Motion picture director and actor; play and short story writer, scenarist, translator (b. 14 October 1900, Nişantaşı / İstanbul – d. 25 May 1953, İstanbul). He was the grandson of Halil Rıfat Paşa, and son of Mehmet Ali Paşa. He was the father of writer-critic Mehmet Fuat and first husband of Piraye Hanım who was the wife of Nazım Hikmet. He was a well-known person of Turkish cinema, theatre and music.
Vedat Örfi Bengü began his art life by writing plays in 1917. His play that he wrote in his seventeen, named Bir Af, Bir Yemin (A Clemency, an Oath) was put on stage to the advantage of immigrants. Another stage work named Vefaen Ferağ (Voluntarily Revolving), that he wrote when he was young was put on stage in Darülbedayi (The first name of İstanbul Municipal City Theatre, 1924). One of his plays, Kanun Adamı ve Casus (The Lawyer and the Spy) was put on a stage in community centers. His own composition, Balo Kaçakları (The Operetta of Ball Fugitives), was staged in Şehbal Theatre in 1925. He also appeared on the scene as an actor in his some plays. He was the first Turkish film director, who stayed in Europe and Egypt and shot films in foreign countries. When he was just in his twenty, he went France and worked in various movies in Paris. After that, he went to Egypt for a while and he founded domestic moviemaking there. He was the director of nine movies in France, twelve movies in Egypt (fourteen, according to Giovanni Scognamillo), nine movies in Turkey and he wrote lots of scenarios.
He performed in eight movies in Paris,
where he went with beautiful French actress Blanche Montel, who he met with in
İstanbul. He performed in one of these movies as a leading role, in a French
movie named Malum Aşk (The Known
Love). He was attracted by American actress Betty Blythe when he returned home.
He performed with her in the movie
Then, he went on Egypt ways. He founded a moviemaking company named İsis Film Corporation with Yusuf Vehbi – Ümmü Gülsüm in Egypt, in 1926. He laid the foundation of Egyptian cinematography. In Egypt where he worked as an actor and manager, he shot twelve movies, where he was also performed in, such as Leyla (Leyla) , Çölde Bir Öpücük (A Kiss in the Desert), Elhamra'da Bir Facia (A Catastrophe in Alhambra). In 1929 he went to Paris and directed the sound film named L'enfer des Sables (The Send Hell).
In his thirty one, he established traveling Theatre Company named “The Film Stars” with Atıf Kaptan in İstanbul. He put Bir Millet Uyanıyor (A Nation Awakens) on stage and went on Anatolia tour. But he couldn’t bear lack of camera, he produced the greatest flower melodramas between 1948 and 1953. He wrote the scenarios of movies that he directed, he directed lots of them, he performed in some of them, made translations, he published theatre critiques and interviews in newspapers and periodicals. Vedat Örfi Bengü dedicated his short life to the art and he showed universality of the art by destroying the barriers.
PLAY: Bir Af, Bir Yemin (A Clemency, an Oath, 1917), Balo Kaçakları Opereti (The Operetta of Ball Fugitives, 1925), Kanun Adamı (The Lawyer, 1938), Bir Doktorun Ödevi (The Homework of a Doctor, 1939), Beyaz Baykuş (The White Owl, 1940), Zavallı Necdet (Poor Necdet, 1951), Hasta (The Patient), Vicdan Hakkı (The Right of Conscience).
SHORT STORY: Atatürk (Atatürk, When Samsun faced his Death, 1939), Bir Yuva Böyle Yıkıldı (A Home Collapsed Like That, 1943), Kuduran Canavarlar (The Monsters Going Mad, 1944), Akdeniz İncisi (The Pearl of the Mediterranean, 1944), İskelet Yüzdeki Damga (The Brand on Skeletal Face, 1945), Ceymis Preen'in Zaferi (The Victory of Ceymis Preen, 1945), Varşova Yanarken (While Warsaw Was Burning, 1945), Kahire Batakha–nelerinde (In the Cairo Marshes, 1946), Gülnihal Sultan Kitapları (The Books of Gülnihal Sultan, 1946), Bir Genç Kızın Çilesi (The Suffering of a Young Girl), Seni Beklerken (While Waiting for You), Ökse (The Birdlime).
He had translations from English and had movies that wrote the scenarios, directed and performed in.