Fred Zinnemann: “I always wanted to make films that were more than just entertainment”

It all seems so long ago now, but the memory is still very vivid. It was early 1993 when I first got in touch with Fred Zinnemann—merely by accident, really. To me, he was always one of the greatest filmmakers of all time who influenced me more than he ever could have imagined, and he shaped my passion and enthusiasm for film and my approach toward films enormously. In this pre-internet era of the early 1990s, I got hold of a book full of contact information of actors and directors in the U.K., a book I was allowed to use for some time and belonged to a Flemish film distributor I knew very well.

The book listed Fred Zinnemann with an address and a phone number. I had no idea if this was up-to-date or entirely outdated. So on a sunny and bright Sunday morning, without giving it any thought—I was so much younger then than I am now—I decided to give it a shot and call this London phone number just out of the blue, expecting (or hoping) to hear a message on an answering machine from one of his assistants. In that case, I was lucky. And if so, I knew at least I had the right number, and so I could call again the following day.

So I made the call, and what happened then was beyond anything I could ever have expected. ‘Hello,’ I heard an elderly man saying. Dear Lord! This was without any doubt Mr. Zinnemann on the phone; I just felt it. I pulled myself together, introduced myself, and asked him if I would be allowed to come over to London to meet him for a one-on-one interview about his career in films. Since it was not for radio or television, only for a Flemish film monthly, he agreed right away (he didn’t want to do any more radio or television interviews). ‘Please do send me a letter to tell me what you would like to talk about, and then we’ll set a date.’ By Sunday afternoon, the letter was in the mail.

The cover of Fred Zinnemann’s highly recommendable 1992 autobiography, published by Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd., London

A little bit later, the interview was set, and I was scheduled to meet Mr. Zinnemann at his apartment in Mount Street in London, near Hyde Park. When I entered his office, nicely furnished and beautifully decorated—although to my surprise no film memorabilia, no awards, none of his four Oscars—a very gracious, slender and soft-spoken Mr. Zinnemann, dressed in a nice grey suit, welcomed me with a broad smile and a heartwarming and firm handshake.

Although I had the pleasure of interviewing other giants of the film industry earlier, people who all made screen history—like Orson Welles in Paris, Gregory Peck during a film festival in Brussels, and John Huston in Burbank on the set of “Annie” [1981]—this encounter was different. I had the honor to be invited into the privacy of Mr. Zinnemann’s home just like that, where he had resided for several decades by then after he had left California and decided to move back to his native Europe.

This four-time Academy Award-winning film genius who had made classics like “The Search” (1948), “High Noon” (1952), “From Here to Eternity” (1953), “The Nun’s Story” (1959), “A Man for All Seasons” (1966), and “Julia” (1977), also has the distinction of introducing legendary actors such as Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando and Meryl Streep to the screen. What a cv.

The Academy Awards ceremony on March 25, 1954, at the RKO Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Master of Ceremonies Donald O’Connor presents actress Irene Dunne who announces Mr. Zinnemann as Best Director for “From Here to Eternity”

Mr. Zinnemann was born on April 29, 1907, in Vienna, a city that incidentally produced other top directors such as Erich von Stoheim (1885-1957), Fritz Lang (1890-1976), Josef von Sternberg (1894-1969), Otto Preminger (1905-1986), and Billy Wilder (1906-2002), which is ‘very curious,’ as Mr. Zinnemann puts it: “It’s the same with all those musicians like Horowitz, Schnabel, the Gershwins, etc., who came out of a small corner in Russia and Poland.”

Hoping to become a musician while growing up, Mr. Zinnemann got his Master’s Degree in law at age twenty. He then decided to go into motion pictures instead—his interest in violin and law, at the University of Vienna, had frozen after seeing King Vidor’s “The Big Parade” [1925]—attending the Technical School of Cinematography in Paris in 1927. From there, he went to Berlin to work as a cameraman, and two years later, he arrived in New York [October 1929] on ‘Black Thursday,’ the day of the Wall Street crash, which marked the beginning of the Great Depression. After two weeks in New York, followed by a seven-day Greyhound bus ride to Los Angeles, he had reached his final destination: Hollywood.

