He worked in the Vienna and Berlin theatres until 1934. He then went to England where he made his first three films. In 1937 he left for Hollywood and for the next ten years he worked in America as an accomplished and careful director of nonsense.
His modest but entertaining peak was with Laird Cregar in The Lodger and Hangover Square, sumptuous Fox soundstage evocations of the London of Mrs. Belloc Lowndes and Patrick Hamilton. The latter is especially worthwhile. Marvelously photographed by Joseph La Shelle and with a thunderously romantic score from Bernard Herrmann, it has Cregar as a composer driven to murder at the sound of discord. Inevitably, Linda Darnell is one of his victims, but not before her beauty has been made clear. Brahms flamboyance comes fully into play when Cregar dumps her body on a huge Guv Fawkes bonfire. Later he dies himself, playing his terrible concerto, surrounded by fire. That special mood did not last long, and Brahm went into TV after a poor Ava Gardner romance, Singapore, and The High Window, a ven-Germanic Chandler adaptation, suffering from George Montgomery’s Marlowe, but blessed by two untrustworthy women, Florence Bates and Nancy Guild.