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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary [now Hungary]
Died in New York City, New York, USA
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Budapest-born director Paul Fejos first called attention to himself in Kecskemét, Hungary, as a student actor. During World War I he was a soldier in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after the war he became a student of chemistry. His artistic inclination, however, drew him to the scenery workshop of the local opera house. In 1919 he organized the film-scenic affairs of the Government of the Commune. Later he became scenic director of Orient Film and in 1920 he was the leading director for the Mobil Film Co., and also wrote the scripts for his films. His early works are adventure sketches, but even they show his growing reputation for demanding high standards. He still kept his hand in stage work, though, and tried to establish a folklorist passion play in the Hungarian city of Mikófalva.

In 1923, after the failure of his film Egri csillagok (1923), he left Hungary. Arriving in Vienna, Austria, he worked with the legendary Max Reinhardt, then traveled to Berlin to study with Fritz Lang. He later went to the US, working at the Rockefeller Institute for Chemistry as an assistant chemist, eventually becoming a medical bacteriologist. His passion for film never left him, though, and in 1927 he used his own money to produce and direct an avant-garde piece called "Az utolsó pillanat", which told the story of a suicide victim. The film was critically and financially successful, and Universal Pictures put him under contract. His next film was Lonesome (1928), a sweet film about two lonely people who meet at an amusement park, enjoy a wonderful day together but lose each other in the crowd and frantically search for each other. In 1932 he returned to Hungary to shoot two films for a French production company: Ítél a Balaton (1933) and Spring Shower (1932), a tale of a servant girl for a wealthy family who is fired and driven from her village when she gets pregnant by the fiance of the family's daughter.

He stayed in Europe for a while, shooting films in Austria and Denmark, then traveled to Asia and spent several years shooting documentaries. He made his last film in 1941 and switched careers to archaeological and anthropological research. He led an archaeological expedition to ancient Inca towns in South America, and published several scientific papers. He was President of the Wenner-Green Foundation and spent time lecturing on archaeology. He died in New York City in 1963.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Spouse (2)

Lita Binns (? - ?)
Mara Jankovszky (? - ?) ( divorced)

Trivia (2)

Was, before a getting involved with the movie business a respected bacteriologist in Hungary.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945". Pages 315-319. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

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