which he also played the leading roles. He worked in Hollywood from 1923 to 1930, subsequently returning to his homeland. In 1930 he made one of the first Swedish sound films, The Markurells From Wadköping.

Sjöström’s last work as a director was the historical drama Under the Red Robe (1937; released in the USSR as Under the Cardinal’s Robe). His last role was that of Professor Borg in I. Bergman’s Wild Strawberries (1957).