Oscar Directors: Litvak, Anatole–Oscar Nominated or Winning Performances in his Films

Anatole Litvak was notable for directing foreign actors, often beginners or unknown, to early fame, leading to Oscar nominations and Awards.

In 1936, he directed Mayerling, a film which catapulted the Gallic Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux to international stardom.

Litvak returned the blacklisted Swedish star Ingrid Bergman to popularity with American audiences in 1956 with the period mystery, Anastasia, which won her a second Best Actress Oscar.

He directed Olivia de Havilland to an Academy Award nomination for The Snake Pit in 1948.

He also directed Jean Gabin in his screen debut, and directed Elia Kazan in his earliest acting role, City for Conquest.

Litvak directed Confessions of a Nazi Spy in 1939 starring Edward G. Robinson, based on newsreel footage from U.S. Nazi rallies. As a refugee from Nazi Germany, Litvak tried to open Hollywood’s eyes to the threat Germany posed to Europe and the world.

During World War II, he enlisted and co-directed documentaries with Frank Capra, including Why We Fight films. His solo-directed, The Battle of Russia, in 1943, was nominated for an Oscar.

Commanding Russian, German, and French, he supervised the filming of D-Day Normandy landings, and shot aerial warfare with the U.S. Eighth Air Force.

For his volunteer wartime efforts, he received special awards from the governments of France, Britain, and the U.S.