Known For: Directing · Birthday: 1900-08-08
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Robert Siodmak (; 8 August 1900 – 10 March 1973) was a German film director who also worked in the United States. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for a series of stylish, unpretentious Hollywood films noirs he made in the 1940s, such as The Killers (1946).
Siodmak was born in Dresden, Germany, the son of Rosa Philippine (née Blum) and Ignatz Siodmak and the brother of Curt, Verner and Roland. His parents were both from Jewish families in Leipzig (the myth of his American birth in Memphis, Tennessee was necessary for him to obtain a visa in Paris during World War II). He worked as a stage director and a banker before becoming editor and scenarist for Curtis Bernhardt in 1925 (Bernhardt directed a film of Siodmak's story Conflict in 1945). At twenty-six he was hired by his cousin, producer Seymour Nebenzal, to assemble original silent movies from stock footage of old films. Siodmak worked at this for two years before he persuaded Nebenzal to finance his first feature, the silent masterpiece, Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday) in 1929. The script was co-written by Billy Wilder and Siodmak's brother Curt Siodmak, later the screenwriter of The Wolf Man (1941). It was the last German silent and also included such future Hollywood artists as Fred Zinnemann, Edgar G. Ulmer, and Eugen Schufftan. His next film—the first at UFA to use sound—was the 1930 comedy Abschied for writers Emeric Pressburger and Irma von Cube, followed by Der Mann, der seinen Mörder sucht, another comedy, yet quite different and unusual, a likely product of Billy Wilder's imagination. But in his next film, the crime thriller Stürme der Leidenschaft, with Emil Jannings and Anna Sten, Siodmak found a style that would become his own. With the rise of Nazism and following an attack in the press by Hitler's minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels in 1933 after viewing Brennendes Geheimnis (The Burning Secret), Siodmak left Germany for Paris. His creativity flourished, as he worked for the next six years in a variety of film genres, from comedy (Le sexe faible and La Vie Parisienne ) to musical (La crise est finie, with Danielle Darrieux) to drama (Mister Flow, Cargaison blanche, Mollenard—compare Gabrielle Dorziat's shrewish wife with that of Rosalind Ivan in The Suspect— and Pièges, with Maurice Chevalier and Erich Von Stroheim). While in France, he was well on his way to becoming successor to Rene Clair, until Hitler again forced him out. Siodmak arrived in California in 1939, where he made 23 movies, many of them widely popular thrillers and crime melodramas, which critics today regard as classics of film noir.
Movies & TV Series
Mercenaries of the Rio Grande
Dr. Karl Sternau, the personal physician of the count Bismarck, who spent much of his youth in Mexico, is sent back to that country during the occupation by French troops in the service of the Austria...
Pyramid of the Sun God
Mexico, 1864. The country is divided by the struggle against the French occupation and emperor Maximilian. The German doctor Karl Sternau and his friend Andreas Hasenpfeffer come to love the country a...
Dorothea Angermann the daughter of a clergyman is accused of the murder of her husband, a brutal man that she was obliged to marry because she was pregnant and he was the father of the baby.
The Tsar Alexandre II meets a young student, Katia. He understands that he loves her and try to send her away but they end up seeing each other again and becomes his mistress. With the help of Katia, ...
The Rough and the Smooth
Young blonde woman seems to destroy everyone she comes in contact with.
The File on Thelma Jordon
Cleve Marshall is an assistant district attorney who falls for the shadowy Thelma Jordon. With her sordid past -- and her relationship with thief Tony Laredo kept secret from the married attorney, Jor...
The Great Sinner
A young man succumbs to gambling fever.
Burt Lancaster plays Steve Thompson, a man who seals his dark fate when he returns to Los Angeles to find his ex-wife Anna Dundee (Yvonne DeCarlo) eager to rekindle their love against all better judge...
Two men walk into a diner and ask for a man named "the Swede". He expects the killers to find the Swede and doesn't fight them. An investigator on a hunch decides to look into the murder of the Swede ...
