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Georg Wilhelm Pabst

Foto: Praesens Film AG (P. Gassmann)

1885 - 1967


The director Georg Wilhelm Pabst belongs to the most influence German filmmakers whose works inspired many of his colleagues.

He first was trained as an actor and he made his stage debut at the beginning of the 20th century in Switzerland and Austria.
Later followed engagements in Germany.

When he went to the Deutsches Volkstheater in New York in 1911 he was also active there as a director for the first time, an activity for which he became famous later in the film business.

But first followed a harst setback when he returned to Europe in 1914. World War I broke out and he was interned in a campf in Brest as a hostile foreigner.

He was able to continue his theater career after the war and when he met director Carl Froelich in 1921 he was introduced into the film business.
In their first common movie G.W. Pabst acted in front of the camera in "Im Banne der Kralle" (21), afterwards he became director assistant for "Der Taugenichts" (22) and "Luise Millerin" (22).

G.W. Pabst made his debut as a film director with "Der Schatz" (23) with the famous Albert Steinrück in the leading role.
In the next years he directed the movies "Gräfin Donelli" (24), "Die freudlose Gasse" (25) with the still unknown actress Greta Garbo at silent movie star Asta Nielsen's side, "Geheimnisse einer Seele" (26) with Werner Krauss, "Man spielt nicht mit der Liebe" (26), again with Werner Krauss who became to Pabst's favorite actors as well as "Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney" (27) with Brigitte Helm.

After his film "Abwege" (28) he realised his probably best-known movie with "Die Büchse der Pandora" (29) with the American actress Louise Brooks in the leading role. The movie became an international box-office hit.

Although in 1929 he supported director Arnold Fanck for his movie "Die weisse Hölle von Piz Palü" (29) with Leni Riefenstahl.

His next film "Moral um Mitternacht" from 1930 was still shot as a silent movie but with "Westfront 1918" (30) he realised his first talky.

Georg Wilhelm Pabst comprehended at the first go to use  the sound goal-directed as an enriching element and he was able to fill the audience with enthusiasm in the next years.
To his movies as a director of the 30's belong "Skandal um Eva" (30) with the former star Henny Porten, "Die Drei-Groschen-Oper" (31) after a play by Bert Brecht with the great music of Kurt Weill, "Kameradschaft" (31) with Alexander Granach, "Die Herrin von Atlantis" (32) with Brigitte Helm and "Don Quichotte" (33) with the Russian actor and singer Fedor Chaliapin. The last mentioned movie was shot in France.

When National Socialists came into power in Germany he stayed in France for the time being and shot the movie "Du haut en bas" (33) with Jean Gabin.
In the same year he went to Hollywood where he directed the movie "A Modern Hero" (34) but G.W. Pabst could not become friends with the American procedure for realising movies and returned to France in 1936. There he directed the movies "Mademoiselle Docteur", "Le drame de Shanghai" (38) and "Jeunes filles en détresse" (39).

He returned to Berlin in 1939 and also stayed there after outbreak of war. But he could only realise few movies - "Komödianten" (41), "Paracelsus" (43) and "Der Fall Molander" (45).

After the war he first worked in Austria and shot the movies "Der Prozess" (48), "Geheimnisvolle Tiefe" (49) and "Duell mit dem Tod" (49).
Afterwards he moved to Italy where he directed the movies "La voce del silenzio" (53) and "Cose da pazzi" (53).

Finally he returned to Germany and realised his last movies with "Das Bekenntnis der Ina Kahr" (54), "Der letzte Akt" (55), "Es geschah am 20. Juli" (55), "Rosen für Bettina" (56) and "Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen" (56).

Other movies from G.W. Pabst (Writer):
Der Schatz (23) Die Büchse der Pandora (29) Don Quichotte (33) White Hunter (36) Komödianten (41) La voce del silenzio (53) 

Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (29) Moral um Mitternacht (30) Don Quichotte (33) Cette nuit-là (33) 

Man spielt nicht mit der Liebe (26) Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney (27) Abwege (28)