Never being a member of the famous Hollywood jet-set during his heyday, Mr. Zinnemann and his family lived quietly in a modest home located on Mandeville Canyon, off Sunset Boulevard, where he did most of the preparation of his films, and used to lay the foundation of a career that so many would envy.

Mr. Zinnemann, when you had first arrived in Hollywood, one of the people who was instrumental in helping you find your way around was Vienna-born writer-director Berthold Viertel who by then had already made a few films in Hollywood. Is that correct?

That’s true. He had been a top director in the German theater in the 1920s and had come over to Hollywood to write films for German director F.W. Murnau [his first Hollywood film was “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” [1927], the first film to win a Best Picture Academy Award in 1929]. As it turned out, Viertel stayed in Hollywood to direct films as well. But there was a time when he needed assistance with some of the technical details of making pictures. I was introduced to him and persuaded him that I was the man he was looking for. On and off, I worked for him and on a personal basis, and I became good friends with the Viertels [Berthold, his wife Salka, and their children, including author Peter Viertel, who in 1960 married two-time Zinnemann actress Deborah Kerr]. At Viertel’s home, I also got to know Robert J. Flaherty, a documentary maker who just returned from working with Murnau on “Tabu: A Story of the South Seas” [1931], and I also got to work with him.

This happened at the famous Sunday afternoon gatherings at the Viertels?

Yes, they had a house in Santa Monica, and on Sundays, there were people like Sergei Eisenstein, Jacques Feyder who originally was from your country, Max Reinhardt, William Dieterle, or Greta Garbo, who also dropped by. She was a close friend of the Viertels [Salka Viertel wrote five screenplays for Garbo from 1933 to 1941: “Queen Christina,” “The Painted Veil,” “Anna Karenina,” “Conquest” and Garbo’s final film, “The Two-Faced Woman”].

Did Robert J. Flaherty influence your later work?

Absolutely. He was a great storyteller. I honestly believe he has been the greatest single influence on me as a film director. He was always his own man. He stuck to a project if he truly believed in it, but Hollywood was a difficult place for him to work. There were times when you had to be a little flexible; you had to know how to bend. It was very difficult for him to compromise.

After “The Wave” [1936], you made several shorts for MGM from 1937 to 1942, until your first feature at the studio, “The Kid Glove Killer” [1942]. How do you look back to those years?

It was an invaluable training. The short subjects department at MGM hired me after they had seen “The Wave”. This was the place to test and train young, new people. No other studio had such a unique training ground. Many of us were later promoted to making features, like George Sidney, Jacques Tourneur, Roy Rowland, and Jules Dassin. We always had small budgets and tight shooting schedules, set at four days per reel. I am sure that this training and this experience taught me how to shoot “High Noon” [1952] in twenty-eight days. That’s four weeks, which is very quick. When Jack Chertok, in charge of the shorts then, started producing features, he asked me to direct his first film, “The Kid Glove Killer.” That’s how I became a director of feature films.

You made several features during your seven-year contract at MGM. Yet, by the time your contract was about to be finished, you didn’t renew it. Can you explain why?

MGM was a factory, and fortunately, the man at the top, Louis B. Mayer, had a very good idea of quality. He had terribly good people working there. You could learn your profession because you had to work on a contract that went on for several years. You could develop as a craftsman and learn how to direct. So I think it was a very useful and helpful professio­nal education. In those days, MGM and all the other studios were run by showmen who had a lot of practical experience, often going back to the silent era. The people who run the studios now don’t know anything about show business; they are primarily moneymen. But what I thought was bad about the studio system back then, though, was the constant demand from the studio to do things their way. In other words, for instance, they’d say, ‘Here’s a script, and so and so is going to play those parts. You’re going to start in three weeks on the sets of stage 24. Is there anything else you want to know?’ When you started in the early stages, they were dictating what you could or could not do, and you were legally obligated to obey them without any objections, which made it difficult. Sometimes I would get terrible scripts, like the two Jackie ‘Butch’ Jenkins films that I really hated doing, “My Brother Talks to Horses” and “Little Mister Jim” [both 1947]. I simply had to do those because of my contract, but it made me very cautious in many ways and I found out I wasn’t a company man. I could not work that way. So when my contract was finished, I didn’t renew it.