The Spiral Staircase
In 1916, beautiful young mute Helen is a domestic worker for elderly, ailing Mrs. Warren. Mrs. Warren's two adult sons, Albert (a professor) and womanizing impudent Steven, also live in the Warren man...
The Dark Mirror
A sister and her disturbed twin are implicated in a murder and a police detective must figure out which one's the killer.
Genial shopkeeper Philip has to endure the constant nagging of a shrewish wife (Rosalind Ivan) while he secretly yearns for a pretty young stenographer. When the henpecking gets to be too much, Philip...
Don't be fooled by the title. Christmas Holiday is a far, far cry from It's a Wonderful Life. Told in flashback, the story begins as Abigail Martin marries Southern aristocrat Robert Monette. Unfortun...
A man (Jon Hall) tracks his kidnapped bride (Maria Montez) to a jungle island, where her twin is the high priestess.
A mystery woman is a murder suspect's only alibi for the night of his wife's death.
Son of Dracula
Carpathian Count Alucard is invited to the U.S. by a young heiress. Her boyfriend and local officials are suspicious of the newcomer, who is interested in the "virile" soil of the new world.
Someone to Remember
An elderly woman whose son disappeared years before refuses to move when her apartment building is turned into a college dormitory for male students, as she is convinced that he will return one day. S...
My Heart Belongs to Daddy
A distinguished professor finds his well-ordered life tospy-turvy after he is forced to take in a pregnant widow.
The innovative direction of Robert Siodmak lifts the inexpensive imitation-Hitchcock Fly By Night well above the ordinary. Richard Carlson plays young intern Jeff Burton, who impulsively offers a lift...
The Night Before the Divorce
Marital comedy with a dash of murder.
Captain Justin Mollenard works for a company that sells armaments to the Far East. After an eventful stay in Shanghai, where he and his cargo are the victim of a malicious attack, he returns to his ho...
About the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the beginning of the First World War. Focuses on the relationship between a Serbian officer and his Austrian-born wife and their involvement in ...
La vie parisienne
A rich Brazilian, Mendoza, visited Paris in 1900 and was romantically involved with the star of Offenbach's 'La vie parisienne' which was playing at the time. Thirty five years later, he returns with...
The Slump Is Over
A ten-year old film when it was first released in the USA as "Symphonie D'Amour" in 1946. Panard (Fernand Gravet) is a talented composer who is having little success in his musical career. He is reduc...
The Burning Secret
One autumn, Edgar, a 12 year old boy, spends a holiday with his mother at a plush hotel in Switzerland. His father, a busy lawyer, remains at the family home in Vienna. When he sees a stylish motorcar...
Le sexe faible
The story of Madame Leroy-Gomez, a wealthy divorcee living in Paris. Together with her servant Antoine she schemes to marry off her unmarried children and fix any issues that arise for those already m...
Two inspiration sources appear clearly: contemporary American gangster movies and Alfred Döblin’s novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929).
Fresh out of prison a small-time crook finds his girlfriend's dropped him, which sends him into a murderous rage.
Lilian Harvey plays Eva, a young girl taking some time in a health spa and spending her evenings in the town's vaudeville theatre enamoured by a heavily made-up clown called Quick. Quick takes a shine...
When a prostitute is murdered in a cheap Berlin boarding house, an investigating judge suspects that the killer is her boyfriend, unaware that his own son and daughter are also mixed up in the case.
Looking for His Murderer
Robert Siodmak's second solo directorial effort was the breathless comedy-melodrama Der Mann, Der Seinen Moerder Sucht (Looking For His Murderer) In the face of ever-mounting debts, Heinz Ruhmann arra...
People on Sunday
A semi-documentary experimental 1930 German silent film created by amateurs with a small budget. With authentic scenes of the metropolis city of Berlin, it's the first film from the later famous scree...
Hella lives in a boarding house and has various romantic adventures before settling down with vacuum cleaner salesman Winkler.