Sent for by father who was living in the USA
Moved back to USA (Long Island)
Worked as apprentice at aunt's millinery store and as stock clerk for lace store
Changed first name to Josef and left home at 17
Film patcher, then chief assistant to the director general, with World Film Company, Fort Lee, NJ
Joined Army Signal Corps; helped make training films
First credit as assistant director, "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" (dir. Emile Chautard)
Moved to Hollywood; first work as assistant director on "By Divine Right"
Added "von" to name at suggestion of actor Elliot Dexter while working as scenarist and assistant on "By Divine Right"
Directorial debut, "The Salvation Hunters"
Joined Paramount as assistant director
Moved to Germany, directed UFA's first sound film, "The Blue Angel" (first of seven films with Marlene Dietrich)
Went to England to work for Alexander Korda on "I Claudius"
Filmed documentary "The Town" for US Office of War Information
Taught class in film directing at USC
Semi-retired during mid 1950s
Last film shot in Jjapan, "The Saga of Anatahan"
Taught course on the aethetics of film at UCLA