“The Seventh Cross” (1944, trailer)

“The Seventh Cross” [1944] with Spencer Tracy turned out to be a very powerful World War II drama. And a few years later, you were able to do “The Search” [1948], to this day still one of the most outstanding and poignant World War II dramas. How did that film come about?

After “The Seventh Cross,” I turned down a number of inferior scripts, and so I became the first director to be suspended by the studio for a short while. I got the reputation of being ‘difficult to handle.’ A Swiss company which had seen “The Seventh Cross” liked the film, they invited me to come over to Switzerland to make “The Search.” MGM didn’t mind at all letting me go, and they also agreed to put up the major part of the financing. The film, shot on location in Europe, turned out to be a huge success, winning a few Oscars, and when I got back at MGM, doors were flying open. Everybody came running at me with broad smiles on their faces.

Is it true that you were considered to direct “Battleground” [1949]?

That’s right. I was going to make it at RKO with other actors, including Robert Mitchum—who was later also first considered to play the Burt Lancaster role in “From Here to Eternity” [1953]. But Howard Hughes didn’t like the idea of doing a war picture now that the war was over. Also, I preferred to shoot the film on location in Belgium, in and around Bastogne. But the studio didn’t want to take that chance, with the weather and things like that, and the film would have become too expensive for them. Eventually “Battleground” was made at MGM’s soundstages and backlots, with William A. Wellman directing it.

So no “Battleground,” but you had launched Montgomery Clift, and after MGM did not renew your contract, you were about to make “The Men” [1950] with Marlon Brando in his screen debut.

Well, after leaving MGM, in the beginning, I got three scripts a week, then two, and after a while, nothing. I couldn’t find a job for a year. Then I was approached by producer Stanley Kramer and screenwriter Carl Foreman who suggested me to direct “The Men”. The studio would never have agreed to make such a film, but Kramer and Foreman were very courageous and ambitious young men, and so it was a great pleasure to make that film. And you were not told who was going to be in that picture. Eventually, the film was a total flop: it was made for a post-war audience, but it happened to come out just before the Korean war started. By then, nobody wanted to see paralyzed war veterans. But we were our own front office—Stanley Kramer, Carl Foreman, and I—we didn’t have to persuade anyone; we didn’t have to bargain to get the film made.

How would you compare directing Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift?

Let me first say that they are two of the most talented actors I have ever worked with in my life. Clift was a more disciplined actor than Brando was, I think. As a director, you could shape his performance more easily. He also played to the other people, while Brando tends to play to himself. When we made his first film, “The Men,” he was great to work with; he was like a force of nature. But if you really want me to compare both of them, Monty Clift was an easier actor to work with. On the other hand, let us not forget Audrey Hepburn and a number of other marvelous actors and actresses too. They were all great, although I never can say who is the best. If you would force me to give a name, I would say Spencer Tracy. Like Vanessa Redgrave, he’s one of the very few film actors who doesn’t have to do anything, he just has to be there; his reactions seem to me a lot better than the actions of a lot of actors. But the young audience hardly knows Tracy. The only one from that era that’s still popular is Humphrey Bogart. Somehow he still represents the rebel spirit. Actors like Gary Cooper are not nearly as popular as they should be.

Is it possible to make a comparison between, let’s say, Montgomery Clift, and the stars of today, like Tom Cruise?

I think Tom Cruise is a very talented actor and there are a tremendous amount of talented people working now. But I don’t think it’s really fair to compare his work under the conditions that his work is done with the actors of thirty, forty years ago. Now, they all work in a highly sophisticated, technocratically oriented factory system. The whole basis of picture-making has changed from the ambition of doing something that has some positive value to things that make money. It doesn’t matter all that much what it’s about, whether it’s positive or negative. So suppose if somebody would say that Tom Cruise may not be as good as, let’s say, Montgomery Clift, it basically has to do with the fact that he doesn’t work with material that’s as good as what Clift had, you know. But I think that Tom Cruise is very good today. And you can see that everywhere. Where is the statesman today who is like Churchill or Roosevelt? I know I’m talking like a very old man, I am an old man, I’ve seen it all twice. Sometimes when I see what’s happening in the world, it’s a déjà vu. It all has happened before, fifty or sixty years ago.

