Otto Preminger

Director and producer Otto Preminger was one of the greatest off-screen talents of his day. Raised in Vienna, Austria, Preminger sought work in theater and film before ultimately moving to America before becoming a powerhouse of the film industry.

Preminger directed films across a wide array of film genres, taking on projects big and small. Though he accomplished much for the silver screen, behind the scenes, he was dubbed “Otto the Terrible” due to his temper. Nonetheless, his demanding nature elicited strong performances and an inimitable artistic style.

As the years went on, Preminger faced many obstacles that could have affected his craft. The Production Code, for one, aimed to impose limitations upon the artistic visions of numerous off-screen elites, including Preminger; nonetheless, he undermined the Code and executed his intended vision in creative ways. Additionally, he fought social barriers by employing blacklisted and African American performers, in addition to shooting America’s first scene set in a gay bar.

Foster Hirsch’s Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would be King, published by the University Press of Kentucky, expertly delves into the life and career of Preminger. Hirsch documents the high and low points of Preminger’s life while supplementing it with interesting photographs. Hirsch’s biography is well-researched, thorough, and a worthy tribute to this difficult albeit brilliant talent.


Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would be King is available for purchase through the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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