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13 December 2009

Lilian Weiss

Pretty film actress Lilian Weiss appeared in a dozen silent German films of the 1920’s. The introduction of the sound film probably ended her film career.

Lilian Weiss
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.

Waiting Girl
About cute film actress Lilian Weiss, there’s no more information on the internet to be found than the films in which she appeared. The most complete list is offered by the German Filmportal.de, which offers 11 silent films with her. But also this well informed site does not give any personal information about the actress. Lilian’s career was short, it spanned only five years. She made her film debut in the Ufa production Aus eigener Kraft - Ein Filmspiel vom Auto/On its own Power – A Motion Picture About the Car (1924, Willy Zeyn sen). She played the minor part of a waiting girl. The following year she had another supporting part in Weil Du es bist/While It’s You (1925, Hans Werckmeister), which starred Hanni Weisse. That year Lilian also appeared as a dancer in Im Krug zum grünen Kranze/In the Jug with the Green Wreathes (1925, Heinrich Lisson) with Camilla Spira and Dutch film actor Adolphe Engers.

Adolphe Engers
Adolphe Engers. German postcard by Ross Verlag, nr. 3186/1, 1928-1929. Collection: Egbert Barten.

Leading Lady
1927 was Lilian Weiss’ most productive year: she appeared in three films. Klettermaxe (1927, Willy Reiber) was a comedy starring Dorothea Wieck, who became famous four years later as the adored teacher on a girl’s school in Mädchen in Uniform/Girls in Uniform (1931, Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich). Klettermaxe was remade in 1952 by Kurt Hoffmann with Liselotte Pulver. In Der Anwalt des Herzens/Lawyer of the Heart (1927, Wilhelm Thiele) starred Lil Dagover. And Weiss' third film of that year was Das gefährliche Alter/The Dangerous Age (1927, Eugen Illés) with the legendary Asta Nielsen. In all three films Weiss played only small supporting parts. The next year she was seen in Fürst oder Clown/Prince or Clown (1928, Aleksandr Razumnyj) with Marcella Albani and Iván Petrovich, and Charlott etwas verrückt/Charlotte a Little Crazy (1928, Adolf E. Licho) with Lya de Putti. Again Lilian's parts were small. In 1929 the sound film was introduced in Germany and this probably finished her film career. That year she was seen in her last two films, Napoleon auf St. Helena/Napoleon on St. Helena (1929, Lupu Pick) with Werner Krauss, and Erpresser/Blackmailer (1929, Henry Decroix), in which she finally played the leading lady. Erpresser was probably not a success, and IMDb does not even mention the film. So Lilian Weiss’ first big film role would also be her last.

Lya de Putti
Lya de Putti. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1273/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Hans Natge.

More information about Lilian Weiss is welcome.

Sources: Filmportal.de and IMDb.

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