Going back to the early 1950s, “High Noon” did much better at the box office than “The Men,” didn’t it? How did the critics respond?

I always get surprised when I hear various critics doing very deep philosophical analyses of films like “High Noon.” I always have to laugh because it’s so far away from what it’s about. Somebody once said it’s a parable on the war in Korea; somebody else with much more justification said it’s an allegory on the days of McCarthy, which is perhaps a little more to the point. But actually it’s very simple: it’s a story about compromise against commitment, you know, that you’re really prepared to stand by something that you believe in and you don’t compromi­se. That’s what “High Noon” is about: a man who won’t compromise. There are people who compromise for very good reasons, some have not very good reasons, so in a sense, everybody recognizes himself. But it’s got nothing to do with Korea or with McCarthy.

Carl Foreman, writer of both “The Men” and “High Noon,” had to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities [HUAC] during the production of “High Noon.” He admitted he had been a member of the Communist Party, but refused to give names, and as a result of being an uncooperative witness, he was blacklisted by Hollywood for many years. Do you think that damaged “High Noon”?

No, because I never thought of “High Noon” in political terms. As I told you, to me, it was a story about a man who wouldn’t compromise.

From then on, all of your films turned out to be masterpieces: “From Here to Eternity” [1953], “The Nun’s Story” [1959], “The Sundowners” [1960], “A Man for all Seasons” [1966], and “Julia” [1977], to name a few. Yet, as a four-time Oscar winner, you seem to be less known to the outside world than, for example, Billy Wilder or John Huston. How would you explain that?

They are great filmmakers, they are very social, they get around, and they also look for publicity. If it comes their way, they’ll take it. By instinct, I avoided it because it’s like a merry-go-round, you know: once you get on it, you can’t get off. If you’re good with interviews, you get into it more and more, you get more on television. But that doesn’t interest me very much. If people don’t talk about me, tant pis alors, it doesn’t bother me. In the context of what’s happening in the world today, I don’t think it’s that important. Maybe it has to do with the fact that people don’t know much about me—I feel what I have to contribute is on film. I know that I’ve made good pictures, I know the people I respect, like my pictures. I realize that the pictures I made, are perhaps too up-market, not for a broad audience. I also feel that from the seventies on, the whole trend of thinking has gone in a direction that isn’t the way I look at life or the kind of pictures that I make. People like more films with entertainment values, maybe my pictures are more like lectures. I do what I do, and if people like it, I’m very happy. And if they don’t, I’m sorry that they don’t like it, but I don’t feel desperate about it. I get depressed about it, yes.

What was your main ambition when you decided to accept a script and make all those wonderful films which all turned out to be absolute masterpieces?

That is very easy to explain: all I looked for was that when people came out of the theater, they didn’t have to be ashamed to be a member of the human race and that they could feel good about themselves, about being a person. And when you’ve seen a piece of good work, whatever it is, whether it is a good painting, or if you read a really good book and not something that just kills time, it makes you feel good, it gives you a good feeling. I always wanted to make films that were more than just entertainment. I like people to be entertained, but I don’t want it to be empty.

The Academy Awards ceremony at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on April 10, 1967, with Bob Hope as Master of Ceremonies. This evening was one of the numerous highlights of Mr. Zinnemann’s outstanding career: “A Man for All Seasons”—not talked about in our conversation—won six Academy Awards, including two for Mr. Zinnemann for Best Director (at the beginning if this clip) and Best Picture, after seven minutes, Oscar awarded to Mr. Zinnemann by his leading lady Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story” [1959].

Since “Five Days, One Summer” [1982] you haven’t made any films anymore. Would you still be interested in making another film if the right script came along?

