An exploration of how European filmmakers shaped American popular film.
A Hollywood movie is the quintessential form of American cinema: entertainment with a side order of escapism, where good triumphs over evil. However, like the country itself, this style of film was forged through various external influences.
When Europe Made Hollywood explores some of the European influences which shaped Hollywood. From directors such as F.W. Murnau (German) and Michael Curtiz (Hungarian), and actresses Marlene Dietrich (German) and Greta Garbo (Swedish), who were courted by the American studios because of their success in the cinema of 1920s Europe; through to directors like Billy Wilder (Austrian) and Robert Siodmak (German) who were forced into exile to escape the rise of fascism in the 1930s.
All of these European talents made an indelible mark on this most American of popular art forms. And all helped to create some of Hollywood’s most distinctive and enduring films; works which reflected a more complex world than the popular myth of Hollywood would have us believe.
Presented by Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove in collaboration with archive activists Invisible Women and Park Circus. Part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project with support from BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery, and MUBI.