Lewis Milestone


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(1895–1980). Film director and screenwriter. Known mostly for his dramatic features, he made four musicals, one an early classic. Milestone was born near Odessa, Russia, to a prosperous Jewish family who objected to his desire to become an actor so he studied engineering for a time before emigrating to America. While serving in the U. S. Army in World War I, he learned about moviemaking when he was assigned to a Signal Corps crew filming combat footage. After the war Milestone went to Hollywood where he worked first as an editor and writer before directing features in 1925. His most famous film, All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), grew from his experiences during the war. His first musical was Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933), an experimental movie that looked and sounded like no other. Milestone's other musicals were more routine: Paris in Spring (1935), Anything Goes (1936), and Melba (1953).

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

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