No, it would be very difficult for me to make another film and I have no great desire to do it. I don’t speak the same language as the people who run the studios today, with all the respect for what they’re doing. Now, the only thing that matters is profit. Quality, it’s nice if it’s there, but it’s not essential. That is very different from what it used to be. Samuel Goldwyn once was producing a film he liked very much, and he said, ‘I don’t give a damn if it makes a nickel, but I want everybody in America to see it.’ He liked the money, but he was proud of quality, proud of having to say something positive, proud of giving people some substance, some nourishment, rather than just entertainment that they can’t even remember. Right now, I’m really more interested in seeing what’s happening in the world rather than participating in the movie business because the motion picture industry has to a large extent become so commercial that it has lost any sense of real importance—compared to what it may have had before. Commercially it is terribly important of course, but when you think of the contribu­tion it has made, then I think it is very sad. We’ve contributed to the insanities of the world by showing an incredible amount of gruesome violence that should be reserved for psychiatric closed sessions. It’s not that the pictures are not well made, they are wonderfully well made. Take “Silence of the Lambs,” a wonderfully made film, but what they are showing is sick. If you imagine children of eight or ten years seeing this, they have no frame of reference, but by looking at it, it becomes part of their education, and they grow up with these impressions. Is it a wonder then that they go around killing people—for fun? Their sense of reality becomes distorted, and they don’t know where the dividing line is between reality and the video box.

Are you nostalgic now, or do you say this because of your experience and  your personal wisdom?

All you have to do is look at some old movies. Just before you came, I started to look at “The Grapes of Wrath” [1940], directed by John Ford. When you look at those performances, and you look at what it’s about, it breaks your heart, not only because it’s so well made but because nobody can make pictures like that anymore. It’s all happened in such a short time. I’m not pessimistic because I’m sure there is a way that we will recover from all that, but I think there is an enormous crisis in the world in terms of values. Hopefully, that is going to change. But when and how, I don’t know.

Looking around here in your office, I don’t see any of your Oscars. How important are they to you?

It’s always nice if you can win an Oscar, and I am delighted to have them, but I’m not delighted by the system. It’s a publicity kind of a thing. By and large, it’s very important, but the mistakes that are made, are staggering. There are so many pictures that are marvelous that never got an Oscar. There are a great number of directors who never got an Oscar, like King Vidor and many others. He only got a charity Oscar when he was dying. It depends too much on politics, too much on publicity. Personally, I don’t believe that there’s ever anything that’s the best—it‘s a very façade kind of a thing to say this is the best. How can you say that Beethoven is better than Mozart? It’s not right, so the whole concept of prizes is there really for publicity reasons and have more people to pay for their tickets to go to see movies. How can you say that “Citizen Kane” is the greatest picture ever made, when D.W. Griffith made “Intolerance” so many years earlier?

April 9, 1993

+ Mr. Zinnemann passed away in London on March 14, 1997, at age 89, following a heart attack.

“From Here to Eternity” (1952, trailer)


ICH KÜSSE IHRE HAND, MADAME, a.k.a. I KISS YOUR HAND, MADAME (1929) DIR Robert Land PROD Robert Land, Julius Haimann SCR Rolf E. Vanloo CAM Carl Drews, Gotthardt Wolf ASST CAM Fred Zinnemann MUS Pasquale Perris CAST Harry Liedtke, Marlene Dietrich, Pierre de Guingand, Charles Puffy, Richard Tauber, Hans Heindrich von Twardowski

SPRENGBAGGER 1010, a.k.a. EXPLODIGGER 1010 (1929) DIR – SCR Carl-Ludwig Achaz-Duisberg PROD Carl-Ludwig Achaz-Duisberg, Hans von Wolzogen CAM Helmar Lerski, Artur von Schwertführer, Herbert Körner, Hugo von Kaweczynski ASST CAM Fred Zinnemann CAST Heinrich George, Viola Garden, Ivan Koval-Samborsky, Ilse Stobrawa, Gertrud Arnold, Paul Biensfeldt

MENSCHEN AM SONNTAG, a.k.a. PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (1930) DIR Fred Zinnemann, Curt Siodmak, Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer PROD Edgar G. Ulmer SCR Billy Wilder, Curt Siodmak, Robert Siodmak CAM Eugen Schüfftan ASST CAM Fred Zinnemann MUS Otto Stenzeel CAST Erwin Splettstösser, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen, Christl Ehlers, Annie Schreyer

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) DIR Lewis Milestone PROD Carl Laemmle, Jr. SCR Del Andrews, Maxwell Anderson, George Abbott (novel ‘Im Westen Nichts Neues’ by Erich Maria Remarque) CAM Arthur Edeson ED Edgar Adams, Milton Carruth MUS David Broekman CAST Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Raymond Griffith, George ‘Slim’ Summerville, Fred Zinnemann (German Soldier / Ambulance Driver [uncredited])

