Family & Companions
May began his career as a director of low-budget crime films and, by the late 1910s, was running his own film empire comprising studios, laboratories and real-estate concerns. (One of several directors who got their start under contract to May was Fritz Lang.) After inflation put an end to his tycoon status in the mid-20s May worked as a director and producer for other companies; his greatest achievement of this period was the expressionistic "Asphalt" (1929), a classic "street movie" about a prostitute and a policeman. After being forced to leave Germany in 1933 May made quick stops in France and England before moving to the US, where he made mostly forgettable films. With his actress wife Mia May (he adopted her name rather than vice versa) he later ran Hollywood's Blue Danube restaurant.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Film Production - Main (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Stged operetta "Clo-Clo" starring wife; in collaboration with Emil Schunemann made two short films intended to be shown for intermissions of stage revue "Rund um die Alster"
Signed contact with Continental-Filmkunst GmbH, Berlin as writer-director
Film directing and co-writing debut, "In der Tiefe des Schachtes"; then first film as sole writer (also director), "Vorgluten des Balkanbrandes"
Own unit (Abteilung May) set up within Continental, producing detective series "Stuart Webbs" (starring Ernst Reicher)
With Reicher formed the Stuart Webbs Film-Company May & Reicher; outbreak of war prevented any production
Served in WWI for short time in Imperial Austrian Army
May-Film allied for one year with newly formed UFA; formed conglomerate made up of production company May-Film GmbH, lab May Kopieranstalt GmbH and studios Fema-Film-Ateliers GmbH and Filmstadt Woltersdorf-Grundstucks-GmbH
Due to inflation, reorganized film holdings under managment of brother, Leo Mandl
High production costs or "Der Farmer aus Texas" ended producorial outings (though films still produced through his produciton company)
Appointed head of production for Deutsches Lichtspiel Syndikat (DLS), went to Hollywood to study sound techniques
To Paris; co-directed (with Henri-Georges Clouzot) "Tout pour l'amour" (French language version of May's "Ein Lied fur Dich" 1933)
Immigrated to US
English language directing debut (in Great Britian), "Two Hearts in Waltz Time"; direction completed by--and credited to--Carmine Gallone
Co-wrote and co-directed (with Rene Pujol), "Dactylo se marie" in France; then to USA
US directing debut, "Music in the Air"