Biography of Edward Dmytryk (1908-1999)

Director of American cinema, born on September 4, 1908 in Grand Forks (British Columbia, Canada), and died on 1 July 1999.


Edward Dmytryk grew between the inner workings of Hollywood, i.e. as Guy of errands and projectionist in the 1920s under contract with Paramount, becoming, for this same company, Editor Assistant, until in 1930 he/she was promoted to head of the Assembly, who served until 1939. He/She made his debut as a Director with a film of very low budget, The Hawk (1935), to do so regularly from 1939.

During the first half of the 1940s, Dmytryk directed films very economic and political and social orientation as Hitler completo Children (1943), a violent melodrama who questioned nazi education, before directing his first productions of high budget, companion of my life (1943) and, above all, the magnificent story of a detective (1944), adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Raymond Chandler farewellDoll, with Dick Powell in the role of Philip Marlowe, private detective who then immortalize, two years later, Humphrey Bogart in the big sleep, Howard Hawks. With a screenplay by John Paxton, the style of address of Dmytryk was remembered as the more agile and vibrant in the years of the war (the same story had been already used in The Falcon Takes Over (1942), by Irving Reis, and remade in 1975 under the title goodbye, doll, by Dick Richards).

Dmytryk continues to demonstrate the extent of his great talent in his following films. Vengeance (1945) is an excellent thriller anti-fascist firmly directed, full of technical and narrative developments. Until the end of time (1946), which for much of the criticism is his best work, is a solid version of the novel by Niven Busch The Dream of Home, about the problems of adaptation of three soldiers returning to their homes after fighting in the second world war, which, interestingly, he/she would be released only a few months before the best years of our lives (1946), of William Wyler. Dmytryk got his only nomination to the Oscar with crossroads of hatred (1947), a deep, intelligent and very subtle antisemitic allegation which, despite having certain nuances of the rhetoric, masterfully reflected the environment of a few ex-combatants within days of their return to civilian life.

In 1947, a companion, the director Sam Wood, also pronounced his name in front of the House UN-American activities Committee, so, after rejecting to testify, he/she was charged with contempt of Congress, becoming one of the famous "Hollywood 10".The director, because American nationalized, was quickly dismissed from the RKO, settling for a few years in Britain, where he/she made some films. In 1951 no choice other that go back to the United States to renew his passport, being immediately arrested and sentenced to spend six months in jail. Dmytryk, morally shattered, is called to testify a second time and is forced to give names of partners, which manages to be removed from the famous "black lists" (Blacklist).

His following films will include prestigious high-budget productions, not entirely achieved. The Caine Mutiny (1954) had a solid script, adapted from a best-selling book of Herman Wouk, but suffered from some control of the American Navy, which demanded a number of changes to alleviate the critical charge against the Navy. Dmytryk, aware of his talent, he/she organizes around a sunset in smart scene, thus making a worthy but too theatrical work. The tree of life (1957) was conceived by MGM as the new what the wind. All had put Dmytryk available to ensure the success of the film (a best-seller of Ross Lockridge, part of the war of secession, a romantic intrigue and the couple protagonist of a place in the Sun, Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift), but the work did not get much less, the resonance of famous Selznick production. The dance of the damned (1958) contains a narration hard and complex, where the individual destinies of the characters, the enormous charisma of the protagonists, especially Monty Clift and Marlon Brando, fascinating, perfectly constructed, placed above the story.

However get dimensions of high drama at the western: broken Lance (1954) is a smart film West, with Spencer Tracy in the role of a patriarchal rancher who gradually realizes that he/she is losing control of his empire and his family becomes fragmented at times. And the man Guns Gold (1959), a magnificent film, adult, somewhat twilight, but with all the pace of the best westerns and an exceptional Henry Fonda .

In many of his films, Edward Dmytryk deployed a sensitivity close to the work of Capra: an extraordinary faith in people, a blind belief in the virtues of group collaboration, a deep reverence for the American traditions, and a strong and happy utopia determined in getting to see evil as an aberration can be corrected. His characters strive to find and claim a sense of personal dignity, and normally carry out using tolerant positions related to society, by very dramatic are the arguments, even in the dance of the damned, two films that have to do with Nazism or Hitler completo Children. Normally it has been argued that the work of Dmytryk was impaired after declaring before the House UN-American activities Committee. What is certain is that it should not extrapolate the personal point of view of a citizen threatened (was checked after sneak between his colleagues) with a work of genuine author, so complex, vigorous, with some missteps, some, especially at the end of his career, but absolutely undeniable storyline and visual richness.

Dmytryk wrote in the 1980s several books on cinematic technique: On film editing: an introduction to the art of film construction, 1984; On screen directing, 1984; On screen writing, 1985; On film making, 1986; Cinema: concept and practice, 1988. He/She has written two autobiographical books: Old man aut: a memoir of the Hollywood Ten, 1955; and It's a Hell of a Life, but Not a Bad Living, 1978.


As director:

Cortometraje:1953: Three Lives. 1955: Bing Prresents Oreste.

Largometraje:1935: The Hawk. 1939: Million Dollar Legs (co-directed, uncredited); Television Spy. 1940: Emergency Squad; Golden Gloves; Her First Romance; Mystery Sea Raider. 1941: The Blonde From Singapore; Confessions of Boston Blackie; The Devil Commands; Secrets of the Lone Wolf; Sweetheart of the Campus; Under Age. 1942: Counter Espionage; Seven Miles From Alcatraz.1943: after the rising sun; Captive Wild Woman; The Falcon Strikes Back; Hitler completo Children. 1944: Companion of my life; A detective story. 1945: Revenge; The patrol's Colonel Jackson. 1946: Until the end of the tiempo.1947: crossroads of hatred; So Well Remembered. 1949: Obsession; Give Us This Day.1952: The Sniper; Eight Iron Men; Mutiny. 1953: Forgotten men. 1954: The Caine Mutiny; Launches rota. 1955: Live a great love; The left hand of God; See you in Hong Kong. 1956: The sinister mountain (and producer). 1957: the tree of life. 1958: The dance of the malditos.1959: man of the pistols of gold (and producer); The Blue Angel. 1962: The black cat; The man who didn't want to be holy (and producer). 1963: the insatiable. 1964: where did the love? 1965: Mirage. 1966: Álvarez Kelly. 1968: The battle of Anzio; Shalako. 1972: Beard blue (and coguion). 1975: victims of terrorism. 1976: He/She is My Brother.

As montador:1930: Only Saps Work; The Royal Family of Broadway. 1932: At full throttle. 1934: College Rhythm (comontaje); It is not a sin (comontaje, non accreditato). 1935: noblesse oblige. 1936: Easy to Take; Three Cheers For Love; Too Many Parents; Three Married Men. 1937: Double or Nothing; Hold Em'Navy; Murder Goes to College; Turn Off the Moon. 1938: bulldog Drummond's Peril; Prison farm. 1939: Some Like it Hot/Rhythm Romance; You and I (comontaje); Zaza.

As guionista:1950: The Hollywood Ten (coguion, and appearance).

Productions in which he/she appeared his persona:1976: Hollywood on Trial (interviewee). 1986: 50 Years of Action!


FISCHER, R. Edward Dmytryk, film director. (1990).

LANDLORD, Juan Carlos et to the. Dictionary of Directors. (Madrid: Ediciones JC, 1992).

PASSEK, Jean-Luc et to the. Dictionary of cinema. Librairie Larousse, 1986, (Spanish version of URABAYEN CASCANTE, Miguel. Rialp, 1991).