Weitere Namen
Andrew Thorndike IV (Geburtsname)
Cast, Director, Assistant director, Screenplay, Editing, Miscellaneous, Producer, Unit production manager
Frankfurt am Main Berlin

Biography

Andrew Thorndike IV was born in Frankfurt/Main on August 30th 1909. His father was the general director of the Ala-Anzeigen AG, and one of his ancestors was David Thorndike, who sailed on the Mayflower to America. After graduation, Thorndike took an apprenticeship as a salesman in Berlin. From 1931 on, he worked at the Ufa film company, taking a position in the advertisement department between 1933-1939.

In 1941, he began to work as a director for short documentaries, the so-called "Kulturfilme", including instructional features for the German army and navy. "Die Herrin des Hofes", a rather odd documentary, was banned by the censors. Thorndike himself was accused of demoralizing the troops and subsequently drafted. He served as a paramedic at the Eastern front and was captured by Soviet troops in 1945.

As a POW, he joined the anti-fascist committee "Freies Deutschland" (Free Germany) and worked as an editor for a POW publication. In 1948, he returned to Germany and joined the DEFA film company. "Der durchbrochene Kreis" was his first film for DEFA, already setting the tone for Thorndike's work, which was often based on a polemical juxtaposition of East and West Germany. "Der Weg nach oben" chronicles the developments after the end of the war which led to the founding of the two separate states, while the non-fictional biopic "Wilhelm Pieck – Das Leben unsere Präsidenten" marked Thorndike's first venture into compilation film.

In 1950, Thorndike made the acquaintance of Annelie Kunigk, who became his creative collaborator and eventually his second wife. Among their first films together are "Die Prüfung" and "Die sieben vom Rhein". In 1953, a fake telegram was used to lure Thorndike to West-Berlin, where he was arrested and charged with high treason against the Federal Republic of Germany. Following international protests, he was released in July the same year.

Back home, the Thorndikes started working on their elaborate technique of assembling archival footage which would become their trademark. It took them three years to finish" Du und mancher Kamerad", which became one of the most successful DEFA documentary features. In 1958, the Thorndikes began working on their epic film project about the Soviet Union: Titled "Das russische Wunder", it took them five years to complete the final cut. In 1968, Andrew Thorndike became head of the "DEFA-Gruppe 67" which was founded that year in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Thorndike remained in this position until his death in 1979, and part from his own films, the group produced industry films and documentaries.

Andrew Thorndike, who had a third marriage with Helga Schrader, passed away in East Berlin on December 14th 1979.

 

FILMOGRAFIE

1980/1981
  • Producer
1979/1980
  • Unit production manager
1977
  • Unit production manager
1977
  • Unit production manager
1976
  • Unit production manager
1975/1976
  • Creative supervisor
  • Unit production manager
1974-1977
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1974
  • Unit production manager
1974
  • Unit production manager
1974
  • Unit production manager
1973/1974
  • Creative supervisor
  • Unit production manager
1973
  • Unit production manager
1972
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Unit production manager
1971
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Unit production manager
1970
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Unit production manager
1969
  • Unit production manager
1968/1969
  • Director
  • Creative supervisor
1968
  • Unit production manager
1965
  • Screenplay
  • Miscellaneous
1963
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1961
  • Director
  • Unit production manager
1959-1963
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1957/1958
  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Editing
1957
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1957
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1956
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1954-1956
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1954
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1952
  • Director
1951/1952
  • Assistant director
1951
  • Director
1950
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1949/1950
  • Director
  • Screenplay
1949
  • Director
  • Screenplay