Ewald André Dupont

Ewald André Dupont was a German film director, one of the pioneers of the German film industry. He was frequently credited as E. A. Dupont.  A newspaper columnist in 1916, Dupont became a screenwriter and began directing his own crime-story scripts in 1918. After several successes in his native Germany in silent films, he worked in London and in Hollywood, California. One of his greatest successes was the silent film Varieté (1925). This film, about an ex-trapeze artist, was noted for its innovative camerawork with highly expressive movement through space, accomplished by the prolific expressionist cinematographer Karl Freund. Varieté even did well in the United States, screening for 12 weeks at New York’s Rialto Theatre.  Dupont’s success was noticed by Carl Laemmle at Universal, who offered Dupont a lucrative contract. His first project was Love Me and the World Is Mine in the early summer of 1926, which ran well over budget ($350,000) and was not a success.

Dupont then headed to Britain and made the film Piccadilly (1929), a late silent, which is noted for the central performance of the Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. Atlantic (also 1929) is a retelling of the Titanic disaster and is seen as one of the most innovative uses of sound film technology available at the time. Dupont made several more films in Britain and a few in Germany and France.He returned to the United States in 1933, where he was assigned to several B movies and low budget “programmer” films. Unhappy with the lack of opportunities afforded him in Hollywood, Dupont became a talent agent in 1940.

Dupont returned to filmmaking when he wrote and directed The Scarf (1951). In 1952 and 1953, he wrote 23 episodes for the TV series Big Town (1950–56) and directed two of those episodes, “Tape Recorder” (19 June 1952) and “The Story of Jerry Baxter” (1 January 1953). Dupont directed several more low-budget films, such as The Neanderthal Man (1953), before his death.

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