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Gustav Machatý

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gustav Machatý
Augustín Otokar Jan Machatý

(1901-05-09)9 May 1901
Died13 December 1963(1963-12-13) (aged 62)
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
Years active1919–1955
Maria Ray
(m. 1937; died 1951)
Helga Marlo
(m. 1951)

Gustav Machatý (9 May 1901 – 13 December 1963) was a Czech film director, screenwriter and actor.[1] He directed films in Czechoslovakia, the United States, and Germany, including Erotikon and Ecstasy.

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He was born Augustín Otokar Jan Machatý in Prague. His father was a real estate investor. Machatý didn't finish high school and started to work in movies as a teenager. He worked as a cinema pianist, actor, screenwriter, producer and art director.

He directed his first film Teddy by kouřil in 1919. In 1920 he left to USA, worked for Universal Pictures and came back in 1922.[1] In 1926 he finally managed to secure funds for his movie The Kreutzer Sonata. The film was a success and led to Machatý getting offers to direct. His next movie Schweik in Civilian Life was not successful. Machatý spent two years studying foreign movies and entered the period in which made the best movies of his career.[2] In 1929 he made an symbolist drama Erotikon, in 1931 a social drama From Saturday to Sunday and an adaptation of Karel Poláček's novel Načeradec, král kibiců and in 1933 his best known film Ecstasy.[2]

Ecstasy was screened in Venice Film Festival and made both Machatý and its lead actress Hedy Lamarr internationally famous. They both received offer to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After making Nocturno in Germany and Ballerine in Italy he decided to accept the offer and traveled to the US.[2] However his American career was filled only by low-level contract work for the studio and MGM producers didn't have any interest in his ideas. From 1940 to 1943 he worked for RKO directing only camera test footage with starting actors. In 1945 he managed to direct Jealousy for a smaller production company Republic Pictures.

After suicide of his wife Maria Ray (1904–1951) he returned to Europe and settled in Munich, West Germany. He directed his last movie in 1955 and later worked as a professor at Deutsches Institut für Film und Fernsehen in Münich. He died in Münich in 1963.[3]

Selected filmography

Year Title Actor Director Screenwriter Notes
1919 Akord smrti Yes No No
1919 Teddy by kouřil Yes Yes Yes Short film
1919 Lady with the Small Foot Yes No Yes
1927 The Kreutzer Sonata No Yes Yes
1927 Schweik in Civilian Life No Yes No
1929 Erotikon No Yes Yes
1931 From Saturday to Sunday No Yes Yes
1931 Načeradec, král kibiců No Yes Yes
1933 Ecstasy No Yes Yes Won Best Director in 2nd Venice Film Festival
1934 Nocturno Yes Yes No
1936 Ballerine No Yes No
1937 The Good Earth No Yes No Uncredited
1937 Madame X No Yes No Uncredited
1937 Conquest No Yes No Uncredited
1938 The Wrong Way Out No Yes No Short film
1939 Within the Law No Yes No
1945 Jealousy No Yes No
1955 Es geschah am 20. Juli No No Yes
1955 Lost Child 312 No Yes No


  1. ^ a b "Gustav Machatý". Česko-Slovenská filmová databáze. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Škvorecký, Josef (1975). All the bright young men and women: a personal history of the Czech cinema. Toronto, Ont: Martin Associates in association with 'Take One' Magazine. ISBN 9780887781100.
  3. ^ "Gustav Machatý". Filmový přehled (in Czech).

External links

This page was last edited on 12 November 2023, at 06:52
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