By Gene D. Phillips
Exiles in Hollywood: Major European Film Directors in America looks at five of those displaced filmmakers: Fritz Lang, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, and Otto Preminger, and analyzes the profound effect they each had on American popular cinema, as well as the ways in which Hollywood changed them; they were simultaneously freer yet less free than they had been at UFA. Wilder and Preminger made key contributions to film noir and later battled the censors and the studios for their “American” coyness around the topic of sex; Zinnemann, an ex-cameraman, transfused the poetic realism of his documentary, People on Sunday (made in Berlin with Wilder and Robert Siodmak), into postwar works such as Act of Violence and The Men; while Lang sprinkled even his sunlit Westerns with bleak fatalism and paranoia. They were distinctive directors and changed American cinema,
and by and large they didn’t return home.
Review written by John Patterson.