02 March 2010

Richard Hellmann

Richard Hellmann appeared in only two German films at the end of the 1950s.

Richard Hellmann
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag (Franz Josef Rudel Filmpostkartenverlag), Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 2628. Photo: H.-P. Film / Union / Haenchen. Publicity still for Hula-hopp, Conny (1959).

Schlager Idols

Richard Hellmann (aka Richard Hellman) made his film debut in the teen musical Hula-hopp, Conny/Holiday in Honolulu (Heinz Paul, 1959), a vehicle for the Schlager idols Conny Froboess and Rex Gildo (then: Alexander Gildo).

The following year Richard appeared in a supporting part in another musical comedy, Eine Frau fürs ganze Leben/A Woman for a Whole Life (Wolfgang Liebeneiner, 1960), about the adventures of a trumpet-playing mother, daughter and granddaughter. The woman in question was played by the popular Wirtschaftwunder star Ruth Leuwerik.

On IMDb reviewer Jan de Witt writes: “Ruth Leuwerik's star was already on the wane when this charmingly episodic saga, produced on the lavish side, gave her the chance for an honest and tender portrayal of the indomitable matriarch of a German household. Bright with human interest, congeniality and the quaint appeal of a bygone era,

Eine Frau fürs ganze Leben came close to duplicate the magic of her biggest hit Die Trapp Familie. First rate support helped to create a nostalgic saga, photographed in the style of finely-etched ferrotypes. It was a triumph of the sweet and sentimental, a visual poem to the honest virtues of maternal life.”

Ruth Leuwerik
Ruth Leuwerik. German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H, Minden/Westf., no. 397. Photo: Weisse / Divina / Gloria.

A career start at a bad moment

Richard Hellmann had started his film career at a bad moment. Despite glowing critical plaudits, Eine Frau fürs ganze Leben failed to turn a profit. The German film industry was in serious decline.

He tried a job behind the cameras. In 1961 he worked as a production manager on Bis zum Ende aller Tage/Girl from Hong Kong (Franz Peter Wirth, 1961) starring Hanns Lothar and Helmut Griem.

The drama about a sailor who returns to Hamburg with a Japanese girl was a disappointment, according to the Dutch site Vpro.nl.

And then, what happened with Richard Hellmann?

We couldn’t find more information about him on the internet. If you know more, please send us a mail or post a comment, and of course we’ll credit you.

Scene from Hula-hopp, Conny (1959) with Conny FroboessRex Gildo and Richard Hellmann.

Source: Jan de Witt (IMDb), Vpro.nl (Dutch) and IMDb.

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