September 4, 1908|
Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada
|Died||July 1, 1999
Encino, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film editor|
|Spouse(s)||Madeleine Robinson (1932–47) (divorced) 1 son
Jean Porter (1948–99) (his death) 3 children
Edward Dmytryk (September 4, 1908 – July 1, 1999) was a Canadian-born American film director known around the World War II-era for his film noirs, receiving a nomination for Best Director Oscar for Crossfire (1947).
In 1947 he was named as one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of blacklisted film industry professionals who refused to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their investigation during the McCarthy-era 'Red scare'. They served time in prison for being in contempt of Congress. In 1951 Dmytryk did testify to HUAC, and rehabilitated his career.
First hired again by independent producer Stanley Kramer in 1952, Dmytryk is likely best known for directing his The Caine Mutiny (1954), a critical and commercial success. The second highest-grossing film of the year, it was nominated for Best Picture and several other awards at the 1955 Oscars. Dmytryk was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
Dmytryk was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada, the son of Ukrainian immigrant parents. His family moved to San Francisco, California. After his mother died, his father, Michael Dmytryk, remarried. In San Francisco, the boy attended local schools and became interested in the developing film industry. He eventually reached Hollywood for work.
In 1939 at the age of 31, Dmytryk became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Film career, early years
Dmytryk made his directorial debut with The Hawk in 1935. His best-known films from these early years were film noirs: Murder, My Sweet (1944), adapted from Raymond Chandler's novel, Farewell, My Lovely; and Crossfire (1947), for which he received a Best Director Oscar nomination. He made two World War II films: Hitler's Children (1943), the story of the Hitler Youth; and Back to Bataan (1945), starring John Wayne.
House Un-American Affairs Committee
Following the war, tensions increased over the Soviet Union's virtual annexation of nations and territories in eastern Europe, and fears of rising Communist power. In the United States, this was a time of the Second Red Scare. Dmytryk was one of many filmmakers investigated by a Congressional committee for affiliation with and activities for the Communist Party or leftist organizations. Summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1947, Dmytryk was one of the Hollywood Ten who refused to testify and were cited for contempt of Congress, serving jail terms.
At first, Dmytryk fled to England where he made the neo-realistic movie, Give Us this Day (1949), a movie sympathetic to the working man based on the novel, Christ in Concrete. The movie, which was successful in Europe, was renamed Christ in Concrete in the United States and quickly suppressed. Dmytryk returned to the United States when his passport ran out and was soon arrested.
After spending several months behind bars, Dmytryk decided to testify and identify persons whom he knew had been fellow members in the American Communist Party, as HUAC had demanded. On April 25, 1951, Dmytryk appeared before HUAC for the second time, answering all questions. He spoke of his own Party past: his brief membership in 1945, and named 26 former members of left-wing groups. He said that John Howard Lawson, Adrian Scott, Albert Maltz and others had pressured him to include communist propaganda in his films. His testimony damaged several court cases that others of the so-called "Hollywood Ten" had filed. He recounted his experiences of the period in his book, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten (1996).
Return to filmmaking
For a time, Dmytryk moved to England and was unofficially ostracized. Independent American producer Stanley Kramer was the first to hire him again, choosing him to direct a trio of low-budget films beginning in 1952. Next Kramer selected Dmytryk to direct The Caine Mutiny (1954); the World War II-drama, adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk, was a critical and great commercial success. It was the second highest-grossing film of the year, and in 1955 received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor and other awards.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, Dmytryk continued to make films for major studios such as Columbia, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Paramount Pictures; his works in the 1950s included The Left Hand of God (1955), Raintree County (1957), The Young Lions (1958), and a 1959 remake of The Blue Angel.
Later in the 1960s and 1970s, he directed The Carpetbaggers (1964), Where Love Has Gone (1964) -both based on novels by Harold Robbins; Anzio (1968) - his last WWII film; Alvarez Kelly (1966), Shalako (1968), and Bluebeard (1972).
After his film career tapered off in the 1970s, Dymtryk entered academic life. He taught about film and directing at the University of Texas at Austin, and at the University of Southern California film school. He wrote several books on the art of filmmaking (such as On Film Editing). He also appeared on the lecture circuit, speaking at various colleges and theaters, such as the Orson Welles Cinema.
Dmytryk died from heart and kidney failure on July 1, 1999, aged 90, in Encino, California.
This filmography lists all the feature films Dmytryk directed, and is believed complete.
- The Hawk (1935)
- Million Dollar Legs (uncredited; 1939)
- Television Spy (1939)
- Emergency Squad (1940)
- Golden Gloves (1940)
- Mystery Sea Raider (1940)
- Her First Romance (1940)
- The Devil Commands (1941)
- Under Age (1941)
- Sweetheart of the Campus (1941)
- The Blonde from Singapore (1941)
- Secrets of the Lone Wolf (1941)
- Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941)
- Counter-Espionage (1942)
- Seven Miles from Alcatraz (1942)
- Hitler's Children (1943)
- The Falcon Strikes Back (1943)
- Captive Wild Woman (1943)
- Behind the Rising Sun (1943)
- Tender Comrade (1943)
- Murder, My Sweet (1944)
- Back to Bataan (1945)
- Cornered (1945)
- Till the End of Time (1946)
- So Well Remembered (1947)
- Crossfire (1947)
- Obsession (1949)
- Give Us This Day (1949)
- The Sniper (1952)
- Mutiny (1952)
- Eight Iron Men (1952)
- The Juggler (1953)
- The Caine Mutiny (1954)
- Broken Lance (1954)
- The End of the Affair (1954)
- Soldier of Fortune (1955)
- The Left Hand of God (1955)
- The Mountain (1956)
- Raintree County (1957)
- The Young Lions (1958)
- The Blue Angel (1959)
- Warlock (1959)
- Walk on the Wild Side (1962)
- The Reluctant Saint (1962)
- The Carpetbaggers (1964)
- Where Love Has Gone (1964)
- Mirage (1965)
- Alvarez Kelly (1966)
- Anzio (1968)
- Shalako (1968)
- Bluebeard (1972)
- The 'Human' Factor (1975)
- He Is My Brother (1976)
Legacy and honors
- 1948, nominated for Best Director for Crossfire at the Oscars
- 1955, The Caine Mutiny nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars
- 1955, Dmytryk was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
- The Hollywood Ten documentary.
- "The 27th Academy Awards (1955) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- Vallance, Tom (July 3, 1999). "Obituary: Edward Dmytryk". The Independent. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
- "Hollywood Ten". Encyclopedia Brittanica. Retrieved 9 December 2012.