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24 November 2017

Film Partners

Last month, we had a French postcard series on every Saturday. From today on, we will focus on Great Britain. We start today with a post on a Real Photo (Picturegoer) series called 'Film Partners', published in the 1930s in London. The postcards have either horizontal or vertical formats. Some are in black-and-white; others are hand-coloured. And yes, this was the United Kingdom in the 1930s, so all the couples are strictly male/female.

Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)
Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 150. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for The Scarlet Pimpernel (Harold Young, 1934).

Ivor Novello and Elizabeth Allan in The Lodger (1932)
Ivor Novello and Elizabeth Allan. British postcard in the Film Partners series, London, no. P 41. Photo: Stanborough. Publicity still for The Lodger (Maurice Elvey, 1932).

Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge in Jack's the Boy (1932)
Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. P 42. Photo: Gainsborough Pictures. Publicity still for Jack's the Boy (Walter Forde, 1932).

Ralph Lynn and Winifred Shotter in Summer Lightning (1933)
Ralph Lynn and Winifred Shotter. British postcard in the Film Partners series, London, no. 81. Photo: British & Dominions. Publicity still for Summer Lightning (Maclean Rogers, 1933).

Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper in The Constant Nymph (1933)
Brian Aherne and Victoria Hopper. British postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 121. Photo: Gaumont-British. Publicity still for The Constant Nymph (Basil Dean, 1933).

Leslie Howard and Heather Angel in Berkeley Square (1933)
Leslie Howard and Heather Angel. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 123. Photo: Fox. Publicity still for Berkeley Square (Frank Lloyd, 1933).

Tullio Carminati and Grace Moore in One Night of Love
Tullio Carminati and Grace Moore. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 151. Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for One Night of Love (Victor Schertzinger, 1934).

Madeleine Carroll and Clive Brook in The Dictator (1935)
Madeleine Carroll and Clive Brook. British postcard in the Film Partners series, no. P 166. Photo: Toeplitz. Publicity still for The Dictator (Victor Saville, 1935).

Derrick De Marney and Nova Pilbeam in Young and Innocent (1937)
Derrick De Marney and Nova Pilbeam. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no PC 236. Photo: Gaumont British. Publicity still for Young and Innocent/The Girl Was Young (Alfred Hitchcock, 1937).

Jack Hulbert and Patricia Ellis in Paradise for Two
Jack Hulbert and Patricia Ellis. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. P 241. Photo: London Films. Publicity still for Paradise for Two/Gaiety Girls (Thornton Freeland, 1937).

David Niven and Ginger Rodgers in Bachelor Mother
David Niven and Ginger Rodgers. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, London, no. PC 211. Photo: R.K.O. Radio. Publicity still for Bachelor Mother (Garson Kanin, 1939).

Barry K. Barnes and Valerie Hobson in This Man in Paris (1939)
Barry K. Barnes and Valerie Hobson. British postcard in the Film Partners Series, no. PC 284. Photo: Paramount British. Publicity still for This Man in Paris (David MacDonald, 1939).

It is Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.

23 November 2017

Die goldene Krone (1920)

Henny Porten, Hermann Thimig and Paul Hartmann star in the German silent film Die goldene Krone/The Golden Crown (Alfred Halm, 1920), produced by Messter-Film GmbH. Ross Verlag presented this series of seven sepia postcards with scenes from the film. None of our usual sources offered a plot of the film, but in Die Freie Deutsche Bühne of 22 August 1920, we discovered a review by acclaimed author Joseph Roth.

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/1. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/2. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/3. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Nobody is guilty, it is just fate


In Die goldene Krone/The Golden Crown (1920), Henny Porten plays Marianne, daughter of the owner of the hotel Zur goldene Krone (At the Golden Crown). She loves a duke, Franz Günther (Paul Hartmann), who has tuberculosis and is mortally ill. To prevent the bankruptcy of his hotel, Marianne's father wants her to wed Klaus (Hermann Thimig), son of rich fish trader Stöven. Klaus, who is a good sport, is prepared to compromise and accepts her affair.

