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|Died||13 September 1948 73) (aged|
|Spouse(s)|| Lyda Salmonova (divorced, remarried)|
Greta Schröder (m.1924)
Paul Wegener (11 December 1874 – 13 September 1948) was a German actor, writer and film director known for his pioneering role in German expressionist cinema.
At the age of 20, Wegener decided to end his law studies and concentrate on acting, touring the provinces before joining Max Reinhardt's acting troupe in 1906. In 1912, he turned to the new medium of motion pictures and appeared in the 1913 version of The Student of Prague . It was while making this film that he first heard the old Jewish legend of the Golem and proceeded to adapt the story to film, co-directing and co-writing the script with Henrik Galeen. His first version of the tale The Golem (1915, now lost) was a success and firmly established Wegener's reputation. In 1917, he made a parody of the story called Der Golem und die Tänzerin, but it was his reworking of the tale, The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920) which stands as one of the classics of German cinema and helped to cement Wegener's place in cinematic history.
Another of his early films was Der Yoghi (1916), in which he played the role of a yogi and young inventor, and which provided him with the opportunity to accommodate three of his interests, trick photography (it was one of the first films to feature invisibility), the supernatural and Eastern mysticism.
In 1926, he appeared in his only Hollywood film, Rex Ingram's The Magician , in which he played the Aleister Crowley-esque Oliver Haddo in an adaptation of Somerset Maugham's story, followed by The Strange Case of Captain Ramper in 1927. In 1928, he starred alongside Brigitte Helm in his old collaborator Henrik Galeen's adaptation of Hanns Heinz Ewers' Alraune , playing the Frankenstein-like Professor ten Brinken.
In 1932, Wegener made his sound debut in Richard Oswald's black comedy/horror film Unheimliche Geschichten , in which he made fun of himself as well as the whole expressionist movie genre.[ citation needed ]
When in 1933 the National Socialists came to political prominence, theatre companies were disbanded and many of the actors and directors were arrested, persecuted or exiled. However Wegener became an actor of the state and appeared in Nazi propaganda films such as Mein Leben für Irland in 1941 and Kolberg , a 1944–45 propaganda film epic about the Napoleonic Wars. [ citation needed ] As the war closed Wegener was one of the first to rebuild cultural life in Berlin. He appeared in the title role in a production of Lessing's "Nathan the Wise" at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in September 1945. Despite ill-health he became president of an organization to improve standards for its inhabitants.In reality he made an anti-Nazi stance by donating money to resistance groups, hiding vulnerable people in his apartment and writing anti-Hitler slogans on walls.
He was married six times, thirdly and sixthly to the actress Lyda Salmonova (his co-star on several occasions), who became his widow. His fourth wife was Greta Schröder (previously married to the dancer Ernst Matray), who had portrayed the leading lady in F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922). The geographer Alfred Wegener was his cousin and the physicist Prof. Peter P. Wegener was his son.
Wegener's last film was Der Grosse Mandarin (1948). In July 1948 he reprised his old role as Nathan the Wise at the Deutschen Theatre, but in the very first scene he collapsed and the curtain was brought down. Two months later, on 13 September 1948, he died in his sleep.
Richard Oswald was an Austrian director, producer, and screenwriter.
Der Golem is a 1915 German silent horror partially lost film, written and directed by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen. It was inspired by an ancient Jewish legend, the most prevalent version of the myth involving 16th century Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel who created the Golem to protect his people from antisemites. Wegener claimed the film was based on Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel The Golem, but Troy Howarth states "it is more likely that simply drew upon European folklore".
Rochus Gliese was a German actor, director, production designer, and Academy Award-nominated art director of early films from the 1910s and 1920s. He was born in Berlin, Germany.
The Golem: How He Came into the World is a 1920 silent horror film and a leading example of early German Expressionism. Paul Wegener starred as the titular creature, as well as co-directing the film with Carl Boese and co-writing the script with Henrik Galeen based on Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel. Photographer Karl Freund went on to work on the 1930s classic Universal horror films years later in Hollywood. This was the third of three films that Wegener made featuring the golem, the other two being The Golem (1915) and the short comedy The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917), in which Wegener dons the golem make-up in order to frighten a young lady with whom he is infatuated. The Golem: How He Came into the World is a prequel to The Golem from 1915 and as the only one of the three films that has not been lost, is the best known of the series.
Unheimliche Geschichten is a 1932 German horror/comedy film directed by the prolific Austrian film director Richard Oswald, starring Paul Wegener, and produced by Gabriel Pascal.
Alraune is a 1928 German silent science fiction horror film directed by Henrik Galeen and starring Brigitte Helm in which a prostitute is artificially inseminated with the semen of a hanged man. The story is based upon the legend of Alraune. In this version, the blasphemous sexual union causes the progeny to grow to adulthood quickly, behave in a sexually promiscuous fashion and cause the men who fall in love with her nothing but hardship, heartache and financial ruin, if not death.
Werner Johannes Krauss was a German stage and film actor. Krauss dominated the German stage of the early 20th century. However, his participation in the antisemitic propaganda film Jud Süß and his collaboration with the Nazis made him a controversial figure.
John Gottowt was an Austrian actor, stage director and film director for theatres and silent movies.
Nils Olaf Chrisander was a Swedish actor and film director in the early part of the twentieth century.
Georg John was a German stage and film actor.
Gertrude Welcker was a German stage and silent film actress who appeared in films between 1917 and 1925.
Erich Engel was a German film and theatre director.
Paul Davidson was a German film producer.
Lyda Salmonova was a Czech stage and film actress. She was married to the actor Paul Wegener and appeared alongside him in a number of films.
Henrik Galeen was an Austrian-born actor, screenwriter and film director considered an influential figure in the development of German Expressionist cinema during the silent era.
Otto Rippert was a German film director during the silent film era.
The Lost Shadow is a 1921 German silent film directed by Rochus Gliese and starring Paul Wegener, Wilhelm Bendow and Adele Sandrock. The cinematographer was Karl Freund. The film's sets were designed by the art director Kurt Richter. It was shot at the Tempelhof Studios in Berlin. For some reason, the film was only released in the US in 1928. It is today considered a lost film.
Homunculus is a six chapter German science fiction silent serial directed by Otto Rippert and written by Robert Reinert. Other sources list Robert Neuss as a co-writer. It was the most successful German-made serial produced during World War I, and was theatrically shown in six separate installments, each part running approximately one hour. Chapter one was released in August 1916.
Hans Trutz in the Land of Plenty is a 1917 German silent fantasy film directed by and starring Paul Wegener and also featuring Lyda Salmonova and Ernst Lubitsch. It was one of a trilogy of fairytale-inspired films made by Wegener, along with Rübezahl's Wedding and The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Rübezahl's Wedding is a 1916 German silent fantasy drama film directed by Rochus Gliese and Paul Wegener and starring Wegener, Lyda Salmonova and Georg Jacoby. It was the first in a trilogy of fairytale films made by Wegener also including Hans Trutz in the Land of Plenty and The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
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