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Lewis Milestone

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Lewis Milestone

Source: Freebase

Lewis Milestone (born Lev Milstein) (September 30, 1895 – September 25, 1980) was an Academy Award-winning motion picture director. He is known for directing Two Arabian Knights (1927), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The General Died at Dawn (1936), Of Mice and Men (1940), Ocean's Eleven (1960), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).

Milestone was born in Kishinev, Bessarabia, Imperial Russia (now Chişinău), Moldova). He came to the United States in 1912 just prior to World War I. Milestone held a number of odd jobs before enlisting in the U.S. Signal Corps, where he worked as an assistant director on Army training films during the war. In 1919 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

After the war he went to Hollywood, where he first worked as a film cutter, and later as an assistant director. Howard Hughes promoted Milestone to director, and one of his early efforts, the 1928 film Two Arabian Knights, won him an Oscar in the first Academy Award ceremony. He also directed The Racket, an early gangster film, and later helped Hughes direct scenes for his aviation saga Hell's Angels (for which he never received credit).

Milestone won his second Academy Award for All Quiet on the Western Front, a harrowing screen adaptation of the antiwar novel by Erich Maria Remarque. His next, The Front Page, brought the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play to the screen. It earned him another Oscar nomination. His work during the 1930s and 1940s was always easily identifiable by its lighting and imaginative use of fluid camera. He worked extensively in television from the mid 1950s.

Lewis Milestone's final request before he died in 1980 was for Universal Studios to restore All Quiet on the Western Front to its original length. That request would eventually be granted nearly two decades later by Universal and other film preservation companies, and this restored version is what is widely seen today on television and home video.

Fact file

  • Born: Lev Milstein September 30, 1895
  • Died: September 25, 1980 (Aged 84)
  • Occupation: Film Director

Read more about Lewis Milestone at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

In the news

On Video: Lewis Milestone’s ‘Armored Attack!’ and ‘Arch of Triumph’
NY Times Movies, 2014-07-24 20:17:26
A 1943 account of a Soviet village’s resistance to invading Nazis was re-edited 14 years later for a different era in the United States.

DVDs: A Grown-Up War Story for a Nation Weary of War
NY Times Movies, 2009-12-25 07:59:01
A scene from “A Walk in the Sun,” Lewis Milestone's 1945 drama, now available in a new DVD edition.

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