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William Dieterle  


TSPDT Rating

  Key Noir Filmmaker  
Jean-Pierre Melville's 64 Favourite Pre-War American Filmmakers (Cahiers du Cinema, October 1961)
See Also
Frank Borzage
Clarence Brown
Michael Curtiz
Edmund Goulding
Charles Laughton
Albert Lewin
Anatole Litvak
Michael Powell
Irving Rapper
John M. Stahl
King Vidor
William Wyler
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Director / Producer
1893 - 1972
Born July 15, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Key Production Country: USA 
Key Genres: Drama, Romance, Melodrama, Romantic Drama, Crime, Biography
Key Collaborators: Warren Low (Editor), Hal Wallis (Producer), Hans Dreier (Production Designer), Victor Young (Composer), Henry O'Neill (Character Player), Joseph Cotten (Leading Player), Henry Blanke (Producer), Joseph August (Cinematographer), Franz Waxman (Composer), Franz Bachelin (Production Designer)
Highly Recommended: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Recommended: Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940), The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), Love Letters (1945), The Accused (1948), Portrait of Jennie (1948), Rope of Sand (1949), September Affair (1950), Dark City (1950)
Links: [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Classic Film and Television Home Page ] [ German 43 Bio ] [ Wikipedia ]
DVD's: [ Amazon ] 
250 Quintessential Noir Films: The Accused (1948), Dark City (1950), The Turning Point (1952)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)Love Letters (1945)
  "Considering that the 1939 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is just about my favourite film, it is a bitter pill to swallow that its German director, William Dieterle, also made a fair percentage of outright clinkers, especially in his later years, his films from 1953 vying with each other for awfulness. But in the Warners years Dieterle's dark, Germanic nature was in full flight and he made some weird and wonderful variations on standard genres there before becoming immersed in the studio's passion for biopics." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Illustrated Guide to Film Directors, 1999)  
  "William Dieterle seemed less interesting than Michael Curtiz in his (Dieterle's) Warners period and less interesting than Billy Wilder in his (Dieterle's) Paramount period...But Dieterle was around on the set when many interesting things happened over the years, and it is reasonable to assume that he had something to do with them." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)  
  "Dieterle proved a prolific workhorse, serving Paramount, Warners, and David Selznick...By the mid-1940s Dieterle was under Selznick's wing and his sense of almost supernatural atmosphere was not unsuited to the producer's dreamy-mystical conception of Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie - indication of how often the women's picture encourages moderate talent into abandoning caution." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)  
  "Bosley Crowther referred to Dieterle as the "Plutarch of the screen," in reference to the filmmaker's brilliant series of cinema biographies throughout the 1930s. Dieterle was influenced by expressionism, and his work is usually slow moving, occasionally top-heavy, but more often penetrating." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  

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