Alberto de Almeida-Cavalcanti entered the French film industry in the early 1920s, and for director Marcel L'Herbier was set decorator on L'Inhumaine (with Fernand Leger) and Feu Mathias Pascal (with Lazare Meerson). He began directing in 1927 with the impressionistic documentary Rien Que Les Heures, and as a writer/director made numerous French films in the late 1920s and early '30s, including Yvette and Le Jour Du Frotteur. He joined John Grierson's G.P.O. Film Unit in Britain in 1934, and wrote and directed several admired documentaries, among them Coal Face, Message from Geneva, and Four Barriers. His notable fiction films of the '40s include the "Ventriloquist's Dummy" episode of the classic horror anthology Dead Of Night and the Dickens' adaptation Nicholas Nickleby. He directed three films in Brazil in the early '50s, but was blacklisted there as a communist and went to Europe to make his final fiction films, most notably the Austrian-made Herr Puntila Und Sein Knecht Matti, a Bertolt Brecht adaptation which Cavalcanti filmed with Brecht's collaboration. His last film was the 1967 Israeli documentary Thus Spake Theodor Herzl (aka The Story of Israel). Cavalcanti also worked in British and French television during the 1960s.