Joe May

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For other people named Joe May, see Joe May (disambiguation). Joe May_sentence_0

Joe May_table_infobox_0

Joe MayJoe May_header_cell_0_0_0
BornJoe May_header_cell_0_1_0 Joseph Otto Mandl

(1880-01-07)January 7, 1880 Vienna, Austria-HungaryJoe May_cell_0_1_1

DiedJoe May_header_cell_0_2_0 April 29, 1954(1954-04-29) (aged 73)

Hollywood, California, U.S.Joe May_cell_0_2_1

OccupationJoe May_header_cell_0_3_0 Film director, producerJoe May_cell_0_3_1
Spouse(s)Joe May_header_cell_0_4_0 Mia May ​(m. 1902)​Joe May_cell_0_4_1
ChildrenJoe May_header_cell_0_5_0 Eva MayJoe May_cell_0_5_1

Joe May (born Joseph Otto Mandl, 7 November 1880 – 29 April 1954) was an Austrian film director and film producer and one of the pioneers of German cinema. Joe May_sentence_1

Biography Joe May_section_0

After studying in Berlin and a variety of odd jobs, he began his career as a stage director of operettas in Hamburg. Joe May_sentence_2

In 1902 he had married the actress Mia May (born Hermine Pfleger) and took his stage name from hers. Joe May_sentence_3

Continental-Kunstfilm Joe May_section_1

As Joe May, he made ten films for Continental-Kunstfilm GmbH in Berlin; the first, In der Tiefe des Schachtes (In the Depths of the Pit) was released in November 1912, followed by Vorglühen des Balkanbrandes (The Balkan Traitors) (starring Ernst Reicher). Joe May_sentence_4

In the spring of 1914 May directed the first three of the 'Stuart Webbs' films, a popular series in which Reicher played a gentleman detective modelled on Sherlock Holmes: Die geheimnisvolle Villa (The Black Triangle); Der Mann im Keller (The Man in the Cellar); and Der Spuk im Haus des Professors (The Spook in the Professor's House). Joe May_sentence_5

Stuart Webbs-Film Joe May_section_2

May and Reicher fell out with the managers of Continental over the 'Stuart Webbs' films, and left Continental together. Joe May_sentence_6

Having formed their own production company, Stuart Webbs-Film GmbH, they made the next in the 'Stuart Webbs' series, Das Panzergewölbe (The Armoured Vault) in June 1914, using Continental-Kunstfilm's new studios at 9 Franz Joseph-Strasse, Weissensee for the filming. Joe May_sentence_7

When the First World War broke out in August 1914, May had to return to his native Vienna to do his military service, and on his return to Berlin he and Reicher split up. Joe May_sentence_8

Reicher leased the studio at 9 Franz Joseph-Strasse from Continental, and continued to make the 'Stuart Webbs' films with his Reicher & Reicher company until 1918. Joe May_sentence_9

May's last film at Continental was Der geheimnisvolle Nachtschatten (The Secret Shadows of Night) which he produced in December 1914, with Harry Piel directing. Joe May_sentence_10

May-Film Joe May_section_3

In 1915 he founded his own film production company, May-Film GmbH and began to produce a successful series of crime films, whose detective hero went by the name of Joe Deebs. Joe May_sentence_11

Some of these were directed by May himself, others by Harry Piel; Max Landa and later Harry Liedtke played the title role. Joe May_sentence_12

In 1917 May gave Fritz Lang one of his earliest breaks in the film industry as screenwriter on the film Die Hochzeit im Excentricclub (Wedding in the Eccentric Club) and Lang also worked on other May films at this time. Joe May_sentence_13

After the end of World War I May-Film leased the double glasshouse studios at 5–7 Franz Joseph-Strasse (belonging to Deutsche Vitascope) in 1919 for 600,000 marks, which became known as the May-Atelier. Joe May_sentence_14

He also built a film studio in Woltersdorf a village northeast of Berlin in Brandenburg. Joe May_sentence_15

There he went on to produce and direct a series of popular and exotic adventure films, among them the monumental three-hour-long Veritas vincit (1919), the eight-part series Die Herrin der Welt (The Mistress of the World) (1919–20) as well as the two-part adventure film Das indische Grabmal (The Indian Tomb) (1921) starring Conrad Veidt and written by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou. Joe May_sentence_16

These featured Mia May in leading roles and she regularly worked under her husband's direction in a number of melodramas like Tragedy of Love (1922/23) co-starring Emil Jannings. Joe May_sentence_17

Their teenage daughter Eva May (born 1902 in Vienna) tried to build her own career as an actress but committed suicide in 1924 after the end of her third marriage with the film directors Manfred Liebenau, Lothar Mendes and Manfred Noa. Joe May_sentence_18

Towards the end of the 1920s, May moved away from adventure films and produced more realist works, notable among them the World War I love-triangle Heimkehr (The Return Home) (1928) and the contemporary thriller Asphalt (1929). Joe May_sentence_19

During the early years of sound film he worked as a producer for Erich Pommer at Ufa then for different production companies in Germany, Austria and France directing a series of multilingual versions in German and French among those is Ihre Majestät die Liebe / Son altesse l'amour (1930) one of the best musical comedies of the Weimar Cinema. Joe May_sentence_20

Emigration to the United States Joe May_section_4

In 1933 he and Mia, along with many others in the German film industry, emigrated to the United States where he was able to establish himself as director, mainly for Universal Pictures, although his work was mainly on what would be regarded as B movies. Joe May_sentence_21

His most notable works of this period were the Kay Francis vehicle Confession, a remake of the 1935 German film Mazurka, The House of the Seven Gables and The Invisible Man Returns (1941). Joe May_sentence_22

He also worked with the Dead End Kids during this period, helming two films, You're Not So Tough (1940) and Hit the Road (1941), despite constant friction with his juvenile delinquent cast members. Joe May_sentence_23

Confession is especially interesting, in that May's film is an exact copy of German director Willi Forst's Mazurka, right down to the last fade and dissolve, with every shot timed to run exactly the same length, and using the same music as Forst's original film. Joe May_sentence_24

May's last film was the war time comedy featuring Robert Mitchum in a small role, Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More, made in 1944 by the King Brothers and released through Monogram Pictures. Joe May_sentence_25

Death Joe May_section_5

After retiring as a director, May managed the Blue Danube Restaurant in Los Angeles, and died on April 29, 1954, after a long illness. Joe May_sentence_26

He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. Joe May_sentence_27

Partial filmography Joe May_section_6

See also: List of films made by Continental-Kunstfilm Joe May_sentence_28

May served as director unless otherwise noted. Joe May_sentence_29


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe May.