William Dieterle


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William Dieterle
Wilhelm Dieterle
Birthday
BirthplaceLudwigshafen, Germany
Died
Occupation
film director, film actor, stage director, stage actor
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
William Dieterle, the director made specific requests to shoot Vivien's scene both with and without her fearing that she would not last until the end of the shooting and wanted to make sure they had everything covered.
Accompanying the screening was a recently produced fifty-two minute documentary, Francesco Patierno's The War of the Volcanoes, which explored the making of Stromboli and William Dieterle's Volcano (1950), an attempt by Anna Magnani to rival her former lover's project.
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.
The attraction of Holywood before 1933 that brought Marlene Dietrich, Vicki Baum, and William Dieterle to California is not mentioned.
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. Jackson also puts to rest the misinformation begun by the underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger himself (perpetuated by many including this reviewer) that Anger played the Little Indian Boy in the Warner Brothers Dream by definitively revealing that the part was played by Sheila Brown.
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.
Nearly all of the major Hollywood pictures about WWI aviators made in the late '20s and early '30s--Wellman's "Wings" and "Legion of the Condemned," Hawks' "The Dawn Patrol," Howard Hughes' "Hell's Angels," William Dieterle's unduly neglected "The Last Flight"--underline the bitter fatalism of these warriors who, while the most glamorous figures in uniform, had a life expectancy once they started flying of three to six weeks.
I'm sure I've seen lots of these, though at the moment I can only think of Garson Kanin's They Knew What They Wanted (1940), William Dieterle's Love Letters (1945) and Victor Saville's Green Dolphin Street (1947), in which Carole Lombard, Jennifer Jones and Lana Turner respectively married the wrong man but in each case everyone ends up properly partnered.