But as Joseph Roth writes in Die Freie Deutsche Bühne, Marianne breaks up 'betrothal, best wishes, wedding nights' and flees Klaus to take care of the dying duke, with all her efforts. However, the duke's family arrives and Marianne has to step back, right in the night when he dies. On his deathbed the duke commissions his aide-de-camp to marry Marianne, but the latter shoots himself because of the family. Marianne returns to her father's hotel to help it rise again. There Klaus returns to her and they marry at last.

Of course there is no proof about the reliability of Roth's plot description, and his negative final judgment might have influenced the rest of the text. In his introduction Roth stressed that Olga Wohlbrück, on whose story, published in Die Berliner Woche, the film was based, was a 'Courts-Mahler mit Niveau, und grammatikalischem Deutsch'. Wohlbrück's stories were popular among middle class women, as they always treated young women as protagonists who because of class difference could not marry their beloved aristocrats. Nobody is guilty, it is just fate. It is presented with credibility and cool detachement. Meanwhile the stories give insight in life in the higher classes.

Die goldene Krone had its first night in Berlin on 6 August 1920. The film was scripted by director Alfred Halm and Hans Bennert. Sets were by Ludwig Kainer and cinematography was by Willy Gaebel.

At the end of his critique, Joseph Roth, seriously condemned the film from his left-wing perspective: "Yet, I protest that today, on 7 August 1920, less than 2 years after the revolution, the world view of Die Woche is spread from cosy family circles to the masses by means of cinema. That 'fatzery' tragically works, because Olga Wohlbrück needs to live. I protest." Roth may have been overcharging it a bit, but it is indeed ambiguous that while the Weimar Republic in 1919 stripped the German nobility of all legal privileges and immunities, the aristocracy remained such a focus within the mainstream German cinema.

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/4. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann  in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/5. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/6. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Paul Hartmann  in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Henny Porten in Die goldene Krone (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 640/7. Photo: Messter. Publicity still of Henny Porten and Hermann Thimig in Die goldene Krone (Alfred Halm, 1920).

Sources: Joseph Roth (Die Freie Deutsche Bühne - German), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

22 November 2017

Katja Riemann

German actress and singer Katja Riemann (1963) was a major star of the German cinema of the 1990s, who appeared in such international successful films as Der bewegte Mann (1994) and Comedian Harmonists (1997). Riemann also often worked with the directors Katja von Garnier and Margaretha von Trotta.

Katja Riemann
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Mathias Bothor.

Katja Riemann
German postcard by Katja Riemann.de. Photo: Mirjam Knickriem.

The biggest grossing homegrown film


Katja Hannchen Leni Riemann was born in 1963 in Weyhe-Kirchweyhe, Germany. She is the daughter of two teachers and she has a sister, Susanne, and a brother, Jochen.

Riemann grew up in Weyhe, near Bremen. After high school she went to study at the School of Theatre and Music in Hanover from 1984 to 1986 and the Otto Falckenberg Drama School in Munich from 1986 to 1987. She attended the Westphalian Landestheater in Castrop-Rauxel and came to the ensemble of the Münchner Kammerspiele before the end of her training.

She made her screen debut in the TV mini-series Sommer in Lesmona/Summer in Lesmona (Peter Beauvais, 1985-1986). For her role she won two awards. After this success, several TV roles followed, including the title role in the series Regina auf den Stufen (Bernd Fischerauer, 1992) with Mark Kuhn and Serge Avedikian.

She had her breakthrough in the cinema with Abgeschminkt!/Making Up! (Katja von Garnier, 1993) opposite Max Tidof. The film is a satire about women of the 1990s in search of the men of their dreams.

The following year, she appeared as the girlfriend of Til Schweiger in the hilarious romantic comedy Der bewegte Mann/ Maybe, maybe not (Sönke Wortmann, 1994), also with Joachim Król. The comedy was based on the gay comics by Ralf König. At the time of its release, this was the biggest grossing homegrown film at the German box office. Other comedies followed like Nur über meine Leiche/Over My Dead Body (Rainer Matsutani, 1995).

