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Douglas Sirk

Douglas Sirk (April 26, 1900 - January 14, 1987) was a German-born film director most well known for his work in Hollywood.

Claus Detlef Sierck was born in Hamburg, Germany and spread his education over three universities. He had worked in theatre as a stage director from 1922 before joining UFA (Universum Film AG) in 1934. He left Germany in 1937 and on arrival in the USA he soon changed his Germanic name. His first American work was the stridently anti-Nazi Hitler's Madman.

He made his name with a series of lush, colorful, formulaic melodramas for Universal in the 1950s: Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows (preserved by the US National Film Registry), Written on the Wind, and Imitation of Life.

He returned to Germany in the 1970s and died in Lugano, Switzerland. His reputation was of a competent creator of light-weight nonsense, but his work was re-examined after praise by Britsh critics, writers of the French New Wave and the opinions of directors such as Rainer Fassbinder. He work is currently considered to show excellent control of the visuals, extending from lighting and framing to costumes and sets - saturated with symbolism and shot through with subtle barbs of irony.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Douglas Sirk Facts

Birth NameClaus Detlef Sierck
BirthdayApril 26, 1897
BirthplaceHamburg, Germany
Date of deathJanuary 14, 1987 (age 89)

Selected Filmography

Imitation of Life Two-Movie Special Edition
Imitation of Life
4 Movie Marathon: Classic War Collection
All That Heaven Allows
Magnificent Obsession
The Barbara Stanwyck Collection
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