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Julius Dassin (December 18, 1911, Middletown (Connecticut), United States – March 31, 2008, Athens, Greece) was a screenwriter, writer, actor, and American film director of Jewish-Russian origin. He is the father of singer Joe Dassin.
After an important film career, between 1941 and 1950, he ended up moving to France, to be included in the blacklist of Hollywood during the McCarthyism. There he changed his name to Jules, continuing his profession. He ended up shooting in collaboration with Greece.
Julius Dassin was one of the 8 children of Samuel Dassin, a barber and Berthe Vogel, Russian immigrants of Jewish religion.
Between 1934 and 1936 he studied dramatic art in Europe; then he worked from 1936 to 1939 at the Yiddish Proletarian Theater (ARTEF) in New York as an actor and director, producing radio programs at the same time. In that decade he was a militant of the left, but in 1939, with the German-Soviet pact, he abandoned the express affiliation.
Starting in 1940, he worked in Hollywood as an assistant director of Alfred Hitchcock. A year later he made his debut as a filmmaker, and made several films about the time, such as The Nazi Agent and Reunion in France. More autonomous is his film inspired by a story by Oscar Wilde, The Ghost of Canterville.
The best of his work is inscribed in post-war gangster and police films: Brute Force (Brute Force, 1947), The Naked City (1948), which is at the same time a documentary about New York, and Market of Thieves (Thieves’ Highway, 1949). They are films of great visual value, which have often been included in the so-called ‘black cinema’.
He was endowed with a realistic style, very incisive and perhaps violent. By the denunciations, in the maccarthista persecution, it took to him to exile in Europe. In 1950, Dassin filmed in London Night in the city with actor Richard Widmark in the lead role. He made in France, already known as Jules Dassin , the much-remembered Rififi (Du rififi chez les hommes, 1954) and Never on Sunday (1960).
Then, married to the actress Melína Merkoúri since 1966, he performed part of his work in Greece, such as El que debe morir (Celui qui doit mourir, 1956), according to the novel Christ again crucified by Nikos Kazantzakis. < / p>
Jules Dassin died of the flu on March 31, 2008, at 96 years of age.
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