German 43: Exiles and Émigrés

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Dupont, Ewald Andreas

(Zeitz 1891–Los Angeles 1956)

Director. Before becoming a filmmaker, Dupont was a film critic and screenwriter. He began to direct features in the early 1920s, and his commercial hit Variety (1925) brought him international acclaim. With Emil Jannings acting, Karl Freund shooting, and Erich Pommer producing, this cinematic tour de force pushed the limits of everything from camera angles to representations of sexuality on film. Like many of his peers, then, Dupont moved to Hollywood to see if he could become successful there. Unfortunately, his Love Me and the World Is Mine (1928) was a commercial disaster; Dupont learned his lesson and did not hesitate to return to Europe. This time around, he brought his talents to Britain and made two films there that repeated the formula Variety had established several years earlier: Moulin Rouge (1928) and Piccadilly (1929). 1929 was also the year in which he made Europe's first talkie, Atlantic, a film that is mostly remembered for its dialogue in three languages. By 1932, Dupont was ready to give Hollywood another try; he even worked on a film about the Los Angeles Olympics that year. Less than ten years later, however, his career as a director fizzled and he decided to become a talent agent. Dupont would end his career in the early '50s with a series of dreadful B-movies, including The Neanderthal Man (1953).

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