MAN TROUBLE (1930) DIR Berthold Viertel ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann, Gunther von Fritsch, J. Edmund Grainger SCR Edwin J. Burke, George Manker Watters, Marion Orth (story ‘A Very Practical Joke’ by Ben Ames Williams) CAM Joseph H. August ED J. Edwin Robbins CAST Milton Sills, Dorothy Mackaill, Kenneth MacKenna, Sharon Lynn, Roscoe Karns

THE SPY (1931) DIR Berthold Viertel ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann, Gunther von Fritsch SCR Ernest Pascal CAM Lucien N. Androit CAST Kay Johnson, Neil Hamilton, John Halliday, Milton Holmes, Freddie Burke Frederick, Mischa Auer

THE KID FROM SPAIN (1932) DIR Leo McCarey DANCE DIR Busby Berkeley ASST DANCE DIR Fred Zinnemann [uncredited] PROD Samuel Goldwyn SCR Harry Ruby, William Anthony McGuire, Bert Kalmar MUS Alfred Newman CAM Gregg Toland ED Stuart Heisler CAST Eddie Cantor, Lyda Roberti, Robert Young, Ruth Hall, John Miljan, Noah Beery, J. Carrol Naish, Paulette Goddard, Betty Grable, Mary Stewart, Jane Wyman

THE WISER SEX (1932) DIR Berthold Viertel ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann SCR Harry Hervey, Caroline Franke (play ‘The Woman in the Case’ by Clyde Fitch) CAM George J. Folsey MUS Johnny Green CAST Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Lilyan Tashman, William Boyd, Ross Alexander, Franchot Tone, Harry Davenport

THE MAN FROM YESTERDAY (1932) DIR Berthold Viertel ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann, Henry Hathaway SCR Oliver H.P. Garrett (play by Rowland G. Edwards, Nell Blackwell) CAM Karl Struss CAST Claudette Colbert, Clive Brook, Charles Boyer, Andy Devine, Alan Mowbray, Greta Meyer, Dennis O’Keefe

NANA (1934) DIR Dorothy Arzner, George Fitzmaurice PROD Samuel Goldwyn SCR Harry Wagstaff Gribble, Willard Mack (novel ‘Nana’ [1880] by Émile Zola) CAM Gregg Toland MUS Alfred Newman ED Frank Lawrence ASST COSTUME DESIGN Fred Zinnemann CAST Anna Sten, Mae Clarke, Richard Bennett, Lionel Atwill, Reginald Owen, Phillips Holmes, Lucille Ball, Charles Middleton

THE DARK ANGEL (1935) DIR Sidney Franklin ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Samuel Goldwyn SCR Lillian Hellman, Mordaunt Shairp (play by Guy Bolton) CAM Gregg Toland ED Sherman Todd MUS Alfred Newman CAST Fredric March, Merle Oberon, Herbert Marshall, Janet Beecher, John Halliday

PETER IBBETSON (1935) DIR Henry Hathaway SECOND UNIT DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Louis D. Lighton SCR Vincent Lawrence, Waldemar Young (play by John Nathaniel Raphael based on novel by George du Maurier) CAM Charles Lang ED Stuart Heisler MUS Ernst Toch CAST Gary Cooper, Ann Harding, John Halliday, Ida Lupino, Douglass Dumbrille

CAMILLE (1936) DIR George Cukor ASST DIR Fred Zinnemann, Edward Woehler [both uncredited] SCR Frances Marion, James Hilton, Zoe Akins novel and play by Alendre Dumas fils) CAM William Daniels, Karl Freund MUS Herbert Stothart ED Margaret Booth CAST Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Jessie Ralph, Henry Daniell, Joan Leslie

THE WAVE, a.k.a. REDES (1936) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD – CAM Paul Strand SCR Fred Zinnemann, Emilio Gómez Muriel, Henwar Rodakiewicz (story by Paul Strand, Agustin Velázquez Chávez) MUS Silvestre Revueltas ED Emilio Gómez Muriel, Gunther von Fritsch CAST Silvio Hernández, Antonio Lara, David Valle Gonzáles, Rafael Hinojosa

