Curt Siodmak

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Curt Siodmak
BornKurt Siodmak
(1902-08-10)August 10, 1902
Dresden, Germany
DiedSeptember 2, 2000(2000-09-02) (aged 98)
Three Rivers, California, US
OccupationNovelist and screenwriter
NationalityGerman-American
Period1929–2000
GenreShort stories, novels and screenplays

Curt Siodmak (August 10, 1902 – September 2, 2000)[1] was a German-American novelist and screenwriter. He is known for his work in the horror and science fiction film genres, with such films as The Wolf Man and Donovan's Brain (the latter adapted from his novel of the same name). He was the younger brother of noir director Robert Siodmak.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Siodmak was born Kurt Siodmak in Dresden, Germany, the son of Rosa Philippine (née Blum) and Ignatz Siodmak.[3] His parents were both from Jewish families in Leipzig. Siodmak acquired a degree in mathematics before beginning to write novels.[4] He invested early royalties earned by his first books in the 1929 movie Menschen am Sonntag, a documentary-style chronicle of the lives of four Berliners on a Sunday based on their own lives. The movie was co-directed by Curt Siodmak's older brother Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, with a script by Billy Wilder in collaboration with Fred Zinnemann and cameraman Eugen Schüfftan.[2] Siodmak was the nephew of film producer Seymour Nebenzal, who funded Menschen am Sonntag with funds borrowed from his father, Heinrich Nebenzahl.

In the following years Siodmak wrote many novels, screenplays, and short stories, including the novel F.P.1 antwortet nicht (F.P.1 Doesn't Answer) (1932) which was adapted into a film featuring Hans Albers and Peter Lorre.[4]

Siodmak decided to emigrate after hearing an anti-Semitic tirade by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and departed for England where he made a living as a screenwriter before moving to the United States in 1937.[4] His big break in Hollywood came with the screenplay for The Wolf Man (1941), starring Lon Chaney, Jr., which established this fictional creature as the most popular movie monster after Dracula and Frankenstein's monster.[2] In the film, Siodmak created several werewolf "legends" — being marked by a pentagram; being practically immortal apart from being struck/shot by silver implements/bullets; and the famous verse:

Even a man who is pure in heart,
And says his prayers by night
May become a Wolf when the Wolfbane blooms
And the autumn Moon is bright

(The last line was changed in the sequels to "And the Moon is full and bright".)

Siodmak's science-fiction novel Donovan's Brain (1942) was a bestseller that was translated into many languages and was adapted for the cinema several times, beginning in 1943 with The Lady and the Monster, then 1953's Donovan's Brain and 1962's The Brain.[4] Other films he wrote the screenplays for include Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, I Walked with a Zombie and The Beast with Five Fingers. An extensive interview with Siodmak about his career in both Germany and Hollywood is found in Eric Leif Davin's Pioneers of Wonder. In the plots of his work, Siodmak utilised the latest scientific findings combining those with pseudo-scientific motifs like the Jekyll and Hyde complex, the Nazi trauma and the East–West dichotomy.

In 1998, he won the Berlinale Camera at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

Siodmak died in his sleep on September 2, 2000, at his home in Three Rivers, California.[6]

Works[edit]

Novels[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • The Eggs from Lake Tanganyika (1926)
  • Variation of a Theme (1972)
  • The P Factor (1976)
  • Experiment with Evil (1985)

Non fiction[edit]

  • Even a Man Who Is Pure in Heart: The Life of a Writer, Not Always to His Liking (1997)
  • Wolf Man's Maker (2001) (Posthumous autobiography)

