Ernst Lubitsch was a German-born film director. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood’s most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having “the Lubitsch touch”.
In 1947 he received an Honorary Academy Award for his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture, and he was nominated 3 times for Best Director.
Born in Berlin, as son of a Jewish tailor Simcha Lubitch and his wife Anna of Russian immigrants. Lubitsch turned his back on his father’s tailoring business to enter the theater, and by 1911, he was a member of Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater. He made his film debut the following year as an actor, but he gradually abandoned acting to concentrate on directing.
In 1918, he made his mark as a serious director with Die Augen der Mumie Ma, starring Pola Negri. Lubitsch alternated between escapist comedies and large-scale historical dramas, enjoying great international success with both. His reputation as a grand master of world cinema reached a new peak after the release of his spectacles Madame Du Barry and Anna Boleyn. Both of these films found American distributorship by early 1921. They, along with Lubitsch’s Carmen were selected by the New York Times on its list of the 15 most important movies of 1921.