William Dieterle


Director
William Dieterle

About

Also Known As
Wilhelm Dieterle
Birth Place
Germany
Born
July 15, 1893
Died
December 08, 1972

Biography

Joined Max Reinhardt's theater company in Berlin after WWI and appeared in numerous silent films from 1921. Dieterle began directing two years later, starring in many of his own features, including his first, 1923's "Der Mensch am Wege." (His costar--in her debut leading role--was Marlene Dietrich.) Dieterle moved to Hollywood in 1930, working for Warner Bros. for a decade and starting o...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Charlotte Hagenbruch
Wife
Screenwriter, actor.

Notes

Dieterle's trademark while directing was that he always wore gloves on the set.

Biography

Joined Max Reinhardt's theater company in Berlin after WWI and appeared in numerous silent films from 1921. Dieterle began directing two years later, starring in many of his own features, including his first, 1923's "Der Mensch am Wege." (His costar--in her debut leading role--was Marlene Dietrich.)

Dieterle moved to Hollywood in 1930, working for Warner Bros. for a decade and starting out with a stunning series of medium scale "A" films and plenty of fine programmers. Indeed, although he made more "important" films later, some historians rate Dieterle's finest period as between 1931 and 1934. His moving "The Last Flight" (1931) was one of the definitive portraits of the "lost generation" of the 1920s, "Jewel Robbery" (1932) was imitation Lubitsch frippery of a very high order, and "Fog Over Frisco" (1934) has developed a cult following for its incredibly fast pace and technical bravura in telling a fairly standard crime story.

As his successes continued, Dieterle became more of a prestige director, proving himself particularly adept at adding vigor to dignified biopics ("The Story of Louis Pasteur" 1935, "The Life of Emile Zola" 1937, "Juarez" 1939). His 1939 adaptation of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939) for RKO was easily the finest adaptation to date of the classic Victor Hugo story, and Dieterle scored with another winning adaptation when he made the marvelous "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941) from the Stephen Vincent Benet tale. From 1942 to 1957 he worked for numerous studios before briefly returning to Europe to make several films, and there was a gradual decline in the general quality of his work. Easily Dieterle's finest film from his later period was the delicate yet beautifully handled romantic fantasy "Portrait of Jennie" (1948), but he also did well with the Ginger Rogers-Joseph Cotten wartime romance "I'll Be Seeing You" (1944). Dieterle's wife, Charlotte Hagenbruch, scripted several of his early German productions.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Die Fastnachtsbeichte (1962)
Director
Omar Khayyam (1957)
Director
Magic Fire (1956)
Director
Elephant Walk (1954)
Director
Salome (1953)
Director
The Turning Point (1952)
Director
Boots Malone (1952)
Director
Red Mountain (1952)
Director
September Affair (1951)
Director
Peking Express (1951)
Director
Dark City (1950)
Director
Paid in Full (1950)
Director
Vulcano (1950)
Director
Rope of Sand (1949)
Director
The Accused (1949)
Director
Portrait of Jennie (1949)
Director
Duel in the Sun (1947)
Director
The Searching Wind (1946)
Director
Love Letters (1945)
Director
This Love of Ours (1945)
Director
Kismet (1944)
Director
I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
Director
Syncopation (1942)
Director
Tennessee Johnson (1942)
Director
All That Money Can Buy (1941)
Director
A Dispatch from Reuters (1940)
Director
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)
Director
Juarez (1939)
Director
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Director
Blockade (1938)
Director
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
Director
Another Dawn (1937)
Director
The Great O'Malley (1937)
Director
The Prince and the Pauper (1937)
Fill-In Director
The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
Director
Satan Met a Lady (1936)
Director
The White Angel (1936)
Director
Dr. Socrates (1935)
Director
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
Director
The Firebird (1934)
Director
Fog over Frisco (1934)
Director
The Secret Bride (1934)
Director
Fashions of 1934 (1934)
Director
Madame Du Barry (1934)
Director
From Headquarters (1933)
Director
Lawyer Man (1933)
Director
Grand Slam (1933)
Director
The Devil's in Love (1933)
Director
Adorable (1933)
Director
6 Hours to Live (1932)
Director
Man Wanted (1932)
Director
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Director
Scarlet Dawn (1932)
Director
The Crash (1932)
Director
Her Majesty Love (1931)
Director
The Last Flight (1931)
Director
Die Maske Fällt (1931)
Director
Kismet (1931)
Director
Der Tanz geht weiter (1930)
Director
Der Tans Geht Weiter (1930)
Director
Fruhlingsrauschen (1929)
Director
Ich Lebe Fur Dich (1929)
Director
Das Schweigen im Walde (1929)
Director
Die Heilige und Ihr Narr (1928)
Director
Das Geheimnis des Abbe X (1927)
Director
Der Mensch Am Wege (1923)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Dämon des Meeres (1931)
Der Tanz geht weiter (1930)
Dan
Der Tans Geht Weiter (1930)
Das Schweigen im Walde (1929)
Fruhlingsrauschen (1929)
Ich Lebe Fur Dich (1929)
Die Heilige und Ihr Narr (1928)
Das Geheimnis des Abbe X (1927)
Faust (1926)
Der Mensch Am Wege (1923)

