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Fred Zinnemann DIRECTOR


Fred Zinnemann was born April 29, 1907 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria) with the birth name Alfred. In his childhood, he envisioned himself as a famous and successful violinist. However, he chose instead to go to the University of Vienna to study law. While attending school, he discovered the works of such filmmakers as Eisenstein and von Stroheim, and decided to quit his studies to envelop himself in the motion picture industry. Much to the dismay of his family, he left for Paris from 1927-1928 to study a course in cinematography. Zinnemann soon ascertained that he should move to Hollywood to find the greatest potential for work. Thus, in 1929, he relocated to America, not becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen until 1936.

His first job was as an extra in “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929). Soon after, he found work as an assistant to documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty. From this relationship, Zinnemann learned how to convey a sense of realism in his later pictures. Many of the movies he created drew from his experience with Flaherty, adding authenticity and honesty. In the 1930's, MGM hired him to direct a number of short films like “Friend Indeed” (1937) and “The Story of Doctor Carver” (1938). For his involvement in “That Mothers Might Live” (1938), Zinnemann brought home a Best Short Subject Academy Award. In 1942, after directing numerous shorts such as “While America Sleeps” (1939), “A Way in the Wilderness” (1940), and “A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: ‘Forbidden Passage’” (1941), he moved up to full length feature films. Although, he had done previous work on some full length ones earlier, including “People on Sunday” (1930), “The Wave” (1936), and “Tracking the Sleeping Death” (1938).

Up until 1948, he worked mainly on B-films, not limited to “Kid Glove Killer” (1942), “My Brother Talks to Horses” (1947), and “Little Mister Jim” (1947). With “The Search” (1948), a poignant tale of a post World War II European refugee family in which the director actually made a cameo appearance, Zinnemann got out of his rut and nabbed the film two Academy Award wins and five nominations, one of which included Best Director. However, it was not until 1952 that the director was finally recognized as a major box-office force. His most famous, “High Noon” (1952), starring Gary Cooper, went on to become a multi Academy Award nominee and a classic, raising Zinnemann’s directing reputation. More hits ensued, like “From Here to Eternity” (1953), which cemented his great abilities, “Oklahoma!” (1955), which proved the director had musical skills, “The Nun’s Story” (1959), “The Sundowners” (1960), and “A Man for All Seasons” (1966), which demonstrated his talent for adapting stage works. All of these films were either Academy Award nominees or winners.

Zinnemann took a bit of a break before returning with the thriller “Day of the Jackal” (1973). He followed it up with the anti-Nazi “Julia” (1977) and later, the drama “Five Days One Summer” (1982). With his excellence in a wide range of movie genres, the director proved his filmmaking merit. He additionally presented proof of his artistry and skill in the industry by winning three Oscars and getting nominated for five, although in his whole career his pictures had earned over twenty of the prestigious statuettes. He has been given a vast quantity of other honors from various film festivals and institutes, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Once he retired from directing, he proclaimed “I will always think of myself as a Hollywood director, not only because I grew up in the American film industry, but also because I believe in making films that will please a mass audience, and not just in making films that express my own personality or ideas. I have always tried to offer an audience something positive in a film and to entertain them as well.” Zinnemann’s films left an impact on the viewers, and they, too, will always think of him as a great Hollywood legend. On March 14, 1997, while in London, England, the director had a heart attack and passed away.

1982       Five Days One Summer

1981       Rece do góry 

1977       Julia 

1973       The Day of the Jackal 

1966       A Man for All Seasons 

1964       Behold a Pale Horse 

1960       The Sundowners 

1959       The Nun's Story 

1958       The Old Man and the Sea 

1957       A Hatful of Rain

1956       Screen Directors Playhouse

1955       Oklahoma! 

1953       From Here to Eternity 

1952       The Member of the Wedding 

1952       High Noon 

1951       Teresa 

1951       Benjy 

1950       The Men 

1948       Act of Violence

1948       The Search 

1947       Little Mister Jim 

1947       My Brother Talks to Horses 

1945       The Clock 

1944       The Seventh Cross

1942       Eyes in the Night 

1942       Kid Glove Killer 

1942       The Lady or the Tiger? 

1942       The Greenie 

1941       Your Last Act 

1941       A Crime Does Not Pay Subject: 'Forbidden Passage' 

1940       A Way in the Wilderness 

1940       Stuffie 

1940       The Old South 

1940       The Great Meddler 

1939       Forgotten Victory 

1939       The Ash Can Fleet 

1939       One Against the World 

1939       Help Wanted 

1939       While America Sleeps

1939       Weather Wizards 

1938       The Story of Doctor Carver 

1938       That Mothers Might Live 

1938       Tracking the Sleeping Death 

1938       They Live Again 

1937       Friend Indeed

1936       The Wave 

1932       The Wiser Sex

1931       The Spy

1930       Man Trouble

1930       People on Sunday

1930       All Quiet on the Western Front

1929       I Kiss Your Hand Madame

1927       The March of the Machines  

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