Siodmak (1900-1973) was born to a Polish Jewish family in Dresden, Germany. He worked as a stage director and a banker before becoming editor and scenarist for Curtis Bernhardt in 1925. At twenty-six he was hired by his cousin, producer Seymour Nebenzal, to assemble original silent movies from the stock footage of old ones. Siodmak worked at this for two years before he persuaded Nebenzal to finance his first feature, the silent People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) (1929). The script was written by his younger brother Curt Siodmak, later the screenwriter of The Wolf Man (1941).
With the rise of Nazism he left Germany for Paris and then Hollywood. Siodmak arrived in Hollywood in 1939, where he made 23 movies, many of them widely popular thrillers and crime melodramas, which critics today regard as classics of film noir.
Robert Siodmak | USA | 1944 | 87 minutes
Unhappily married Scott Henderson spends the evening on a no-name basis with a hat-wearing woman he picked up in a bar. Returning home, he finds his wife strangled and becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Every effort to establish his alibi fails; oddly no one seems to remember seeing the phantom lady (or her hat). In prison, Scott gives up hope but his faithful secretary, “Kansas,” doggedly follows evanescent clues through shadowy nocturnal streets. Can she save Scott in time?
Uncle Harry / The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Robert Siodmak | USA | 1945 | 80 minutes
Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship with new colleague Deborah Brown promises happiness at last…thwarted by passive, then increasingly active opposition from one sister. Will Harry resort to desperate measures?
The Dark Mirror
Robert Siodmak | USA | 1946 | 85 minutes
A woman suspected of murdering her doctor boyfriend has an identical twin sister. When both twins have an alibi for the night of the murder, a psychiatrist is called in to assist a detective in solving the case. Through a series of tests, he discovers which twin actually committed the crime and falls in love with one of them.
Robert Siodmak | USA | 1949 | 88 minutes
Romantic, obsessive Steve Thompson is drawn back to L.A. to make another try for Anna, his former wife. However, Anna belongs now to the L.A. underworld. Steve believes he can rescue her, ignoring the advice and warnings of people who would try to save him. He commits himself to a dangerous course of action that quickly takes everyone somewhere unintended.
The File on Thelma Jordon
Robert Siodmak | USA | 1950 | 100 minutes
Thelma Jordon is in love with a jewel thief, Tony Laredo, and he persuades her to go live with her rich aunt, and steal her jewels. During the robbery, she shoots her formerly-rich aunt, but makes it look like an outside job. Cleve Marshall, an assistant district attorney, is assigned the case, promptly falls in love with Thelma (and she with him), and he maneuvers and presents the state’s case against her in such a manner that she wins an acquittal. And, then, Tony shows up…
The Devil Strikes at Night /Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam
Robert Siodmak | West Germany | 1957 | 105 minutes
A serial killer terrorizes Hamburg, Germany, during World War II. When the local police can’t seem to catch him, the SS is brought into the case.