Josef von Sternberg

Josef von Sternberg

Highest Rated: 100% The Last Command (1928)

Lowest Rated: 44% Macao (1952)

Birthday: May 29, 1894

Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary

Once considered one of Hollywood's premier directors during the 1930s, Josef von Sternberg was mainly remembered for his seven films with German actress Marlene Dietrich. But his main contributions were actually to the language of film, particularly his handling of lighting and mise-en-scene. Von Sternberg was first and foremost a master cinematographer whose expressionistic use of light and dark created stunning visuals onscreen that took on a life of their own. He made his mark as a director during the silent era with "The Salvation Hunters" (1925), "Underworld" (1927) and "The Last Command" (1928). Following the failure of "Thunderbolt" (1929), von Sternberg went back to Germany and cast the then-unknown Marlene Dietrich in "The Blue Angel" (1930), which he shot concurrently in English and in his native tongue. The film turned Dietrich into an international star, and with the exotic actress as his muse, rejuvenated his Hollywood career. Von Sternberg directed Dietrich in six more films, most notably "Morocco" (1930), "Blonde Venus" (1932), "The Shanghai Express" (1932) and "The Scarlett Empress" (1934). But once "The Devil is a Woman" (1935) failed at the box office, von Sternberg's collaboration with Dietrich was over. While he directed a few more films like "Crime and Punishment" (1935) and "The Shanghai Gesture" (1941), von Sternberg's career diminished. Despite the rather quiet end to his days as a director, von Sternberg's influence and reputation as the ultimate Svengali remained consequential for generations of filmmakers.




No Score Yet 83% The Epic That Never Was Himself (director) (archive footage) (Character) - 1965
60% 39% Jet Pilot Director - 1957
100% 68% Anatahan Director $7.8K 1953
44% 59% Macao Director - 1952
100% 71% The Shanghai Gesture Director,
Writer (Screenplay)
- 1941
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sergeant Madden Director - 1939
No Score Yet 80% The King Steps Out Director - 1936
60% 70% The Devil Is a Woman Director - 1935
No Score Yet 86% Crime and Punishment Director - 1935
86% 85% The Scarlet Empress Director,
Original Music,
Film Editor
- 1934
61% 71% Blonde Venus Director,
- 1932
94% 78% Shanghai Express Director - 1932
No Score Yet 50% An American Tragedy Director - 1931
90% 75% Dishonored Director - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Blue Angel Director - 1930
86% 71% Morocco Director - 1930
96% 86% The Blue Angel Director - 1930
60% No Score Yet The Case of Lena Smith Director - 1929
67% 46% Thunderbolt Director,
Writer (Screenplay)
- 1929
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Docks of New York Director - 1928
100% 90% The Last Command Director - 1928
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Dragnet Director - 1928
75% 78% The Wedding March Film Editor - 1928
88% 88% Underworld Director - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Exquisite Sinner Unknown (Character),
- 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bohemian Girl Assistant Director - 1922


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