Ernst Lubitsch
German-born Jewish film director
Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch was a German American film director. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch. " In 1947 he received an Honorary Academy Award for his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture, and he was nominated three times for Best Director.
Biography
Ernst Lubitsch's personal information overview.
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Humour with a trademark French twist - Australian Jewish News
Google News - over 5 years
Veber believes this coupling of opposites, cruelty with humour, is the “foundation of comedy” and sees German-born director Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be, made in 1942 and set during the Nazi occupation of Poland, as a powerful example of how
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'A Divided World' Suffers from Too Much Company - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
Smedley fares a bit better in his case studies of three émigré directors, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch. After some biographical overkill (“Friedrich Christian Anton Lang was born on 5 December 1890, in Vienna…”), he focuses on films
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The 100 Essential Directors Part 6: Ernst Lubitsch to Vincente Minnelli - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
The odyssey from Ernst Lubitsch to Kenji Mizoguchi will provide illumination on how film's first special effects were used, how two brothers presciently preceded reality television in the Hamptons, and why some directors prefer to work about once a
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New York Film Festival Reveals 2011 Main Slate (Steve McQueen's “Shame” Makes ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... writer-director Alexander Payne (ABOUT SCHMIDT, SIDEWAYS) has emerged as one of the most gifted voices in American movies today, the maker of wry, sharp-edged human comedies that recall the best of Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch and Jean Renoir
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China's Cultural Evolution - New Yorker (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Jia's symbolic art, like that of Howard Hawks and Ernst Lubitsch under the Hays Code, is ingeniously conceived to say exactly what's on his mind regardless of external constraints. Ai's fury is entirely justified—he has endured, and continues to
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James Stewart Movie Schedule: ANATOMY OF A MURDER, THE MURDER MAN - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan. BW-99 mins. 4:15 PM BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1959) A beautiful witch puts a love spell on an unknowing publisher. Dir: Richard Quine. Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon
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Locarno Film Festival Draws to a Close - Hollywood Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
The popular retrospective made second-year artistic director Olivier Pere 2-for-2 in his choices for retrospectives, after focusing on Ernst Lubitsch last year. The selection of Cardinale for the festival's second-to-last career honor – it previously
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Locarno honours master of Hollywood musicals - swissinfo.ch
Google News - over 5 years
Following last year's tribute to Ernst Lubitsch, one of Hollywood's most sophisticated comedy directors, Locarno is now turning the spotlight on an artist who was renowned for “giving substance to the world of dreams”, as critics put it
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Penned by the peerless Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels), Wyler's Good Fairy is the kind of brassy, urbane, romantic lark that Ernst Lubitsch was perfecting in the early '30s. Sporting an irresistible good-girl charm, Sullavan never shone brighter
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To be or not to be … sent back to 1942 - Albany Times Union (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Then you throw in the usual 40s assortment of unparalleled character actors, a sparkling, poignant and witty script, and fantastic direction by Ernst Lubitsch. What more do you want? Oh, and Lubitsch? He's a movie hero of mine. In a different way,
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Eric Rohmer's “Chloe in the Afternoon”: A Humanizing Pleasure - First Things (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Recently I saw the 1943 Ernst Lubitsch film, Heaven Can Wait. In it, a roué dies and winds up being interviewed by a very gentlemanly Satan to see if he qualifies for hell. The roué himself is also a gentleman:, well-mannered and with good taste
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LACMA Film: Remembering Ian Birnie - LA Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
... from the missing woman quickly forgotten by her friends in Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura to the two femme fatales who freely swap identities in David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. Even the ostensible comedies here — Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not
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A Journey Through the Eclipse Series: William Klein's The Model Couple - CriterionCast.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
My first selection was Ernst Lubitsch's One Hour With You, published almost exactly a year after I covered a different Lubitsch film, Monte Carlo here in this same column. Now, even though I ran out of time to complete the series in June as I
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Cranky Hanke's Screening Room: Ken Russell: The Right Filmmaker at the Right ... - Mountain Xpress
Google News - over 5 years
Put another way, I'd be surprised if you could turn up another 17-year-old who washed dishes the summer after high school graduation to finance a 30 minute movie in the style of Ernst Lubitsch with an all Maurice Chevalier (1929-32 recordings)
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LACMA's film series: It's Ian Birnie's swan song - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Birnie's last hurrah, 17 movies that begin screening on Friday, includes some of Turan's favorite movies, including Max Ophüls' "The Earrings of Madame de...," Ernst Lubitsch's "To Be or Not to Be," and Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's "I Know
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All the papers fit to watch - Boston Globe
Google News - over 5 years
Former newspapermen, such as Robert Riskin (Frank Capra's favorite screenwriter) and Samson Raphaelson (Ernst Lubitsch's), flourished in Hollywood. Not coincidentally, so did newspaper movies. There were movies about gossip columnists (“Blessed Event
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Is Jennifer Aniston a "homewrecker"? - Salon
Google News - over 5 years
... along with a winning and unassuming performance from the oft-dissed Aniston, make "Just Go With It" feel like the work of Ernst Lubitsch, at least compared to such previous Sandler-Dugan fare as "Grown Ups." (That was my personal worst film of 2010
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ernst Lubitsch
    FIFTIES
  • 1947
    Age 55
    In March 1947, Lubitsch was awarded a Special Academy Award for his "25-year contribution to motion pictures".
    More Details Hide Details Presenter Mervyn LeRoy, calling Lubitsch "a master of innuendo", described some of his attributes as a filmmaking: "He had an adult mind and a hatred of saying things the obvious way." Lubitsch was the subject of several interviews at that time, and consistently cited The Shop Around the Corner as his favorite of his films. Considering his overall career, he mused, "I made sometimes pictures which were not up to my standard, but then it can only be said about a mediocrity that all his works live up to his standard."
