Author: Ray Olson
Of the first generation of top Hollywood directors—Griffith, DeMille, Stroheim, Walsh, Curtiz, Chaplin, Dwan, Fleming, Brown, Lubitsch, Sternberg, Ford, Borzage, Vidor, Keaton, Hawks, Wellman, Capra, McCarey… W(oodbridge) S(trong) Van Dyke II (1889-1943) is the most unjustly forgotten and underrated.
Everybody interested in movies has heard of Leni Riefenstahl. She made the famous, though now quite dull, film of the spectacular 1934 Nuremberg Nazi Party rally, Triumph des Willens (1935), and Olympia (1938), a far more durable record of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
…there was a great German expressionist filmmaker whose surname is Leni—Paul Leni. He made his mark in Germany, but his finest work was done in Hollywood.
Jacques Feyder just must be the font of French cinema in the Renoir tradition. Everything looks very on-location, everyone looks very real-life, every action is quite natural, every development is made as credible as possible through adept, unshowy camerawork, careful lighting, and naturalistic acting.