Riemann reunited with director Katja von Garnier for the road movie Bandits (Katja von Garnier, 1997) with Jutta Hoffmann. The story is about members of a female rock band who escape from prison. Riemann even learned to play the drums for her role. Both the film and soundtrack album were commercially successful in Germany, and Riemann won the Deutscher Filmpreis (German Film Award) for her role.

With director Rainer Kaufmann, she made the films Stadtgespräch/Talk of the Town (Rainer Kaufmann, 1995) with Martina Gedeck and Kai Wiesinger, and the comedy Die Apothekerin/The Pharmacist (Rainer Haufmann, 1997) with Jürgen Vogel and August Zirner. An international success was Comedian Harmonists (Joseph Vilsmaier, 1997) about the legendary close harmony sextet, played by a.o. Ben Becker, Kai Wiesinger and Max Tidof.

Katja Riemann
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Stefan May.

Katja Riemann
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Stefan May, München.

I Am the Other Woman


Beside her acting career, Katja Riemann started singing and released her first album Nachtblende in 2000. In 2003, the English-language jazz album Favourites followed with the Katja Riemann octet.

In the cinema she appeared in the pan-European production Novel (Fabio Carpi, 2001) starring Hector Alterio. She starred with Maria Schrader in the film Rosenstraße (Margarethe von Trotta, 2003) about the Rosenstrasse protest where women waited for seven days and nights outside of a Nazi jail for their Jewish husbands. The protests took place in Berlin during the winter of 1943. In Italy, the film won a David at the David di Donatello Awards.

With Von Trotta, she also worked on the psychodrama Ich bin die Andere/I Am the Other Woman (Margarethe von Trotta, 2006) with Armin Mueller-Stahl and Karin Dor. She played with Moritz Bleibtreu in the drama Agnes und seine Brüder/Agnes & His Brothers (Oskar Roehler, 2004).

With Von Garnier, she made an international production Blood and Chocolate (Katja von Garnier, 2007) with Hugh Dancy and Olivier Martinez, but it was a flop. More interesting was the Swiss-German rural drama Der Verdingbub/The Foster Boy (Markus Imboden, 2011). Filmportal.de: “she gives a stunning performance as a cold-hearted farmer, who holds an orphan boy like a slave on her yard.”

A huge box office success was the comedy Fack ju Göhte/Suck Me Shakespeer (Bora Dagtekin, 2013) starring Elyas M'Barek. Riemann played a strict school principal and received for her performance a Best Supporting Actress Nomination at the 2014 German Film Award.

In the drama Die abhandene Welt/The Misplaced World (Margaretha von Trotta, 2015) she co-starred with Barbara Sukowa and Mathias Habich. She also had a small part in the Hitler-in the-21st-century comedy Er ist wieder da/Look Who's Back (David Wnendt, 2015).

At the moment of writing, several films with her are in production, including Fack ju Göhte 3/Suck Me Shakespeer 3 (Bora Dagtekin, 2017), the comedy Forget About Nick (Margaretha von Trotta, 2017) and Subs (Oskar Roehler, 2018).

Katja Riemann is the mother of actress Paula Riemann (also Paula Romy), whose father is Peter Sattmann. Riemann met Sattmann, on the set of Von Gewalt keine Rede (1991), and they had a relationship from 1990 to 1998. Since 2007, she has been the longtime companion of sculptor Raphael Alexander Beil.

Riemann won the Bavarian Film Award three times. Twice as Best Actress in 1993 and 1995, and once for the Best Film Score in 1997. She wrote two successful children`s books, Der Name der Sonne (The name of the sun) and Der Chor der Engel (The choir of the angels), together with her sister Susanne (2002).

Katja Riemann
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Jim Rakete / Photo Selection.


German trailer Abgeschminkt!/Making Up! (1993). Source: alleskino (YouTube).


International trailer for Der bewegte Mann/ Maybe, maybe not (1994). Source: Video Detective (YouTube).

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.