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Josef von Sternberg Overview:

Director, Josef von Sternberg, was born Jonas Sternberg on May 29, 1894 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria). von Sternberg died at the age of 75 on Dec 22, 1969 in Hollywood, CA and was laid to rest in Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.


Von Sternberg directed over 30 films from 1925 through 1957 including  The Last Command (1928) for which Emil Jannings won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1927/28. He also directed seven Marlene Dietrich films: The Blue Angel, Shanghai Express, Morocco, Dishonored, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman and Blonde Venus. He was nominated for Best Director for two Dietrich films: Morocco (1930) also starring Gary Cooper, and Shanghai Express also starring Clive Brook.

(Source: article by Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub).



Although von Sternberg was nominated for two Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1930/31Best DirectorMorocco (1930)N/ANominated
1931/32Best DirectorShanghai Express (1932)N/ANominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Marlene Dietrich and

By Amanda Garrett on Jan 22, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm looking at the legendary partnership between director and star Marlene Dietrich. The photo above is from the period when the pair collaborated on The Blue Angel (1930). This article is part of Classic Symbiotic Collaborations: The Star-Director Blogathon hosted by ... Read full article

Unboxing the Silents: 3 Silent Classics of

By Movies, Silently on Mar 8, 2013 From Movies Silently

Set contents: 3 DVDs and a booklet. Well, more of a small book. This is a review of the box set itself, look for reviews of the individual films down the road. What is it?: A box set of three von Sternberg silents: Underworld, The Docks of New York and The Last Command. Who released it?: The Criteri... Read full article

season at the BFI

By Judy on Nov 30, 2009 From Movie Classics

Just thought I’d pass on word that there is going to be a season of movies at the BFI (British Film Institute) in London during December, including some exciting rarities! I’m especially intrigued by the sound of Children of Divorce (1927), a silent movie starring Gar... Read full article

Thunderbolt (1929, )

on Dec 24, 2008 From The Stop Button

Thunderbolt has some excellent use of sound. It’s a very early talky and I’m hesitant to say any of its uses were innovative, because the word suggests others picked up on the techniques and developed them. Most of Thunderbolt‘s singular sound designs didn’t show up again in ... Read full article

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Josef von Sternberg Quotes:

Narrator: It is easy to see what others do; we carry no mirror to reflect our own actions.

Narrator: To look back on something is not the same as having lived it.

Narrator: Nothing that happens to another human being is alien to us: there, but for the grace of God, go I.

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Josef von Sternberg on the
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Josef von Sternberg Facts
Is portrayed by Hans Werner Meyer in Marlene (2000)

Directed 3 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Emil Jannings, George Bancroft and Marlene Dietrich. Jannings won for his performance in The Last Command (1928).

He had an intense creative and sexual relationship with Marlene Dietrich.

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