Family & Companions
A child prodigy on the violin, Czinner was active in the theater before making his film directing debut in Vienna in 1919 with "Homo immanis." He earned international acclaim with "Nju/Husbands or Lovers" (1924), starring his future wife Elisabeth Bergner, a film noted for its psychological depth. But the rise of the Nazis forced Bergner and Czinner to flee the country for England in 1933. Czinner had directed one English-language film, in 1930, "The Woman He Scorned." After moving to London, he directed Bergner in "Catherine the Great" (1934), "Escape Me Never" (1935), a film about a waif who marries a composer, and a version of the Shakespeare comedy "As You Like It" also starring Laurence Olivier. In 1940 Czinner and Bergner left London for New York, where Czinner spent the war years directing and producing plays. After World War II, they toured Australia, then returned to Europe, where Czinner devoted himself to directing and producing operas and ballets, and developed a multiple-camera technique to better translate the performances to the screen. This was utilized for "The Bolshoi Ballet" (1957), and "The Royal Ballet" (1959), and especially "Romeo and Juliet" (1966), in which Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev performed with The Royal Ballet. "Romeo and Juliet" was also his last film.
Director (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Production Companies (Feature Film)
Moved to Vienna
Directed first film, "Homo immanis"
Had breakthrough film, "Nju"; also first time directed Bergner
Directed first British film, "The Woman He Scorned"
Immigrated to England
Became British citizen
Left Britain for the U.S.
Returned to directing after 16 absence with English-language "Don Giovanni"
Made film of "The Bolshoi Ballet"
Directed Royal Ballet's version of "Romeo and Juliet" for the screen