Biography of Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Director of American cinema, of Austrian origin, born in Vienna on December 5, 1906 and died in New York (United States) on 23 April 1986, whose full name was Otto Ludwig Preminger.


He had his first contact with the art while he/she was a law student. The Max Reinhardt theater company offered him a role as an actor; then became director and producer and would take over the company Theater in der Josefstadt, and when in 1935 he/she came to the United States with the company, the President of 20th Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck, noticed it and offered him a contract in the study. However, as a man of the theatre, still should explore Broadway, and after having directed some titles such as Die grose Liebe (1931) or Danger-Love at Work (1937), made a break until 1943, when returned to the Studio with a comedy, Margin for Error, in where he/she himself, who was Jewish, he/she played a Nazi.

In 1944 he/she became one of his early masterpieces, Laura, based on the novel by Vera Caspary, and starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. Filmed entirely in interiors and based on the interaction between the characters, the film won the Oscar for best cinematography, as well as other nominations. The novel by Martin Holland gave rise, the following year, Ángel or Devil (1945), foray into film noir, starring Dana Andrews, and that Alice Faye gave the opportunity to abandon the music momentarily. Another female protagonist was Linda Darnell, who the director he/she worked with the following titles: Centennial Summer (1946) and ambitious (1947). The latter was nominated the Oscar for its soundtrack.

Eminent director of actresses, Preminger recruited Joan Crawford for Daisy Kenyon (1947), completing the deal with Henry Fonda and Dana Andrews in an intricate love triangle. Two years later he/she adapted the novel by Guy Endore, maelstrom (1949), and it served as the work of Wilde, the Lady Windermere's fan to run The Fan (1949), which had known a version moved in 1925. True to their actors, Preminger returned to having Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in edge of danger (1950), an excellent representation of the film noir based on the novel by William Stuart, where the designer of costumes, Oleg Cassini, then husband of the protagonist, Gene Tierney, had a cameo.

Version of an earlier film, Le Corbeau, of Clouzot, was also poisoned letters (1951), with Charles Boyer and Linda Darnell, and a year later became one of the most disturbing titles of director, angel face (1952), in which Jean Simmons embodied to a sophisticated embodiment of evil, and where the director insisted that Robert Mitchum abofeteara really the actress in a scene. The Moon is Blue (1953), from the work of F. Hugh Herbert, delved into the struggle of sexes in a comedy that relaxing the pace of production of Preminger, starring David Niven. The change earned three nominations to the Oscar: the soundtrack, the mounting and the actress Maggie McNamara. Other noteworthy titles of the Decade was Carmen Jones (1954), based on the novel by Oscar Hammerstein and shot in 17 days in real-world scenarios from the South. The Academy nominated Dorothy Dandridge as best actress and the soundtrack, and Preminger won the bronze bear at the Berlin Festival. That same year the director tried his luck with the western. River no return (1954), starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe is came out of budget and deadlines because the director insisted that the actors themselves know the scenes of the rapids.

In 1955, Marlon Brando was offered the role of Frankie Machine in the man with the arm of gold, an adaptation of the novel by Nelson Algren. But Sinatra was anticipated and signed a contract until Brando could say Yes. Sinatra found his prize in a nomination to the Oscar and BAFTA awards of the British Academy. With part of European sharing, Preminger rushed in 1957 the history of Juana de Arco in Saint Joan, trying to be true to the story, which almost cost him Jean Seberg, which is actually set. More fortunate was his appearance in good morning, sadness (1958), adapted from the novel by Françoise Sagan, a story with some romantic Preminger took to match the point of view of the author (who had not attained the twenty years) with the of an entire generation.

Accustomed to change gender almost at the same rate of production of their films, in 1959, he/she directed Anatomy of a murder, from the text of Robert Traver, pseudonym of the judge of the Supreme Court of Michigan, John D. Voelker. The film was one of the best examples of short stories about the law and the judgments and got his reward in and outside United States and earned five nominations to the Oscar. That same year the director went back to work with Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge in the adaptation of a play, Porgy and Bess, who started in a rugged way when two days before the shooting a fire destroyed most of the costumes (although later received a nomination to the Oscar precisely in this section) and the props.

The 1970s began with one of the titles most committed to the director, but also more controversial over time, exodus (1960). With her director broken slab of the blacklist by hiring Dalton Trumbo as a scriptwriter. A novel of Henry Morton Robinson, gave him the opportunity to delve into the Catholic religion with the Cardinal (1963), which chronicled the history of the Church in this century with respect, but not fail to highlight the errors of the hierarchy and the practitioners. The film won six nominations to the Oscar. The rest of the Decade offered him the opportunity of facing war cinema: first victory (1965), starring John Wayne and shot in black and white, looking for a greater sensationalism; Enter a possible disturbed psychology with the excellent adaptation of the novel by Marryam Modell, the abduction of Bunny Lake (1965); and roll a madcap comedy with Groucho Marx, Skidoo (1968).

In the 1970s Preminger is lavished little and did not reach the heights of previous decades, but gave the film an interesting title and tell me that you love me, Junie Moon (1970) where three disabled, led by Liza Minnelli, trying to readjust to the world. The latest title in the Filmography of Preminger was the factor human (1980), adapted from the novel by Graham Greene, whose script was commissioned Tom Stoppard and whose cast was composed by Richard Attenborough, John Gielgudand Derek Jacobi.


[Preminger was producer of almost all of his films]

1931: Die Große Libe. 1936: Under Your Spell. 1937: Danger-Love at Work. 1943: Margin For Error.1944: Laura; In the Meantime, Darling. 1945: Angel or Devil; The Tsarina. 1946: Centennial Summer.1947: ambitious; Daisy Kenyon.1948: The Lady in Ermine (Co-Director). 1949: maelstrom; The Fan.1950: on the edge of the 1951 danger: poisoned letter 1952: angel face. 1953: The Moon is Blue. 1954: carmen Jones; River of no return. 1955: The man with the golden arm; The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell. 1957: Saint Joan; Good morning, tristeza.1959: Anatomy of a murder; Porgy and Bess. 1960: Exodo.1962: storm over Washington.1963: the cardenal.1965: first victory; The abduction of Bunny Lake. 1967: The desired night. 1968: Skidoo.1970: tell me that you love me, Junie Moon.1971: strange amistad.1975: challenge to the mundo.1980: the human factor.

Work as an actor:

1942: The Pied Piper. 1943: They Got Me Covered. 1945: Where Do We Go From Here? 1953: Traitor in hell. 1976: Hollywood on Trial.

Works for television:

1949: Suspense (series, actor). 1966: Batman (series, actor). 1957: Front Page Challenge (series, actor). 1978: The Hobbit (voice).


LANDLORD, Juan Carlos to the. Dictionary of Directors. (Madrid: Ediciones JC, 1992). PASSEK, Jean-Luc et to the. Dictionary of cinema. (Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1986), (Version Española of Miguel Urabayen Cascante [Madrid: Rialp, 1991]).