Anatole Litvak

Active - 1930 - 1970  |   Born - May 10, 1902   |   Died - Dec 15, 1974   |   Genres - Drama, War, Romance

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Born in Kiev, Michael Anatole Litwak was a stage actor and assistant director as a teenager. He entered Soviet cinema in 1923, working in Nordkino studios as a set decorator and assistant director. He directed his first film, the 1925 release Tatiana (Hearts and Dollars), but left the Soviet Union that year for Germany, where he edited G.W. Pabst's Die Freudlose Gasse (The Joyless Street, 1925), assistant directed, and helmed the early '30s features Dolly Macht Karriere (1931), Nie Wieder Liebe (1932), and Das Lied Einer Nacht (1933). Fleeing the Nazis, Litvak directed films in England and France, among them the international hit Mayerling (1936). He came to Hollywood in 1937, where he helmed many handsome and polished features, specializing in crime films (The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse [1938], Confessions of a Nazi Spy [1939], Castle on the Hudson [1940], Out of the Fog, [1941]) and romantic dramas (The Sisters [1938], All This and Heaven Too [1953]). He worked on several Army documentaries during World War II, and co-directed The Nazis Strike (1942), Divide and Conquer (1942), and The Battle of China (1943) with Frank Capra. Litvak made even stonger films after the war: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), The Snake Pit (1948), Decision Before Dawn (1951), and Anastasia (1956). In the mid-'50s he began making films in Europe; standouts of his late career are the thrillers The Night of the Generals (1967) and The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (1970).

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