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16 May 2015

Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren... (1926)

Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.../I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (1926) was a German silent comedy directed by Arthur Bergen. It was produced by the Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka), one of the few German film studios which was not located in Berlin but in Munich. The young lovers were played by Werner Fuetterer and Dorothea Wieck, both at the start of a promising career.

Werner Fuetterer, Dorothea Wieck
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 61/2, 1926. Photo: Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka). Publicity still for Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Arthur Bergen, 1926).

An immediate popular hit


Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren took its title from a German song composed in 1925 by Fred Raymond with lyrics by Fritz Löhner-Beda and Ernst Neubach. The song was an immediate popular hit, and in 1927 Raymond included it in a musical of the same name.

The refrain goes:
"Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren,
In einer lauen Sommernacht.
Ich war verliebt bis über beide Ohren
Und wie ein Röslein hat ihr Mund gelacht.
Und als wir Abschied nahmen vor den Toren
Beim letzten Kuß, da hab ich's klar erkannt:
Daß ich mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.
Mein Herz, es schlägt am Neckarstrand."

"I lost my heart in Heidelberg
on a warm summer night.
I was in love head over heels
and like a rosebud her lips laughed
And as we bid farewell at the gates
during the last kiss
I knew clearly right there
that I lost my heart in Heidelberg
My heart beats on the beach of Neckar!"

Dorothea Wieck
Dorothea Wieck. Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 995. Photo: Emelka.

Werner Fuetterer
Werner Fuetterer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1507/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka). Publicity still for Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Arthur Bergen, 1926).

Sequel and remake


The film Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren (1926) was directed by Arthur Bergen, and written by German playwright Max Ferner. Arthur Bergen was an Austrian actor-director, active in the film industry since 1915. Max Ferner was the screenplay co-writer for what would later become Alfred Hitchcock's film The Mountain Eagle (1927).

The cast of Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren (1926) included apart from Werner Fuetterer and Dorothea Wieck also Emil Höfer, Gertrud de Lalsky, Mary Parker and Harry Halm. The production company was Emelka or Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG, a Munich based film studio which was active from 1919 till 1932. The company was a direct competitor to UFA, which had started in Berlin in 1917, and quickly absorbed several other film industry companies in the region.

In 1930 investor Wilhelm Kraus and a consortium of banks bought a major shareholding in Emelka, and on 21 September 1932 the group took control of the company and renamed it Bavaria Film AG. In 1938 the Bavaria Film was nationalised but privatised again in 1956. Bavaria is still one of Europe's largest film production companies, with some 30 subsidiaries.

Emelka produced a sequel to Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren (1926), Mein Heidelberg, ich kann Dich nicht vergessen/My Heidelberg, I can't forget you (James Bauer, 1927). Many in the cast returned but instead of Fuetterer and Parker now Hans Adalbert Schlettow and Vivian Gibson joined the cast.

After the Second World War, another film took its title from the song: the West German romantic musical Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Ernst Neubach, 1952).

The film starred Eva Probst and Adrian Hoven as the young lovers and Paul Hörbiger. It premiered in Heidelberg on 29 October 1952. This musical was part of a strong trend towards Heimatfilms set in romanticised Southern Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

The song Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren has become an evergreen and remains the theme song of the city of Heidelberg.

Werner Fuetterer, Dorothea Wieck
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 61/1, 1926. Photo: Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka). Publicity still for Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Arthur Bergen, 1926).

Werner Fuetterer, Dorothea Wieck
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 61/3, 1926. Photo: Münchner Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka). Publicity still for Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren/I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (Arthur Bergen, 1926).

Sources: Cuppachino, Wikipedia and IMDb.
Hear the song.

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