German-born Curtis Bernhardt, who directed suspense thrillers, ‘women’s pictures’, and frothy comedies with equal flair, began writing and directing silent films in Berlin in 1925. He moved to France in 1934 after a brief arrest by the Gestapo. His work in France and England brought him to the attention of Warner Brothers, and he arrived in Hollywood in 1940, enthusiastic but speaking little English. His first film, MY LOVE CAME BACK (1940), a nonsensical Olivia deHavilland vehicle, was well-recieved. Like other European emigrees, Berhardt used expressionist techniniques -low-key lighting, extreme camera angles, deep focus photography – to create mood and atmosphere, slowly incorporating these ideas into his films as his career developed. In 1945, he made the first of three important film noirs. Unpopular during its release, CONFLICT, based on a story by Robert Siodmak, is a chilling tale of betrayal, obsession, and paranoia, starring Humprey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, and Alexis Smith. POSSESSED (1947), stars Joan Crawford and Van Heflin in a strange tale of love, jealousy, obsession, and murder. As in CONFLICT, this film included liberal doses of Fruedian mumbo-jumbo, so popular in Hollywood at the time. Less significant, but equally entertaining was THE HIGH WALL (1947) a low-budget noir Bernhardt made at MGM later that year. An intense psychological drama, it stars Audrey Totter as a strait-laced asylum doctor who cares for a former war hero (Robert Taylor) suffering from amnesia due to a fatal car crash. Other films followed: PAYMENT ON DEMAND (1951) with Bette Davis and Peggie Castle, SIROCCO (1951) with Humprey Bogart and Zero Mostel, MISS SADIE THOMPSON (1953) with Rita Hayworth. Bernhardt made numerous other films, both insipid and inspired, but he will be remembered primarily as one of the talented European directors who helped shape Warner Brothers’ distinctive psuedo-expressionist style of the 1940′s.