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01 June 2017

Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden (1916)

American actress Fern Andra (1893-1974) plays a double role in the German silent drama Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden/When People Come to Love (1916). Andra was one of the most popular film stars of the German cinema in the 1910s and early 1920s. She scripted and directed many of her own films, including this one.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/1. Photo: Fern Andra-Film. Fern Andra and Karl Falkenberg in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden (Fern Andra, 1916).

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/2. Photo: Fern Andra-Film.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/3. Photo: Fern Andra-Film.

Again a young woman becomes pregnant and flees


In Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden/When People Come to Love (1916) tells the tale of a fisherman's daughter (Fern Andra), who is seduced by the upcoming lawyer Erwin (Alfred Abel) and is then abandoned by him.

The woman collapses over her misery and dies. Before her death, she has given birth to a child, who is fostered by another woman. The girl (also Andra) is unsteady, stays with fishermen for a while and then flees again, and finally finds a place in a rich man's home, who proves to be Erwin.

Erwin's son Robert (Karl Falkenberg) starts an affair with the girl, and so again a young woman becomes pregnant and flees with her child. After many developments she sends the child to the father, Robert.

The girl is innocently arrested for killing her child and is brought to court, where her father Erwin meanwhile has become president. The girl is condemned to death but in the last moment Robert proves her innocence.

Outdoor shooting for Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden took place at the Rhineland, while cinematography was provided by Willy Winterstein. The film had its German premiere on 22 December 1916 at the U.T. Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. The Austrian Paimann's Filmlisten thought the plot and setting very good and performance excellent.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/4. Photo: Fern Andra-Film.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/5. Photo: Fern Andra-Film.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/6. Photo: Fern Andra-Film.

Fern Andra in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 524/7. Photo: Fern Andra-Film. Fern Andra (the fisherman's daughter), Hans Ludolff (her blind father) and Alfred Abel (Erwin) in Wenn Menschen reif zur Liebe werden (Fern Andra, 1916).

Source: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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