William Dieterle

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William Dieterle
Wilhelm Dieterle
BirthplaceLudwigshafen, Germany
film director, film actor, stage director, stage actor

Dieterle, William


Born July 15, 1893, in Ludwigshafen. American motion picture director; German by birth.

Dieterle was an actor in M. Reinhardt’s theater (Berlin). In 1913 he made his motion-picture debut. During 1923–29 he shot insignificant feature films in Germany; in 1930 he moved to Hollywood, where he produced melodramas and fictional historical films. In the late 1930’s he produced a series of historical biographies that portrayed progressive men who overcame fanaticism, ignorance, and narrow-mindedness in their struggle for scientific and social progress. These films— The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), and Juarez (1939)—were characterized by the contemporary ring of the deliberate parallels between reactionary forces of the 19th and 20th centuries and by an antifascist tendency. Democratic views were also displayed both in his treatment of the war in Spain in Blockade (1938) and in his film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939, based on the novel by V. Hugo). During the 1950’s, Dieterle produced commercial films in Hollywood, Italy, and the Federal Republic of Germany.

References in periodicals archive ?
Adorno, Brecht, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Clurman, Jules Dassin, William Dieterle, Max Horkheimer, Herb Kline, Fritz Lang, Odets, Max Reinhardt, Jean Renoir, and Schoenberg.
Directed by William Dieterle, whose masterpiece is the dreamlike "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Tennessee Johnson" is notable for the campaign of repression waged against it: Vincent Price, Zero Mostel, and Ben Hecht, among others, petitioned the Office of War Information to destroy the film in the interest of national unity.
BenetAAEs story, previously brought to the screen in an Oscar-winning 1941 version directed by William Dieterle, follows a luckless New Hampshire farmer named Jabez Stone, whose fortunes improve markedly after he signs a contract with a certain Mr Scratch.
One of the first gems his research unearths is that Max Reinhardt had initially dreamed of casting Charlie Chaplin as Bottom, Greta Garbo as Titania, Gary Cooper as Lysander, Clark Gable as Demetrius, Joan Crawford as Helena, Myrna Loy as Hermia and, best of all, Fred Astaire as Puck for the film of A Midsummer Night's Dream he eventually made with William Dieterle.
He claims he played the Changeling Prince in the 1935 film of A Midsummer Night's Dream shot by renowned German theater director Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle on a shimmering soundstage that recalls the forest in Anger's own Rabbit's Moon.
The film, staring Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dan Aykroyd and Kim Cattrall is based on the 1937 short story by Stephen Vincent Benet and is a remake of a 1941 film directed by William Dieterle.