Anatole Litvak Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood And Early Life
Film director Anatole Litvak was born on the 21 May 1902 in Kiev, Russia.
Rise To Stardom
Anatole Litvak started out as a stagehand in 1915 when he was only thirteen years old. He then progressed to acting, working in theatre in St Petersburg Russia. Later he found a job at the Leningrad Nordkinn working on set design before progressing to directing short feature films. After the political upheaval in Russia in 1917 and the subsequent nationalizing of theatres, he moved to Berlin Germany.
He had a breakthrough in 1925 when Anatole Litvak had the opportunity to work for director Georg Wilhelm Pabst. His first job was to edit The Joyless Street (1925) which starred Greta Garbo. In the 1930s Nazism was on the rise in Germany and Litvak decided to move to France. He made another breakthrough when he directed Mayerling (1936). It won international acclaim and led to offers from Hollywood.
In 1937 Anatole Litvak worked in Hollywood for Warner Brothers directing The Woman I love (1937), Tovarich (1937), Anastasia (1956) and All This and Heaven Too (1940). The Amazing Dr. Citterhouse (1938), Castle on the Hudson (1940), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) and The Snake Pit (1948). Decision Before Dawn (1951), The Deep Blue Sea (1955) Mayerling (1957).
Anatole Litvak directed three films in the 1960s Goodbye Again (1961), Five Miles to Midnight (1962)
And The Night of the Generals (1967). The last film Anatole Litvak directed was the Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (1970).
Awards And Achievements
Anatole Litvak was awarded the Legion d’Honneur and Croix de Guerre by France, an OBE by the UK. The United States awarded him the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal.
He won a Star on the Walk of Fame (1960) plus two Oscar nominations: in 1952 his film Decision Before Dawn (1951) was for Best Picture and Best Director in 1949 for The Snake Pit (1948). In 1950 The Snake Pit won the Bodil Award for the Best American Film as well as the 1949 International Award at the Venice Film Festival.
His first wife was the actress Miriam Hopkins whom he married in 1939 and divorced two years later. Anatole Litvak then married Sophie Steur in 1955, and they remained married until his death in 1974.
Anatole Litvak died on the 15 December 1974, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France.