Zelnik prior to 1931
17 May 1885
|Died||29 November 1950 65) (aged|
Frederic Zelnik (born Friedrich Zelnik, 17 May 1885 – 29 November 1950) was a Ukrainian producer, director, and actor. He was one of the most important producers-directors of the German silent cinema. Zelnik achieved success through period operetta films in the 1920s and 1930s.
Friedrich Zelnik was born into a Jewish family in Czernowitz, today in Ukraine, at the time the capital of the Duchy of Bukovina in the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. After studying in Vienna, Friedrich Zelnik worked as an actor in theaters in Nürnberg, Aachen, Worms, Prague and finally Berlin - in the theaters Theater an der Königsgrätzer Straße, Berliner Theater, and Komödienhaus.
In 1914 Friedrich Zelnik began acting in films, and after 1915 producing and directing movies while still appearing in roles as an actor in other director'films. In 1918 he married a young Polish ballet dancer turned film actress named Lya Mara and promoted her to stardom by producing and directing movies for her. In 1920 he established a film production firm Zelnik-Mara-Film GmbH.
Popular, operetta style costume films like The Blue Danube , The Bohemian Dancer , Dancing Vienna , Mariett Dances Today brought Lya Mara and Zelnik enormous success in Germany and beyond. Several of his collaborators, such as cameraman Frederik Fuglsang and production designer André Andrejew are perceived today as important artists of the German silent cinema.
Upon the introduction of sound film, Friedrich Zelnik became the first director in Europe to postsynchronize a movie, The Crimson Circle (1929), using the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. In 1930, Zelnik traveled to Hollywood, California and upon his return to Germany, directed his first full sound film, a new version of his silent success The Bohemian Dancer .
After Hitler took power in 1933, Zelnik and Lya Mara left Germany for London. In the following years, Zelnik continued to direct and produce movies in Great Britain and The Netherlands. He also legally changed his name to Frederic Zelnik and took British citizenship.
Zelnik died in 1950 in London.
Adele Sandrock was a German-Dutch actress. After a successful theatrical career, she became one of the first German movie stars.
Lya Mara was a Polish actress. She was one of the biggest stars of the German silent cinema.
Olga Engl was an Austrian-German stage and motion picture actress who appeared in nearly 200 films.
Otto Gebühr was a German theatre and film actor, who appeared in 102 films released between 1917 and 1954. He is noted for his performance as the Prussian king Frederick the Great in numerous films.
Eduard Clemens Franz Anna Freiherr von Wangenheim, known as Eduard von Winterstein, was an Austrian-German film actor who appeared in over one hundred fifty German films during the silent and sound eras. He was also a noted theater actor.
Wilhelm Diegelmann was a German actor.
Hermann Picha was a German stage and film actor. Picha was extremely prolific, appearing in over 300 short and feature films during the silent and early sound eras. Picha played a mixture of lead and supporting roles during his career. He played the title role in the 1920 film Wibbel the Tailor, directed by Manfred Noa. He appeared in Fritz Lang's Destiny.
The Bohemian Dancer is a 1926 German silent drama film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Harry Liedtke, and William Dieterle. It premiered in Berlin on 5 March 1926. It is based on the operetta 1907 Die Försterchristl composed by Georg Jarno with a libretto by Bernhard Buchbinder. The film's art direction was by Gustav A. Knauer and Andrej Andrejew. The film is set in Vienna and Hungary during the 18th century.
Dancing Vienna is a 1927 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Ben Lyon and Alfred Abel. The film's art direction was by Andrej Andrejew, Ferdinand Bellan and Erich Kettelhut. It was one of several prototypes of the Heimatfilm made by Zelnik in the 1920s. The film was intended as a loose sequel to Zelnik's The Blue Danube (1926).
Frederik Fuglsang (1887–1953) was a Danish cinematographer who worked largely in the German film industry. Fuglsang was employed by Nordisk Film, who initially brought him to Germany. He worked frequently during the Weimar era on films such as Vanina (1922) and Frederic Zelnik's The Weavers (1927). He was married to the actress Käte Fuglsang.
Heinrich Peer was an Austrian stage and film actor. He appeared in around a hundred films during the silent era.
Fanny Carlsen was a German screenwriter of the silent era. As she was Jewish she was likely forced to emigrate with the Nazi Party's coming to power in 1933, although her exact fate is unknown.
Mariett Dances Today is a 1928 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Fred Louis Lerch and Harry Halm.
Lyda Ssanin is a 1923 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Hans Albers and Rudolf Forster.
The Mistress of the King is a 1922 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara and Hans Albers. It premiered at the Marmorhaus in Berlin.
Miss Beryll is a 1921 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Erich Kaiser-Titz, and Fritz Schulz.
Memoirs of a Film Actress is a 1921 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Ernst Hofmann and Wilhelm Diegelmann. It premiered at the Marmorhaus in Berlin.
Resurrection is a 1923 German silent drama film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Rudolf Forster and Lydia Potechina. It premiered at the Marmorhaus in Berlin.
Nelly, the Bride Without a Husband is a 1924 German silent comedy film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Erich Kaiser-Titz and Else Berna.
Kri-Kri, the Duchess of Tarabac is a 1920 German silent film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Johannes Riemann, and Gisela Werbisek. It premiered at the Marmorhaus in Berlin.