Director Henry Koster’s affecting biblical tale stars Elana Eden in the titular role of Ruth, a courageous Moabite who leaves her pagan temple behind when she falls in love with a Jew named Mahlon (Tom Tryon). She forges a path to spirituality, converting to Judaism when they wed but finds her faith put to the test after her husband’s death. The supporting cast includes Stuart Whitman, Peggy Wood, Jeff Morrow and Viveca Lindfors.
Henry Koster (May 1, 1905 – September 21, 1988) was born Hermann Kosterlitz in Berlin, Germany. He became a film director and later moved to Hollywood. Koster’s father, a salesman, left home when Henry was a young man. Koster still managed to finish gymnasium (high school) in Berlin while working as short story writer and cartoonist.
Koster was introduced to cinema about 1910 when his uncle opened a very early movie theater in Berlin. Koster’s mother played the piano to accompany the films, leaving the young boy to occupy himself by watching the films. After working initially as a short story writer, Koster was subsequently hired by a Berlin movie company as scenarist, became assistant to director Curtis Bernhardt. Bernhardt became sick one day and asked Koster to take over as director. In about 1931 or 1932, Koster directed two or three films in Berlin for UFA.
Koster, who was in the midst of directing a film, had already been the subject of anti-Semitism, and knew he… read more