KID GLOVE KILLER (1942) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Jack Chertok SCR John C. Higgins, Allen Rivkin (story by John C. Higgins) CAM Paul C. Vogel MUS David Snell ED Ralph E. Winters CAST Van Heflin, Marsha Hunt, Lee Bowman, Samuel S. Hinds, Cliff Clark, Eddie Quillan, John Litel, Robert Blake, Ava Gardner

EYES IN THE NIGHT (1942) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Jack Chertok SCR Howard Emmett Rogers, Guy Trosper (novel by Baynard Kendrick) CAM Robert Planck, Charles Lawton MUS Lennie Heyton ED Ralph E. Winters CAST Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Donna Reed, Horace McNally, Katherine Emery, Allen Jenkins, Reginald Denny, Marie Windsor

THE SEVENTH CROSS (1944) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Pandro S. Berman SCR Helen Deutsch (novel by Anna Seghers) CAM Karl Freund MUS Roy Webb ED Thomas Richards CAST Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Herbert Rudley, Agnes Moorehead, Felix Bressart, George Macready, Robert Blake, Charles McGraw, Joe Yule

THE CLOCK (1945) DIR Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann [uncredited] PROD Arthur Freed SCR Joseph Schrank, Robert Nathan (story by Paul Gallico, Pauline Gallico) CAM George J. Folsey MUS George Bassman ED George White CAST Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn, Marshall Thompson, Lucile Gleason, Ruth Brady, Steve Brodie, Terry Moore

MY BROTHER TALKS TO HORSES (1947) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Samuel Marx SCR Morton Thompson (also novel) CAM Harold Rosson MUS Rudolph G. Kopp ED George White CAST Jackie ‘Butch’ Jenkins, Peter Lawford, Edward Arnold, Charlie Ruggles, Spring Byington, O Z. Whitehead, Howard Freeman, Jimmy Hunt

LITTLE MISTER JIM (1947) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Orville O Dull SCR George Bruce (story ‘Army Brat’ by Tommy Wadelton) CAM Lester White MUS George Bassman ED Frank Hull CAST Jackie ‘Butch’ Jenkins, James Craig, Frances Gifford, Luana Patten, Spring Byington, Ching Wah Lee, Laura la Plante, Henry O’Neill

THE SEARCH (1948) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Lazar Wechsler, Oscar Düby SCR Richard Schweizer CAM Emil Berna MUS Robert Blum ED Hermann Haller CAST Montgomery Clift, Aline MacMahon, Wendell Corey, Jarmila Novotna, Mary Patton, Ewart G. Morrison, Ivan Jandl, Fred Zinnemann (Interpreter [uncredited])

ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD William H Wright SCR Robert L. Richards (story by Collier Young) CAM Robert Surtees MUS Bronislau Kaper ED Conrad A. Nervig CAST Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, Mary Astor, Phyllis Thaxter, Berry Kroeger

THE MEN (1950) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Carl Foreman (also story) CAM Robert De Grasse MUS Dimitri Tiomkin ED Harry Gerstad CAST Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright, Everett Sloane, Jack Webb, Richard Erdman, Arthur Jurado, Virginia Farmer, Polly Bergen

TERESA (1951) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Arthur M Loew SCR Stewart Stern (story by Alfred Hayes, Stewart Stern) CAM William J. Miller MUS Louis Applebaum ED Frank Sullivan CAST Pier Angeli, John Ericson, Patricia Collinge, Richard Bishop, Peggy Ann Garner, Ralph Meeker, Edward Binns, Rod Steiger, Lee Marvin, Robert Wagner

HIGH NOON (1952) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Carl Foreman (story by John W. Cunningham) CAM Floyd Crosby MUS Dimitri Tiomkin ED Elmo Williams CAST Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Grace Kelly, Otto Kruger, Harry Morgan, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam

THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (1953) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Edward Anhalt, Edna Anhalt (book and play by Carson McCullers) CAM Hal Mohr MUS Alex North ED William A. Lyon CAST Ethel Waters, Julie Harris, Brandon De Wilde, Arthur Franz, Nancy Gates, William Hansen, Dickie Moore

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Buddy Adler SCR Daniel Taradash (novel by James Jones) CAM Burnett Guffey MUS George Duning ED William Lyon CAST Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Philip Ober, Mickey Shaughnessey, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Warden, Claude Akins, George Reeves

