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Josef von Sternberg

Male 1894 - 1969  (75 years)    Has one ancestor and one descendant in this family tree.

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  • Name Josef von Sternberg 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Birth 29 May 1894  Wien, Österreich Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Death 22 Dec 1969  Hollywood, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I373578  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2005 

    Father Moses Sternberg   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F200515  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Marlene Dietrich,   b. 27 Dec 1901, Schöneberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 6 May 1992, Paris, Île-de-France, Fr Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 90 years) 
    Marriage 1930 
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2002 
    Family ID F148223  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Riza Royce,   b. 18 Jul 1903, Lancaster, PA Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 20 Oct 1980, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., California Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 77 years) 
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2002 
    Family ID F148224  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Meri 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2002 
    Family ID F148225  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 29 May 1894 - Wien, Österreich Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos Photos (Log in)Photos (Log in)

  • Notes 
    • split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the army of Austria-Hungary, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Compelled by poverty to drop out of high school, Sternberg worked for a time in a Manhattan store that sold ribbons and lace to hatmakers. A chance meeting in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, led to a new career in the cleaning and repair of movie prints. This job provided an entree to the film production industry, then flourishing around Fort Lee, New Jersey. As an apprentice filmmaker, from around 1916 to the early 1920s, Sternberg developed a lasting contempt for most of the directors and producers he worked for (an exception was Emile Chautard (I), who acted in some of Sternberg's films of the 1930s), and was sure that he could improve on their products. Staked to a few thousand dollars -- even then an absurdly small budget -- Sternberg proved himself right with Salvation Hunters, The (1925). For the next couple of years, he seesawed between acclaim and oblivion, sometimes on the same project (for instance, he received the rare honor of directing a film for Charles Chaplin, but it was shelved after only one showing and later disappeared forever). His commercial breakthrough was Underworld (1927), a prototypical Hollywood gangster film; behind the scenes, Sternberg successfully battled Ben Hecht, the writer, for creative control. With Last Command, The (1928), starring the equally strong-willed Emil Jannings, Sternberg began a period of almost a decade as one of the most celebrated artists of world cinema. Both his film career and his personal life were transformed in the making of Blaue Engel, Der (1930). Chosen by Jannings and the producer Erich Pommer to make Germany's first major sound picture, Sternberg gambled by casting Marlene Dietrich, then obscure, as Lola Lola, the nightclub dancer who leads Jannings' character into depravity. The Sternberg-Dietrich story, both on-screen (he directed her in six more movies) and off (he became one of her legions of lovers, more in love with her than most) is a staple of film histories. Sternberg's films of the mid-1930s are among the most visionary ever made in Hollywood, but in spite of their visual sumptuousness contemporary audiences found them dramatically inert. The films' mediocre box office and a falling-out with Ernst Lubitsch, then head of production at Paramount (Sternberg's employer), meant that after Devil Is a Woman, The (1935) Sternberg would never again have the control he needed to express himself fully. In his sardonic autobiography, he more or less completely disowned all of his subsequent films. In spite (or perhaps because) of his truncated career and bitter personality, Sternberg remained a hero to later critics and filmmakers. His best films exemplify the proposition, as he put it, that in any worthwhile film the director is "the determining influence, and the only influence, despotically exercised or not, which accounts for the worth of what is seen on the screen."

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