Henry Koster

I told Rochellelynn I would post about TCM’s September theme –The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film featured on Tuesdays of this month. I looked at the themes TCM was highlighting for the month and couldn’t make up my mind which to write about. I would pick one film subject which would lead me to another which led me to another which made me decide I would make up my own themes: Directors, Writers, Actors or favorite movies I like best pertaining to the Jewish Experience on Film and in real life.

One of my favorite movies based on a book in the Old Testament is The Story of Ruth, I rescreened it for the umpteenth time for this post and paid attention to something I guess I never paid attention to…The Director was Henry Koster, who knew?

When I think of Henry Koster I think of Deanna Durbin’s earlier movies, I think of the other light hearted or subtle message classic Hollywood movies he has directed. Two Sisters from Boston, The Inspector General, Harvey, D-Day the Sixth of June, Flower Drum Song, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation to name a few.Henry was nominated as Best Director in 1947 for The Bishop’s Wife but lost out to the Turkish born Elias Kazancioglu (Elia Kazan) for the eye opening Gentlemen’s Agreement.

Henry Koster was born Hermann Kosterlitz May 1, 1905 in Berlin, Germany. He experienced firsthand the anti-Semitism that ran rampant in the 1930’s in his birth country. He had to leave Germany after being insulted by a Nazi officer and clocking him on the jaw knocking him out cold. Henry immediately fled to France, then Budapest where he met Producer Joseph Pasternak, finally entering the United States through Mexico.

On his application for citizenship to the United States it lists his Race as Hebrew, his nationality German. I like to think of him as: Henry Koster, Director, American.

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