Maurice Tourneur was one of the major directors of the silent film era.
Tourneur was born in Paris and went to work for the Eclair company in France. He soon began directing films for Eclair's American studio in New Jersey before moving to William A. Brady’s World Film Corp. in 1914, where he directed early American feature-length films such as “The Wishing Ring” (1914), “Alias Jimmy Valentine” (1915), “The Cub” (1915) and “Trilby” (1915).
After directing several films for Adolph Zukor's Famous Players/Artcraft Pictures, including “The Poor Little Rich Girl” (1917) with Mary Pickford, Tourneur started his own production company with the film “Sporting Life” (1918).
Before long, Tourneur was a respected figure in American film and a founding member of the Motion Picture Directors Assn. Other directing credits include the 1919 version of Joseph Conrad's "Victory,” “Grischa the Cook” (1929), which he also wrote, and “The Last of the Mohicans” (1920).
Tourneur died Aug. 4, 1961, in Paris.