Joe May
German Director

(1880-1954)

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Austrian-born German director

Vienna 1880 - Hollywood, California 1954

    Joe May began as a scriptwriter and director in 1912, founded May-Films (1915-32), turned his wife Mia May into a popular serial queen, rose to singular pre-eminence in Weimar cinema, and tragically failed to find a foothold in Hollywood after forced exile.

    In the 1910s and 1920s he directed and produced a number of very successful melodramas, detective thrillers and serials (four Stuart Webbs and twenty-three Joe Deebs detective films).





Asphalt, 1929

    His famous six-part epics (Veritas Vincit 1919; Die Herrin der Welt, 1919; Das Indische Grabmal, 1921) were indicative of his prescience about the future of the feature-length film for the world market.

    May liked to work with a permanent tean (M. Fabbender, R. Kurtz, M. Jacoby-Boy) and saw himself as a promoter of new talent (Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, E. A. Dupont). Working with Erich Pommer on Asphalt (1929), May visited Hollywood in 1928 to gather information on the techniques of sound film and returned to make the comedy Ihre Majestat die Liebe (1931).

    In 1934 he arrived in Hollywood (via London and Paris) with a Paramount contract. His first two Hollywood films, Music in the Air (1934, produced by Pommer and scripted by Billy Wilder and Robert Liebmann) and Confession (1937), were unsuccessful. From 1939 he began to make B-pictures in various genres, but by the mid-1940s found himself bankrupt, trying with his wife to run a restaurant, appropriately called The Blue Danube.

    Other Films Include: Vorgluten des Balkanbrandes (1912); Ein Ausgestobener. 2 Teile, Entsagungen, Heimat und Fremde (1913); Die geheimnisvoile Villa (1914); Das Gesetz der Mine (1915); Tragodie der Liebe. 4 Teile (1923); Der Farmer aus Texas (1925); Dagfin (1926); ... und das ist die Hauptscahe (1931); Paris - Mediterranee/Zwei in einem Auto (1932); Ein Lied fur Dich (1933). In the US: The House of Fear (1939); The Invisible Man Returns (1940); The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (1943); Johnny Doesn't Live here Any More (1944).



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joe may dvds



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joe may

books | dvds | videos | fritz lang | metropolis | m | ufa

triple cross | julie andrews | yul brynner | romy schneider
the godfather | the godfather part ii
marlon brando | james caan | diane keaton | al pacino
laurence olivier | clark gable | vivien leigh | leslie howard | alfred hitchcock | robert montgomery | grace kelly
olivia de havilland | humphrey bogart | howard hawks | frank capra | charlie chaplin | lauren bacall | fritz lang
jean harlow | greta garbo | ava gardner | audrey hepburn | edward g. robinson | john garfield
erich von stroheim | wim wenders | madeleine carroll | marlene dietrich | rita hayworth







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Changes last made: 2010