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Credited as Notes Ref(s)
Director Screenwriter Screen story writer Other
Mascots 1929 Yes [7]
Escape to the Foreign Legion 1929 Yes [8]
People on Sunday 1930 Yes Based on reportage by Siodmak [9]
Der Schuß im Tonfilmatelier 1930 Yes Yes [10]
Der Kampf mit dem Drachen oder: Die Tragödie des Untermieters 1930 Yes [11]
The Man in Search of His Murderer 1931 Yes [12]
Der Ball 1931 Yes [13]
Le Bal 1931 Yes [14]
The Invisible Front 1932 Yes [15]
F.P. 1 antwortet nicht 1932 Yes [16]
I.F. 1 ne répond plus 1932 Yes [16]
Marion, That's Not Nice 1933 Yes [17]
F.P.1 1933 Yes [18]
Girls Will Be Boys 1934 Yes [19]
The Crisis is Over 1934 Yes [20]
It's a Bet 1935 Yes [21]
Abdul the Damned 1935 Yes [21]
The Crouching Beast 1935 Yes Treatment [22]
I Give My Heart 1935 Yes Treatment [23]
The Tunnel 1935 Yes [24]
Non-Stop New York 1937 Yes [25]
Her Jungle Love 1938 Yes [26]
The Invisible Man Returns 1940 Yes [27]
Black Friday 1940 Yes [28]
The Ape 1940 Yes Yes [29]
The Invisible Woman 1940 Yes [30]
Aloma of the South Seas 1941 Yes [31]
Pacific Blackout 1941 Yes [32]
The Wolf Man 1941 Yes [33]
Invisible Agent 1942 Yes [34]
London Blackout Murders 1943 Yes [35]
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man 1943 Yes [36]
The Mantrap 1943 Yes [37]
False Faces 1943 Yes [38]
I Walked with a Zombie 1943 Yes [39]
The Purple V 1943 Yes [40]
Son of Dracula 1943 Yes [41]
The Climax 1944 Yes [42]
House of Frankenstein 1945 Yes [43]
Frisco Sal 1945 Yes [44]
Shady Lady 1945 Yes [45]
The Return of Monte Cristo 1945 Yes [46]
The Beast with Five Fingers 1946 Yes [47]
Berlin Express 1946 Yes [48]
Tarzan's Magic Fountain 1949 Yes [49]
Bride of the Gorilla 1951 Yes Yes [50]
The Magnetic Monster 1953 Yes Yes [51]
Riders to the Stars 1954 Yes [52]
Creature with the Atom Brain 1955 Yes Yes [53]
Curucu, Beast of the Amazon 1956 Yes Yes [54]
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers 1956 Yes [55]
Love Slaves of the Amazons 1957 Yes Yes Yes Producer [56]
The Devil's Messenger 1962 Yes [57]
The Brain 1962 Yes Based on "Donovan's Brain" [58]
Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace 1962 Yes [59]
The Lightship 1963 Yes [60]
Ski Fever 1966 Yes Yes [61]
Ritual 2002 Yes Based on I Walked With a Zombie [62]
The Wolfman 2010 Yes Based on The Wolf Man (1941) [63]
Cercasi modella N/A Yes [64]

Film adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)". The Library of Congess. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Wettbewerb/In Competition". Moving Pictures, Berlinale Extra. Berlin: 85. 11–22 February 1998.
  3. ^ Jacobsen, Wolfgang (September 26, 1998). Siodmak Bros: Berlin-Paris-London-Hollywood. Argon. ISBN 9783870244750 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c d Freyermuth, Gundolf S. (1997-09-14). "Despite His Fate, He Found His Fortune". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  5. ^ "Berlinale: 1998 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  6. ^ "Curt Siodmak; Writer Created the 'Wolf Man'". Los Angeles Times. 2000-09-09. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  7. ^ "Mascottchen". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Flucht in die Fremdenlegion". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  9. ^ "Menschen am Sonntag". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "Der Schuß im Tonfilmatelier". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  11. ^ "Der Kampf mit dem Drachen oder: Die Tragödie des Untermieters". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "Der Mann, der seinen Mörder sucht". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "Der Bal". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Le Bal". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "Die unsichtbare Front". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Die unsichtbare Front". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "Marion, das gehört sich nicht". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  18. ^ "F.P. 1". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "Girls Will Be Boys". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  20. ^ "La crise est finie". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  21. ^ a b "It's a Bet". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  22. ^ "The Crouching Beast". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  23. ^ "I Give My Heart". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  24. ^ "The Tunnel". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  25. ^ "Non-Stop New York". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  26. ^ "Her Jungle Love". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  27. ^ "The Invisible Man Returns". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  28. ^ "Black Friday". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Ape". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  30. ^ "The Invisible Woman". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  31. ^ "Aloma of the South Seas". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  32. ^ "Pacific Blackout". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  33. ^ "The Wolf Man". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  34. ^ "The Invisible Agent". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  35. ^ "London Blackout Murders". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  36. ^ "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  37. ^ "The Mantrap". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  38. ^ "False Faces". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  39. ^ "I Walked with a Zombie". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  40. ^ "The Purple V". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  41. ^ "Son of Dracula". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  42. ^ "The Climax". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  43. ^ "The House of Frankenstein". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  44. ^ "Frisco Sal". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  45. ^ "Shady Lady". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  46. ^ "The Return of Monte Cristo". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  47. ^ "The Beast with Five Fingers". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  48. ^ "Berlin Express". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  49. ^ "Tarzan's Magic Fountain". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  50. ^ "Bride of the Gorilla". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  51. ^ "The Magnetic Monster". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  52. ^ "Riders to the Stars". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  53. ^ "Creature with the Atom Brain". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  54. ^ "Curucu, Beast of the Amazon". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  55. ^ "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  56. ^ "Love Slaves of the Amazons". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  57. ^ "The Devil's Messenger". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  58. ^ "Ein Toter sucht seinen Mörder". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  59. ^ "Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  60. ^ "Das Feuerschiff". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  61. ^ "Liebesspiele im Schnee / Ski Fever". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  62. ^ "Ritual". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  63. ^ "The Wolfman". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  64. ^ "Cercasi modella". Filmportal.de. Retrieved May 8, 2021.

External links[edit]