Skip to main content

Sternberg, Josef von


STERNBERG, JOSEF VON (1894–1969), film director. Von Sternberg, born in Vienna (though the "von" was a Hollywood addition), was one of the best-known film directors of the 1920s and 1930s. He used the camera as it had not been used before, capturing the play of light and the symbolism of shadow. Out of his struggle against the commercialism of the major studios came films of distinction and influence. He first drew attention with The Salvation Hunters (1925), a realistic presentation of the lower depths of American life. For Paramount studios he made the first gangster film, Underworld, in 1927. In 1930 he went to Germany to direct the Ufa company's first talking picture, The Blue Angel. He cast the unknown Marlene Dietrich in the leading role and the film became a part of cinema history. There followed six more films with Dietrich in Hollywood. During World War ii, he made films for the Office of War Information. Von Sternberg amassed a noteworthy collection of 20th-century art. He published his autobiography, Fun in a Chinese Laundry, in 1965.


H.G. Weinberg, Josef von Sternberg (Eng., 1967); G. Castello, in: Encyclopedia Dello Spettacolo, 9 (1962), 356–60, incl. bibl.

[Stewart Kampel]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sternberg, Josef von." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 19 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Sternberg, Josef von." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 19, 2019).

"Sternberg, Josef von." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.