Joe May

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
May began his career as a director of low-budget crime films and, by the late 1910s, was running his own film empire comprising studios, laboratories and real-estate concerns. (One of several directors who got their ... Read more »
Born: 11/06/1880 in Austria

Filmography

other (11)

Buccaneer's Girl 1950 (Movie)

(From Story)

Angel on My Shoulder (Movie)

(Actor)

Asphalt (Movie)

(Director)

Hit the Road (Movie)

(Director)

Music in the Air (Movie)

(Director)

The House of Fear (Movie)

(Director)

The House of the Seven Gables (Movie)

(Director)

The Invisible Man Returns (Movie)

(Director)

The Invisible Man Returns (Movie)

(Screen Story)

The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler (Movie)

(Screen Story)

Uncertain Glory (Movie)

(Screen Story)

Biography

May began his career as a director of low-budget crime films and, by the late 1910s, was running his own film empire comprising studios, laboratories and real-estate concerns. (One of several directors who got their start under contract to May was Fritz Lang.) After inflation put an end to his tycoon status in the mid-20s May worked as a director and producer for other companies; his greatest achievement of this period was the expressionistic "Asphalt" (1929), a classic "street movie" about a prostitute and a policeman. After being forced to leave Germany in 1933 May made quick stops in France and England before moving to the US, where he made mostly forgettable films. With his actress wife Mia May (he adopted her name rather than vice versa) he later ran Hollywood's Blue Danube restaurant.

Relationships

Mia May

Wife
b. June 2, 1884, Vienna, died 1980 married 1902 adapted Pfleger's stage name, May (later making it legal)

EDUCATION

Royal Agricultural College

Berlin

Milestones

1934

US directing debut, "Music in the Air"

1934

Co-wrote and co-directed (with Rene Pujol), "Dactylo se marie" in France; then to USA

1934

Immigrated to US

1934

English language directing debut (in Great Britian), "Two Hearts in Waltz Time"; direction completed by--and credited to--Carmine Gallone

1933

To Paris; co-directed (with Henri-Georges Clouzot) "Tout pour l'amour" (French language version of May's "Ein Lied fur Dich" 1933)

1928

Appointed head of production for Deutsches Lichtspiel Syndikat (DLS); went to Hollywood to study sound techniques

1925

High production costs or "Der Farmer aus Texas" ended producorial outings (though films still produced through his produciton company)

1923

Due to inflation, reorganized film holdings under managment of brother, Leo Mandl

1918

May-Film allied for one year with newly formed UFA; formed conglomerate made up of production company May-Film GmbH, lab May Kopieranstalt GmbH and studios Fema-Film-Ateliers GmbH and Filmstadt Woltersdorf-Grundstucks-GmbH

1915

Formed May-Film

1914

Served in WWI for short time in Imperial Austrian Army

1914

With Reicher formed the Stuart Webbs Film-Company May & Reicher; outbreak of war prevented any production

1913

Own unit (Abteilung May) set up within Continental, producing detective series "Stuart Webbs" (starring Ernst Reicher)

1912

Film directing and co-writing debut, "In der Tiefe des Schachtes"; then first film as sole writer (also director), "Vorgluten des Balkanbrandes"

1911

Signed contact with Continental-Filmkunst GmbH, Berlin as writer-director

1910

Stged operetta "Clo-Clo" starring wife; in collaboration with Emil Schunemann made two short films intended to be shown for intermissions of stage revue "Rund um die Alster"

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