Lewis Milestone (1895-1980)

Z. Snow Film Notes

Mostly remembered for his war films, especially one masterpiece which helped set a new standard for Hollywood in the early sound years, Lewis Milestone was a true motion picture pioneer who deserves more credit from historians. After working as an assistant, editor, and screenwriter for Howard Hughes, the Russian-born Milestone made his mark with a series of silent comedies followed by one of the most brutal, brilliant, and emotional anti-war flicks of all time. By that point a two-time Oscar winner, the difficult but frequently inspired director avoided settling down at any major studio; instead he bounced from producer to producer while making fast-paced comedies, sexy melodramas, and superior literary adaptations throughout the Great Depression. Although Milestone made a number of patriotic war movies during WWII, leftist beliefs and Russian heritage led to his ‘graylisting’ by the early fifties; for the last two decades of his career, this capable craftsman…

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