OKLAHOMA! (1955) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Arthur Hornblow, Jr SCR Sonya Levien, William Ludwig (adapted from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical play ‘Oklahoma!’, based on Lynn Riggs’ dramatic play) CAM Robert Surtees MUS Richard Rogers ED Gene Ruggiero CAST Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood, Shirley Jones, Eddie Albert, James Whitmore, Rod Steiger, Barbara Lawrence, Jay C. Flippen, Ben Johnson

A HATFUL OF RAIN (1957) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Buddy Adler SCR Michael Vincente Gazzo, Alfred Hayes (play by Michael Vincente Gazzo) CAM Joseph MacDonald MUS Bernard Herrmann ED Dorothy Spencer CAST Eva Marie Saint, Don Murray, Anthony Franciosa, Lloyd Nolan, Henry Silva, Gerald O’Loughlin, William Hickey

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA (1958) DIR John Sturges, Fred Zinnemann [uncredited], Henry King [uncredited] PROD Leland Hayward SCR Peter Viertel (novel by Ernest Hemingway) CAM James Wong Howe MUS Dimitri Tiomkin ED Arthur P. Schmidt CAST Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazes, Harry Bellaver, Donald Diamond, Don Blackman, Mary Hemingway, Don Alvarado

THE NUN’S STORY (1959) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Henry Blanke, Fred Zinnemann [uncredited] SCR Robert Anderson (book by Kathryn C Hulme) CAM Frank F. Planer MUS Franz Waxman ED Walter Thompson CAST Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Dame Edith Evans, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Dean Jagger, Mildred Dunnock, Beatrice Straight, Colleen Dewhurst

THE SUNDOWNERS (1960) DIR – PROD Fred Zinnemann SCR Isobel Lennart (novel by Joe Cleary) CAM Jack Hildyard ED Jack Harris MUS Dimitri Tiomkin CAST Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns, Dina Merrill, Chips Rafferty, Michael Anderson, Jr.

BEHOLD A PALE HORSE (1964) DIR – PROD Fred Zinnemann SCR J P Miller (novel by Emeric Pressburger) CAM Jean Badal MUS Maurice Jarre ED Walter Thompson CAST Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Mildred Dunnock, Raymond Pellegrin, Paolo Stoppa, Michael Lonsdale

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966) DIR – PROD Fred Zinnemann SCR Robert Bolt (also play) CAM Ted Moore MUS Georges Delerue ED Ralph Kemplen CAST Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson Welles, Susannah York, Nigel Davenport, John Hurt, Corin Redgrave, Colin Blakely, Vanessa Redgrave

THE DAY OF THE JACKAL (1973) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD John Woolf SCR Kenneth Ross (novel by Frederick Forsyth) CAM Jean Tournier MUS Georges Delerue ED Ralph Kemplen CAST Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair, Alan Badel, Tony Britton, Cyril Cusack, Derek Jacobi, Michael Lonsdale, Eric Porter, Delphine Seyrig, Andréa Ferréol

JULIA (1977) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Richard Roth SCR Alvin Sargent (story ‘Pentimento’ by Lillian Hellman) CAM Douglas Slocombe MUS Georges Delerue ED Walter Murch CAST Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell, Hal Holbrook, Rosemary Murphy, Meryl Streep, Lambert Wilson

RECE DO GÓRY, a.k.a. HANDS UP! (1981) DIR Jerzy Skolomowski SCR Jerzy Skolomowski, Andrzej Kostenko CAM Andrzej Kostenko, Witold Sobocinski ED Grazyna Jasinska-Wisniarowska CAST Jerzy Skolomowski, Joanna Szczerbic, Tadeusz Lomnicki, Alan Bates, Jane Asher, David Essex, Bruno Ganz, Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, Fred Zinnemann

FIVE DAYS ONE SUMMER (1982) DIR – PROD Fred Zinnemann SCR Michael Austin (short story by Kay Boyle) CAM Giuseppe Rotunno MUS Elmer Bernstein ED Stuart Baird CAST Sean Connery, Betsy Brantley, Lambert Wilson, Jennifer Hillary, Isabel Dean, Gerard Buhr, Anna Massey