German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 2237. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.
German postcard in the Film Sterne Series by Rotophot, nr. 501/2. Photo: Decla. Publicity still for Das Mädel von nebenan (Otto Rippert, 1917) with Hella Moja in the foreground of the boat and Hanne Brinkmann in the background.
The girl next-door
Hanne or Hanna Brinkmann was born as Johanna Marie Luise Elisabeth Brinkmann in Hanover, Germany, in 1895.
Under her birth name, she started her career in 1913 on stage at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria.
After the outbreak of the First World War, she returned to Germany. In Berlin, she made her film debut in Lache, Bajazzo!/Laugh Pagliacci! (Richard Oswald, 1914).
Soon she played bigger roles in films like Das Mädel von nebenan/The girl next-door (Otto Rippert, 1917) starring Hella Moja, and Baroneßchen auf Strafurlaub/Little Baroness on criminal holiday (Otto Rippert, 1918) with Hans Albers.
During the war, Brinkmann developed into a popular comedian and in 1918, she starred in her own short-lived 'Hanne' series, especially tailored to her talents. The director of the series was actor-director was Reinhold Schünzel, who had already acted with her in Die ledige Frau/The unmarried woman (Rudolf del Zopp, 1917).
Schünzel and Brinkmann married in 1919. A year later, she played a small part in her husband’s historical film Katharina die Große/Catherine the Great (Reinhold Schünzel, 1920) starring Lucie Höflich, Fritz Kortner and Fritz Delius. The film was an epic portrayal of the life of Catherine the Great of Russia, for which 4,000 extras and 500 horses were used.
German postcard by NPG, no. 807. Photo: Anny Eberth, Berlin.
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 357/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.
Mother and child
In the early 1920s, Hanne Brinkmann temporarily withdrew from show business to devote herself to the education of her daughter Anne Marie, who was born in 1922.
In 1924, Brinkmann returned to the screen and played a supporting part in the drama Mutter und Kind/Mother and Child (Carl Froelich, 1924) starring Henny Porten, Friedrich Kayßler and Wilhelm Dieterle. It was remade in 1934 as a sound film of the same title also starring Porten.
Brinkmann only played supporting parts from then on. One of her best known films was the historical drama Die Weber/The Weavers (Friedrich Zelnik a.k.a. Frederic Zelnik, 1927) starring Paul Wegener, an adaptation of the 1892 play by Gerhart Hauptmann based on a historical event. During the 1840s a group of Silesian weavers stage an uprising due to their concerns about the Industrial Revolution's impact of their lives.
In 1929 Brinkmann appeared opposite Georg Alexander in her last film, Was ist los mit Nanette?/What's up with Nanette? (Holger Madsen, 1929), and then retired from the cinema.
Later she divorced from Reinhold Schünzel, who emigrated in 1937 with their daughter to the US. Hanne Brinkmann died in 1984 in München (Munich), Germany.
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 2239. Photo: Mac Walten, Berlin.
Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.