Max Reinhardt

Active - 1914 - 1959  |   Born - Sep 8, 1873   |   Died - Oct 31, 1943   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

German director Max Reinhardt had a tremendous effect on early filmmakers the world over. Some of his protégés include F.W. Murnau, Paul Leni, Ernst Lubitsch, and Otto Preminger. He was born Maximilian Goldman in Baden, Austria. He first gained notice as a producer and director of plays and during the early 20th century was one of German theater's most influential figures. His innovative stage work had great effect on early directors. Reinhardt's greatest contribution was his role in the development of both Kammerspiel (chamber dramas done in a minimalist and naturalistic style) and expressionist cinema following WWI. But despite his effect on films, Reinhardt only actually directed a handful of silent and sound films, notably the American version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), which he directed with William Dieterle. At one point he owned a large chain of theaters in Austria and Germany, but lost them all when the Nazis took over Germany. Shortly after their rise to power, Reinhardt left Germany and after touring Europe, settled in the U.S. where he spent the rest of his life. There he continued working on-stage as a director and producer. He also founded a Hollywood-based theater workshop and an acting school in New York. His son, Gottfried Reinhardt, became a movie producer.