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Fred Zinnemann

Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann 1940s.jpg
Zinnemann in the 1940s
Born Alfred Zinnemann
(1907-04-29)April 29, 1907
Died March 14, 1997(1997-03-14) (aged 89)
London, England, United Kingdom
Cause of death Heart attack
Occupation Film director
Years active 1932-1982
Notable work High Noon, From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, A Man For All Seasons
Spouse(s) Renee Bartlett (1936–1997; his death; 1 child)

Alfred "Fred" Zinnemann (April 29, 1907 – March 14, 1997) was an Austrian-born American film director. He won four Academy Awards for directing films in various genres, including thrillers, westerns, film noir and play adaptations. He made 25 feature films during his 50-year career.

He was among the first directors to insist on using authentic locations and for mixing stars with civilians to give his films more realism. Within the film industry, he was considered a maverick for taking risks and thereby creating unique films, with many of his stories being dramas about lone and principled individuals tested by tragic events. According to one historian, Zinnemann's style demonstrated his sense of "psychological realism and his apparent determination to make worthwhile pictures that are nevertheless highly entertaining."

Some of his most notable films were The Men (1950), High Noon (1952), From Here to Eternity (1953), Oklahoma! (1955), The Nun's Story (1959), A Man For All Seasons (1966), The Day of the Jackal (1973), and Julia (1977). His films have received 65 Oscar nominations, winning 24.

Zinnemann directed and introduced a number of stars in their U.S. film debuts, including Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Pier Angeli, Julie Harris, Brandon deWilde, Montgomery Clift, Shirley Jones and Meryl Streep. He directed 19 actors to Oscar nominations, including Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Audrey Hepburn, Glynis Johns, Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller, Jason Robards, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Gary Cooper and Maximilian Schell.

Year Film Oscar
Oscar Wins BAFTA
BAFTA Wins Golden Globe
Golden Globe
1930 Menschen am Sonntag (Documentary) n/a n/a n/a n/a
1936 Redes (aka The Wave)
1942 Kid Glove Killer
Eyes in the Night
1944 The Seventh Cross 1
1945 The Clock (uncredited)
1946 Little Mister Jim
1947 My Brother Talks to Horses
1948 The Search 4 1 1 1
Act of Violence
1950 The Men 1 1
1951 Teresa 1 1 1
1952 High Noon 7 4 7 4
The Member of the Wedding 1
1953 From Here to Eternity 13 8 1 2 2
1955 Oklahoma! 4 2
1957 A Hatful of Rain 1 1 3
1958 The Old Man and the Sea (uncredited) 3 1 1
1959 The Nun's Story 8 5 1 5
1960 The Sundowners 5 3 1
1964 Behold a Pale Horse
1966 A Man For All Seasons 8 6 7 7 5 4
1973 The Day of the Jackal 1 7 1 3
1977 Julia 11 3 10 4 7 2
1982 Five Days One Summer
Total (doesn't include uncredited films) 66 24 36 14 34 13
Year Film Oscar Nominations Oscar Wins
1937 Friend Indeed
1938 They Live Again
That Mothers Might Live 1 1
The Story of Doctor Carver
1939 Weather Wizards
While America Sleeps
Help Wanted
One Against the World
The Ash Can Fleet
Forgotten Victory
1940 Stuffie
The Great Meddler
The Old South
A Way in the Wilderness
1941 Forbidden Passage 1
Your Last Act
1942 The Greenie
The Lady or the Tiger?
1951 Benjy (Documentary) 1 1

  • Academy Award for Best Short Subject, One-Reel: That Mothers Might Live (1938).
  • Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding: "The Search" (1948).
  • Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject: Benjy (1951).
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director: High Noon (1952).
  • Academy Award for Best Director, Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures: From Here to Eternity (1953).
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director: The Nun's Story (1959).
  • Academy Award for Best Director, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director, and Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures: A Man for All Seasons (1966).
  • D. W. Griffith Award, 1971.
  • Order of Arts and Letters, France, 1982.
  • U.S. Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award, 1987.
  • John Huston Award, Artists Right Foundation, 1994.


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