Mauritz Stiller

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Mauritz Stiller
Moshe Stiller
BirthplaceHelsinki, Finland
Director, screenwriter, actor
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stiller, Mauritz


Born July 17, 1883, in Helsinki; died Nov. 8, 1928, in Stockholm. Swedish film director, actor, and screenwriter.

Stiller worked in various theaters in Finland from 1899 to 1909 and headed the experimental Lilla Theater in Stockholm from 1910 to 1912. He began his motion-picture career in 1912.

Stiller’s best films are screen versions of works by S. Lagerlöf, including The Money of Mr. Arne (1919), Gunnar Hede’s Saga (1922), and Gösta Berling’s Saga (two-part series, 1923–24), and of J. Linnankoski’s novel The Song of the Blood-red Flower (1918). As a director, Stiller was noted for his skillful and profoundly realistic approach to character development. His films stress the importance of atmosphere, especially of nature, which Stiller used as an integral dramatic and narrative element.

Stiller also produced and directed light comedies, in which he combined techniques of situation comedy with subtle character development. Along with V. Sjöström, Stiller was a leading director of the Swedish classical school of cinematography. From 1925 to 1928 he worked in Hollywood, where he directed several films that enjoyed success but were inferior in depth and mastery to those he made in Sweden.


Sadoul, G. Vseobshchaia istoriia kino, vol. 3. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from French.)
Werner, G. Mauritz Stiller och hausfilmer. Stockholm, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
My own research indicates that Mauritz Stiller, the great Swedish director and her primary mentor, changed her appearance long before .she came to Hollywood.
There are also shorter essays on photography and film describing figures such as Karl Sandels, and the masters of the Swedish silent cinema, Mauritz Stiller and Viktor Sjostrom.
For the next three years her work steadily grew and she studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre where she met the influential filmmaker Mauritz Stiller. Around this time she changed her name to Garbo.
Mauritz Stiller's silent pic "Erotikon" in 1920 was the first film to be made in Filmstaden, but Victor Sjostrum's "The Phantom Carriage" and Stiller's "Johan" followed in 1921.
He offers lots of good stories, including those that enlarge on her relationshipwith her mentor, Mauritz Stiller, actor John Gilbert (with whom she lived for a while), Leopold Stokowski, Gayelord Hauser and others.
In its four decades of existence, it has unspooled some of the world's most memorable footage, from Victor Sjostrom's 1921 "The Phantom Carriage" to Gustaf Molander's 1936 "Intermezzo," from Mauritz Stiller's 1920 "Erotikon" to Ake Sandgren's 1993 "The Slingshot," from Ingmar Bergman's 1957 "Wild Strawberries" to Bo Widerberg's 1984 "The Man From Mallorca," from Jan Troell's 1971 "The Emigrants" to Halstrom's 1985 "My Life as a Dog."
1924: Greta Garbo wins her first starring role in SF's silent film version of Selma Lagerlof's "The Saga of Gosta Berling," directed by Mauritz Stiller.
1924 The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller)
It was first filmed by Mauritz Stiller in 1920, and then again in 1937 (by Nyrki Tapiovaara) and 1956 (by Toivo Sarkka.) It certainly seems the ideal vehicle for a silent film, since the narrative is extremely simple and traditional, and the male characters, at least, are clearly either black or white.