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F. W. Murnau

F. W. Murnau

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Also Known As: Died: March 11, 1931
Born: December 28, 1888 Cause of Death: automobile accident
Birth Place: Germany Profession: Director ...
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MILESTONES

1896:
Moved with family to Kassel, Germany at age seven (date approximate)
1908:
Joined Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theatre company on part-time basis while still attending college
1909:
Stage debut for Reinhardt in "Das Mirakel", using the stage name Murnau (after a small town in Bavaria) for the first time
:
After college graduation, joined Reinhardt full-time as actor and assistant director
1914:
Joined the Army when WWI broke out; first served as a driver on the Eastern front of battle; after service in the infantry, joined the air force, surviving seven crashes
1917:
Plane accidentally landed in Switzerland due to fog; was interned in Andermatt; subsequently worked as an actor there in plays staged in Bern and Zurich; directed a play, "Marignano"; also made propaganda compilation films for German Embassy in Bern
1919:
Co-founded (with Conrad Veidt and others) production company Murnau Veidt Filmgesellschaft; made film directing debut with company's first production, "Der Knabe in Blau/The Blue Boy"
1919:
First film in collaboration with cinematographer Karl Freund, "Satanas"
1920:
First film in collaboration with screenwriter Carl Mayer, "Der Bucklige und die Tanzerin/The Hunchback and the Dancer"
1920:
Earliest surviving film, "Der Gang in die Nacht/Journey in the Night", starring Veidt
1922:
Directed the film generally regarded as his first masterpiece, "Nosferatu"
1923:
Sole original comedy as director, "Die Finanzen des Grossherzogs/The Finances of the Grand Duke"
:
Hired by UFA in the mid-1920s
1924:
Appeared in the film "Der Film im Film", directed by Friedrich Porges
1924:
Co-wrote the screenplay for "Komodie des Herzens" with film's director Rochus Gliese; script credited onscreen to 'Peter Murglie'
1924:
Received considerable international acclaim for his landmark film, "Der letzte Mann/The Last Laugh" (first film for UFA)
1926:
Last German film, UFA's "Faust"
1926:
Immigrated to USA (Hollywood) after he was signed by William Fox to a four-year contract
1927:
Directed first American film. "Sunrise/Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans"; received special Academy Award for artistic merit, arguably the first recipient of the Best Picture Oscar as the award won by "Wings" was voted by the public
1929:
Last film for Fox, "City Girl"
1931:
Co-directed and co-wrote last film "Tabu" (with Robert Flaherty; Murnau killed a week before premiere)
1958:
"Sunrise" voted in a CAHIERS DU CINEMA poll as "the most beautiful film there is"
1970:
Was the subject of the French-made TV production, "Cineastes de notre temps: Murnau/Cineastes of Our Times: F.W. Murnau", directed by Alexandre Astruc
1988:
Was the subject of another made-for-TV film, "Phantombilder", directed by Frieda Grafe and Enno Patalas
2000:
Portrayed by John Malkovich in the speculative feature "Shadow of the Vampire"

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