Like so many theatrically inclined Berliners of the teens and twenties, Lothar Mendes received his training under the watchful eye of Viennese impresario Max Reinhardt. In 1921, Mendes began his film directorial career in Germany and Austria; his last European film, Die Drei Kuckucksuhren (1925), is regarded as his best, if only because it is among the very few of Mendes' still-extant silents. He moved to Hollywood in 1926, almost immediately assimilating to the climate by marrying screen star Dorothy Mackaill. He spent the first half of the 1930s at Paramount, directing such even-handed dramas as Payment Deferred and collaborating with other studio staff directors on such all-star attractions as Paramount on Parade (1930) and If I Had a Million. Transferring to England in 1936, Mendes turned out such worthwhile endeavors as the whimsical fantasy The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1937) and the Paderewski vehicle Moonlight Sonata (1938). When World War II broke out, Lothar Mendes returned to Hollywood, where he toiled on potboilers and second features for a variety of studios until his retirement in 1946.