Joe May

Joe May (November 7, 1880, in Vienna - April 29, 1954, in Hollywood), born Julius Otto Mandl, was a film director and film producer born in Austria and one of the pioneers of German cinema. After studying in Berlin and a variety of odd jobs, he began his career as a stage director of operettas in Hamburg before starting to make films from 1912 in Berlin. In 1902 he had married the actress Mia May (born Hermine Pfleger) and took his stage name from hers. In 1914 he founded his own film production company, May-Film, and began to produce a successful series of crime films, whose detective hero went by the name of Joe Deebs. Some of these were directed by May himself, others by Harry Piel. (Around the same time May also worked on the Stuart Webbs series of detective films for another company). In 1917 he 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. After the end of World War I in 1918 May's company built film studios in the Berlin suburb of Weissensee and in Woltersdorf a village northeast of Berlin in Brandenburg.


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