John M. Stahl
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Life and work
He was born Jacob Morris Strelitsky in Baku (Azerbaijan) to an eastern European Jewish family. When he was a child, his family left the Russian Empire and moved to the United States, settling in New York City. At a young age, Strelitsky began working in the city's growing motion picture industry and directed his first silent film short in 1914.
He took the name John Malcolm Stahl and in the early 1920s, signed on with Louis B. Mayer Pictures in Hollywood. In 1924 he was part of the Mayer team that founded MGM Studios. In 1927,Stahl was one of the thirty-six founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. With the industry's transition to talkies and feature-length films, Stahl successfully made the adjustment. From 1927 through 1930 Stahl was an executive at the short-lived independent studio Tiffany Pictures, and renamed the company "Tiffany-Stahl Productions".
For Universal Pictures, he directed the 1934 film Imitation of Life, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. The following year, he directed Magnificent Obsession, starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor.
John Stahl continued to produce and direct major productions as well filler shorts up to the time of his death. Some of his other notable directorial work was for The Keys of the Kingdom in 1944 and the 1945 film noir, Leave Her to Heaven starring Gene Tierney, who was nominated for Best Actress.
- The Wanters (1923)
- Why Men Leave Home (1924)
- The Gay Deceiver (1926)
- The Toilers (1928) producer only
- The Cavalier (1928) producer only
- A Lady Surrenders (1930)
- Seed (1931)
- Strictly Dishonorable (1931)
- Back Street (1932)
- Only Yesterday (1933)
- Imitation of Life (1934)
- Magnificent Obsession (1935)
- Parnell (1937)
- Letter of Introduction (1938) director and producer
- When Tomorrow Comes (1939) director and producer
- Our Wife (1941)
- Immortal Sergeant (1943)
- Holy Matrimony (1943)
- The Eve of St. Mark (1944)
- The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
- Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
- The Foxes of Harrow (1947)
- Forever Amber (1947) replaced as director by Otto Preminger
- The Walls of Jericho (1948)
- Father was a Fullback (1949)
- Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1949)
- "Actualité de la cinephilie. Le mélodrame strict de John M. Stahl. Saint-Sébastien rend hommage à un maître oublié.". Libération. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
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