Herbert Kline

Active - 1937 - 1976  |   Born - Mar 13, 1909   |   Died - Feb 5, 1999   |   Genres - Drama, Visual Arts, Theater, Adventure, Film, TV & Radio

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

American documentarian Herbert Kline is best known for his political films made between the late '30s through the early '40s. Before working in film, the Chicago native edited the New Theatre magazine. Active in Left Wing politics, he joined the New York Film and Photo League, a group known for making sociopolitical documentaries in the early '30s.He turned to more political documentaries following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and was among the first Americans to record the horror and bloodshed there with his 1937 film Heart of Spain. Other political documentaries include Crisis (1938) and Lights out in Europe (1940), his look at the beginning of WW II. In 1947, he made the noted fictional feature My Father's House to dramatize the Jewish fight to create a homeland in Israel. In the '50s, Kline attempted to make more commercial Hollywood features, without much success. He returned to documentary filmmaking in 1970 with Walls Of Fire, a feature about the Mexican Revolution. 1974's The Challenge ... A Tribute To Modern Art was nominated for an Academy Award. He made his last film, about acting coach Lee Strasberg, in 1981. He died in 1999 at the age of 89.

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