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Victor Seastrom - director
Silent Hall of Fame is looking for contributors to create an original biography for this star.
Victor Sjöström, in the United States sometimes known as Victor Seastrom (20 September 1879 – 3 January 1960) was a Swedish film director, screenwriter and actor. He began his career in Sweden, before moving to Hollywood in 1924. Sjöström worked primarily in the silent era; his best known films include The Phantom Carriage (1921), He Who Gets Slapped (1924) and The Wind (1928). Later in life, he played the leading role in Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957).
Born in Silbodal, in the Värmland region of Sweden, he was only a year old when his father, Olof Adolf Sjöström, moved the family to Brooklyn, New York. His mother died when he was seven years old in 1886. Sjöström returned to Sweden where he lived with relatives in Stockholm, beginning his acting career at 17 as a member of a touring theater company.
Drawn from the stage to the fledgling motion picture industry, he made his first film in 1912 under the direction of Mauritz Stiller. Between then and 1923, he directed another forty-one films in Sweden, some of which are now lost. Those surviving include The Sons of Ingmar (1919), Karin, Daughter of Ingmar (1920) and The Phantom Carriage (1921), all based on stories by the Nobel-prize winning novelist Selma Lagerlöf. Many of his films from the period are marked by subtle character portrayal, fine storytelling and evocative settings in which the Swedish landscape often plays a key psychological role. The naturalistic quality of his films was enhanced by his (then revolutionary) preference for on-location filming, especially in rural and village settings.
In the 1920s he accepted an offer from Louis B. Mayer to work in the United States. In Sweden, he had acted in his own films as well as in those for others but in Hollywood, he devoted himself solely to directing. In 1924, using an anglicised name, Victor Seastrom, he made Name the Man, a dramatic film based on the Hall Caine novel. He went on to direct great stars of the day such as Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, Lon Chaney, and Norma Shearer in another eight films in America before his first talkie in 1930.
Uncomfortable with the modifications needed to direct talking films, Victor Sjöström returned to Sweden where he directed two more films before his final directing effort in 1937, an English language drama filmed in the United Kingdom Under the Red Robe. Over the following fifteen years, Sjöström returned to acting in the theatre, performed a variety of leading roles in more than a dozen films and worked as director of the Svensk Film Industri company. At age 78 he gave his final acting performance, probably his best remembered, as the elderly professor in Ingmar Bergman's film Wild Strawberries (1957).
Victor Sjöström died in Stockholm at the age of eighty and was interred there in the Norra begravningsplatsen (Northern cemetery).
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A scene from "The Girl from Stormy Croft" (1917), directed by Victor Sjöström.
Karin Molander in "The Girl from Stormy Croft" (1917), directed by Victor Sjöström.
Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström in "The Springtime of Life" (1912).
Victor Sjöström in "The Springtime of Life" (1912).
Victor Sjöström in "Ingmar's Sons" (1919), a film he also directed.
Victor Sjöström in "Ingmar's Sons" (1919), a film he also directed, #2.
Victor Sjöström in "The Hell Ship" (1923), a film he also directed.
Victor Sjöström and Jenny Hasselqvist in "The Hell Ship" (1923), a film he also directed.
Victor Sjöström in "Karin, Daughter of Ingmar" (1920), a film he also directed.
A scene from "Karin, Daughter of Ingmar" (1920), directed by Victor Sjöström.
Victor Sjöström in "The Kiss of Death" (1916), a film he also directed.
Victor Sjöström in "The Kiss of Death" (1916), a film he also directed, #2.
A scene from the film "The Vultures of the Coast" (1915), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
Victor Seastrom plays with his baby daughter in "Man There Was" (1917).
Victor Seastrom gets no mercy in "Man There Was" (1917).
Victor Seastrom rejoices at the chance for revenge in "Man There Was" (1917).
Victor Seastrom in "The Broken Spring Rose" (1912).
Lars Hanson and Greta Garbo in "The Divine Woman" (1928), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
Victor Seastrom and Tore Svennberg in "The Phantom Carriage" (1921), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
Victor Seastrom is an alcoholic in "The Phantom Carriage" (1921), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
Hilda Borgstrom and Victor Seastrom in "The Phantom Carriage" (1921), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
The count listens as the manager discusses a former fiance of his wife in "The Monastery of Sendomir" (1920), director Victor Seastrom (Sjöström).
Hilda Borgstrom in "Ingeborg Holm" (1913), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Victor Seastrom in "The Outlaw and His Wife" (1918), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Victor Seastrom in another scene from "The Outlaw and His Wife" (1918), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Lillian Gish hides from Lars Hanson something that the law says is indecent and must be hidden from sight in "The Scarlet Letter" (1926), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Lillian Gish pleads Lars Hanson to forgive her in "The Scarlet Letter" (1926), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Lillian Gish tells Lars Hanson that she will bear the punishment alone, in "The Scarlet Letter" (1926), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Lillian Gish stands on the scaffold for public punishment as she looks at Lars Hanson in "The Scarlet Letter" (1926), directed by Victor Seastrom.
Lillian Gish in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (1)
Lillian Gish in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (3)
Lillian Gish in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (4)
Lillian Gish and Montagu Love in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (3)
Lillian Gish and Montagu Love in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (2)
Lillian Gish and Montagu Love in "The Wind" (1928), directed by Victor Seastrom. (1)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom. (1)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom.(2)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom. (3)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom. (4)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom. (5)
Lon Chaney in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1924), directed by Victor Seastrom. (6)
Three luminaries of Swedish cinema in Hollywood - Victor Seastrom director with Greta Garbo and Mauritz Stiller..
Victor Seastrom director with Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo.
Victor Seastrom director with Lars Hanson and Greta Garbo.
Victor Seastrom director - He Who Gets Slapped (1924) poster.
Victor Seastrom director - The Scarlet Letter (1926) poster.
Victor Seastrom director - The Wind (1928) poster.
Victor Seastrom director.
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