From the earliest days of film, Hollywood has attracted international talent to write, direct and produce movies. Meet a few of the cinematic innovators from abroad who found success in the world’s premier city for motion pictures.
Billy Wilder, born in 1906 in Sucha Beskidzka, Austria-Hungary (today Poland), started his film career as a screenwriter in Berlin. He moved to Hollywood in 1933 to become one of the most talented and daring filmmakers. Wilder is best remembered for writing, producing and directing Hollywood comedy classics such as The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like it Hot (1959), starring film legend Marilyn Monroe. In 1960 he became the first person to win Academy Awards in three major categories — best director, producer and screenwriter — for a single film, The Apartment.
Known as the “Master of Suspense,” Alfred Hitchcock directed 53 feature films in a career that began with silent movies in the 1920s and lasting through the 1970s. Hitchcock moved from his native England to Hollywood in 1940 to direct the mystery movie Rebecca, which won the Academy Award for best picture. He went on to direct psychological thrillers now considered among the greatest movies of all time, including Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960).
Ida Lupino was born into a London show-business family in 1918 and appeared in her first film at age 13. She arrived in Hollywood in 1934 and starred in dozens of movies, including the acclaimed western High Sierra in 1941. Lupino is best known as a pioneering female director and producer in Hollywood in the 1950s — one of the few women to succeed in the male-dominated film industry. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Lupino directed numerous Hollywood-produced television shows.
Ang Lee is one of Hollywood’s greatest contemporary filmmakers. Born and raised in Taiwan, Lee came to the United States in 1975 to study theater at the University of Illinois, followed by a graduate degree in film production at New York University. In Hollywood, he became known for making emotionally intense films, widely diverse in subject and genre, that appeal to both Chinese and American audiences. Lee won an Academy Award for best director for the movie Brokeback Mountain in 2006, becoming the first Asian to win an Oscar. He later won his second best director Oscar for Life of Pi in 2013.