  • FORTIES
  • 1940
    Age 48
    In 1940, he directed The Shop Around the Corner, an artful comedy of cross purposes.
    More Details Hide Details The film reunited Lubitsch with his Merry Widow screenwriter Raphaelson, and starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as a pair of bickering co-workers in Budapest, each unaware that the other is their secret romantic correspondent. David Thomson wrote of it: Lubitsch next directed That Uncertain Feeling (1941), a remake of his 1925 film Kiss Me Again. Produced independently by Lubitsch together with Sol Lesser, it was not a commercial success. Lubitsch followed it with a film that has become one his best regarded comedies, To Be or Not to Be, a witty, dark and insightful film about a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Poland. He spent the balance of his career at 20th Century Fox, but a heart condition curtailed his activity, and he spent much of his time in supervisory capacities. It has been claimed that the last picture made by the director with his distinctive "touch" was Heaven Can Wait (1943), another Raphaelson collaboration. The film is about Henry Van Cleve (played by Don Ameche), who presents himself at the gates of Hell to recount his life and the women he has known from his mother onwards, concentrating on his happy but sometimes difficult 25 years of marriage to Martha (Gene Tierney).
  • 1939
    Age 47
    In 1939, Lubitsch moved to MGM, and directed Greta Garbo in Ninotchka.
    More Details Hide Details Garbo and Lubitsch were friendly and had hoped to work together on a movie for years, but this would be their only project. The film, co-written by Billy Wilder, is a satirical comedy in which the famously serious actress' laughing scene was heavily promoted by studio publicists with the tagline "Garbo Laughs!"
  • 1938
    Age 46
    They had one daughter, Nicola Lubitsch, on October 27, 1938.
    More Details Hide Details When war was declared in Europe, Vivian Lubitsch and her daughter were staying in London. Vivian sent her baby daughter, accompanied by her nursemaid, Consuela Strohmeier, to Montreal aboard the Donaldson Atlantic Line's, which was sunk by a German submarine on September 3, 1939 with a loss of 118 passengers. The child and the nurse survived.
  • 1935
    Age 43
    On July 27, 1935 he had married British actress Vivian Gaye.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1935, he was appointed Paramount's production manager, thus becoming the only major Hollywood director to run a large studio.
    More Details Hide Details Lubitsch subsequently produced his own films and supervised the production of films of other directors. But Lubitsch had trouble delegating authority, which was a problem when he was overseeing sixty different films. He was fired after a year on the job, and returned to full-time moviemaking. In 1936, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1922
    Age 30
    Lubitsch finally left Germany for Hollywood in 1922, contracted as a director by Mary Pickford.
    More Details Hide Details He directed Pickford in the film Rosita; the result was a critical and commercial success, but director and star clashed during its filming, and it ended up as the only project that they made together. A free agent after just one American film, Lubitsch was signed to a remarkable three-year, six-picture contract by Warner Brothers that guaranteed the director his choice of both cast and crew, and full editing control over the final cut. Settling in America, Lubitsch established his reputation for sophisticated comedy with such stylish films as The Marriage Circle (1924), Lady Windermere's Fan (1925), and So This Is Paris (1926). But his films were only marginally profitable for Warner Brothers, and Lubitsch's contract was eventually dissolved by mutual consent, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount buying out the remainder. His first film for MGM, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927), was well regarded, but lost money. The Patriot (1928), produced by Paramount, earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Directing.
  • 1921
    Age 29
    Lubitsch sailed to the United States for the first time in December 1921 for what was intended as a lengthy publicity and professional factfinding tour, scheduled to culminate in the February premiere of Pharaoh.
    More Details Hide Details However, with World War I still fresh, and with a slew of German "New Wave" releases encroaching on American movie workers' livelihoods, Lubitsch was not gladly received. He cut his trip short after little more than three weeks and returned to Germany. But he had already seen enough of the American film industry to know that its resources far outstripped the spartan German companies.
    They, along with Lubitsch's Carmen (released as Gypsy Blood in the U.S. in 1921) were selected by The New York Times on its list of the 15 most important movies of 1921.
    More Details Hide Details With glowing reviews under his belt, and American money flowing his way, Lubitsch formed his own production company and set to work on the high-budget spectacular The Loves of Pharaoh (1921).
  • 1918
    Age 26
    In 1918, he made his mark as a serious director with Die Augen der Mumie Ma (The Eyes of the Mummy), starring Pola Negri.
    More Details Hide Details Lubitsch alternated between escapist comedies and large-scale historical dramas, enjoying great international success with both. His reputation as a grand master of world cinema reached a new peak after the release of his spectacles Madame Du Barry (retitled Passion, 1919) and Anna Boleyn (Deception, 1920). Both of these films found American distributorship by early 1921.
  • 1913
    Age 21
    In 1913, Lubitsch made his film debut as an actor in The Ideal Wife.
    More Details Hide Details He gradually abandoned acting to concentrate on directing.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1912
    Age 20
    He appeared in approximately thirty films as an actor between 1912 and 1920.
    More Details Hide Details His last film appearance as an actor was in the 1920 drama Sumurun, opposite Pola Negri and Paul Wegener, which he also directed.
  • 1911
    Age 19
    He turned his back on his father's tailoring business to enter the theater, and by 1911, he was a member of Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1892
    Age 0
    Ernst Lubitsch was born on January 29, 1892 in Berlin, Germany, the son of Anna (née Lindenstaedt) and Simon Lubitsch, a tailor.
    More Details Hide Details His family was Ashkenazi Jewish, his father born in Grodno in the Russian Empire and his mother from Wriezen (Oder), outside Berlin.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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