History Piece

 
The Making of Power and the Land (1939-1940)


Current Page: 2
Previous Page in Essay (page 1) Next Page in Essay (page 3)
Jump To Page: 1 2 3


World War II interrupted Ornitz's career. In the Signal Corps, he was first stationed, together with many other Hollywood film people at the film studios at Astoria, Queens, Long Island. Later he was sent to the ETO (European Theatre of Operations). Returning to New York after the war, Ornitz formed a partnership with Richard Banks, who had been attached to the OWI during the war, working with Garson Kanin in England and France. Ornitz and Banks returned to France in 1946 to try to break into the French film industry.

Ornitz continued to live and work in Europe until 1951. In 1948 he married Hilda Wane, an American living in Paris who had come to Europe with the American Red Cross. After she resigned from the Red Cross, she remained in Paris and worked with the American Joint Distribution Committee. Ornitz and his wife went to Brussels in 1948 where Ornitz collaborated on a full length documentary with Henri Storck, a noted Belgian film director. The film they made became the inspiration for the French film, Les 400 Coups, which launched Trauffault's film career.

In 1949, Ornitz was invited to join the Nordisk Film Company. He and his wife left Paris and moved to Denmark. His first film for Nordisk was made on location in Jutland, on the coast of the North Sea, in a small village called Blokhus. It was directed by Astrid Henning-Jensen, a well-known woman film director in Denmark. Years later, the Disney Company bought this film, which was cut up into ten minute segments and shown as a continuing serial each day on the Mickey Mouse Club Musketeers television program.

Ornitz worked on several feature films in Denmark and Norway until 1951 when he returned to the United States. Although he later made films in Europe and other countries for the rest of his life, as a member of IATSE, Local 644, his base of operations from 1951 was New York City.

The script written by Paddy Chayefsky that launched Ornitz's career as a Director of Photography in the United States was The Goddess, with Kim Stanley and Stephen Hill. Other films followed. Although too numerous to mention, some which are still considered classics today are Serpico, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The World of Henry Orient and An Unmarried Woman.


Current Page: 2
Previous Page in Essay (page 1) Next Page in Essay (page 3)
Jump To Page: 1 2 3



Return To Top