Writer (Feature Film)

Das Geheimnis des Abbe X (1927)
From Story
Das Geheimnis des Abbe X (1927)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

Magic Fire (1956)
Producer
Vulcano (1950)
Producer
Syncopation (1942)
Producer
All That Money Can Buy (1941)
Producer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Syncopation (1942)
Company
All That Money Can Buy (1941)
Company

Cast (Short)

A Dream Comes True The Making of an Unusual Motion Picture (1935)
Himself

Life Events

1913

Short film acting debut in "Fiesko"

1918

Joined Max Reinhardt in Berlin

1921

Feature film acting debut in "Die Geier-Wally"

1923

Film directing and writing debut (also actor), "Der Mensch am Wege"; co-starring Marlene Dietrich

1930

Moved to US; directed German-language versions of three Hollywood films

1931

Hollywood English-language directing debut, "The Last Flight"

1958

Returned to Germany

Photo Collections

Love Letters - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from Love Letters (1945), starring Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Prince and the Pauper - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Warner Bros' The Prince and the Pauper (1937), directed by William Keighley.

Videos

Movie Clip

Story Of Louis Pasteur, The (1936) - A Victim Of Your Bigotry Paris, 1860, summoned to the court of emperor Napoleon III (Walter Kingsford) in recognition for earlier feats, chemist Paul Muni (title character) rants about germs, irritating physician Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber) and gets blamed (by Porter Hall) for a murder committed by a civilian who supported his theories, then is consoled by Martel (Donald Woods), in The Story Of Louis Pasteur, 1936.
Story Of Louis Pasteur, The (1936) - Predict The Hour Of My Death Divided over whether to support the title character (Paul Muni), their colleague, in his so-far unsuccessful quest for a rabies vaccine, the French medical academy leadership, led by fictional Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber), visits his lab, prompting a dramatic exhibition, in Warner Bros. The Story Of Louis Pasteur, 1936, with Akim Tamiroff as Zaranoff. and Raymond Brown as Radisse, with the pipe.
Story Of Louis Pasteur, The (1936) - Our Criminal Disregard For Germs The last of three vignettes introducing the title character (Paul Muni) finds rulers Napoleon III and Eugenie (Walter Kingsford, Iphigenie Castiglioni) more open-minded than Charbonnet (Fritz Leiber), as the wife (Josephine Hutchinson) and assistant (Henry O'Neill) keep faith, in The Story Of Louis Pasteur, 1936.
Story Of Louis Pasteur, The (1936) - Savior Of The Sheep Ca. 1870, officials Radisse (Raymond Brown) and Martel (Donald Woods) visit Arbois, site of the current Pasteur museum, where Paul Muni (title character), with daughter (Anita Louise) and aide Roux (Henry O'Neill), is treating anthrax, in Warner Bros.' The Story Of Louis Pasteur, 1936.
Lawyer Man (1932) - I'm A Charter Member Feeling frisky after an unexpected offer to join a fancy uptown law firm, Lower East Side lawyer Tony (William Powell) is surprised to find the babe he’s ogling is his own savvy secretary Olga (Joan Blondell), their dinner date ensuing, William Dieterle directing, in Warner Bros.’ Lawyer Man, 1932.
Lawyer Man (1932) - He Could Hide Behind A Circular Staircase His career apparently soaring, as a new partner in an uptown firm, lawyer Tony (William Powell) with barkeep Mike (John Sheehan) gets buttonholed by Gilmurry (David Landau), whom he just skewered in court, then gets his head turned by showgirl Jenny (Claire Dodd), Sheila Terry her wing-gal, in Warner Bros.’ Lawyer Man, 1932.
Lawyer Man (1932) - It Takes A Good Man After beating uptown corporate lawyer Bentley (Alan Dinehart) in court, William Powell, a shade less suave than usual as Lower East Side lawyer Tony, is surprised to be invited to visit, and still more to be offered a gig, early in Warner Bros.’ Lawyer Man, 1932, also starring Joan Blondell, from a Max Trell novel.
Satan Met A Lady (1936) - You're In The Bag Run out of town by police brass in some city, slick private eye Warren William (going by the name Nash, in this instance) immediately ingratiates himself with well-heeled Mrs. Arden (Alison Skipworth) on the train, co-top billed Bette Davis, smartly outfitted by Orry-Kelly, eavesdropping, early in Warner Bros.’ second, and loosest adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, Satan Met A Lady, 1936.
Satan Met A Lady (1936) - I Thought You Were Sleeping Back in town enjoying banter with the secretary Murgatroyd (Marie Wilson) of his long-ago partner Ames (Porter Hall), Shane (Warren William) acts gallant for new client Bette Davis as Miss Purvis (the Mary Astor role in the landmark 1941 version of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon), not apparently realizing she’s been watching him, in Satan Met A Lady, 1936.
Satan Met A Lady (1936) - Without Any Phonus Balonus Having intercepted her, attempting to leave town, the morning after the murder of her maybe-accomplice and his detective partner, private eye Shane (Warren William) jousts with Valerie Purvis (Bette Davis), early in the second Warner Bros. adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, Satan Met A Lady, 1936.
Devil And Daniel Webster, The (1941) - You're Not Dorothy The tantalizing Belle (Simone Simon) appears to Jabez (James Craig) at the birth of his first child then visits mother Mary (Ann Shirley) and Ma Stone (Jane Darwell) in The Devil And Daniel Webster, 1941.
Devil And Daniel Webster, The (1941) - What A Fine Fellow You Were Tumult as Jabez (James Craig) throws out Webster (Edward Arnold) and Mary (Ann Shirley) then encounters Belle (Simone Simon) and Scratch (Walter Huston) who's come to collect in The Devil And Daniel Webster, 1941, a.k.a. All That Money Can Buy.

Trailer

Man Wanted - (Original Trailer) A female executive (Kay Francis) falls in love with her male secretary (David Manners) in Man Wanted (1932).
Grand Slam - (Original Trailer) A Russian waiter (Paul Lukas) rides the craze for contract bridge to fame and fortune in the satire Grand Slam (1933).
From Headquarters - (Original Trailer) Police lieutenant George Brent uses forensic science to solve a decadent playboy's murder in From Headquarters (1933).
Firebird, The - (Original Trailer) A young girl's secret romance is exposed when her lover is murdered in The Firebird (1934) starring Ricardo Cortez.
Lawyer Man - (Original Trailer) When a Lower East side lawyer (William Powell) moves uptown, he becomes Lawyer Man (1933) co-starring Joan Blondell.
Jewel Robbery - (Original Trailer) A jewel thief falls for a tycoon's wife in Vienna in the pre-Code romantic comedy, Jewel Robbery (1932), starring Kay Francis & William Powell.
Dr. Socrates - (Original Trailer) A small-town doctor (Paul Muni) gets mixed up with gangsters in Dr. Socrates (1935).
Dispatch From Reuters, A - (Original Trailer) An entrepreneur (Edward G. Robinson) builds an international news agency.
Crash, The - (Original Trailer) The stock market crash costs a faithless wife (Ruth Chatterton) her fortune in The Crash (1932).
Satan Met a Lady - (Original Trailer) In Satan Met a Lady (1936), the second screen version of The Maltese Falcon, Warren William is the detective and Bette Davis is the doublecrossing dame.
Secret Bride, The - (Original Trailer) A distinct attorney secretly marries the daughter of a man he's trying to convict in The Secret Bride (1935), starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet - (Original Trailer) Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) starring Edward G. Robinson, the true story of the German scientist who devoted his life to curing syphilis.

Companions

Charlotte Hagenbruch
Wife
Screenwriter, actor.

Bibliography

Notes

Dieterle's trademark while directing was that he always wore gloves on the set.