04 March 2014

Carlo Wieth

Danish actor Carlo Wieth (1885-1943) made his film debut in Ekspeditricen/Salesgirl (August Blom, 1911), in which his wife Clara Wieth plays a salesgirl selling gloves. The scene in which she puts him on tightfitting 'glacé' gloves is considered as one of the first examples of eroticism in the Danish cinema.

Carlo Wieth
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. 1765. Photo: Nordisk.

Sjöström, Stiller and Dreyer

Carlo Rossini Wieth was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1885. He was the son of deputy judge Marius Hans Lindegaard Andersen and his wife Jacobine Kirstine Wieth.

Carlo started out as theatre actor and was active at the Danish Royal Theater for over 20 years. From 1906 to 1917 he was married to Clara Pontoppidan, then Clara Wieth. They divorced in 1917, after which Wieth married Agnes Thorberg.

After his start at Kinografen with Ekspeditricen/Salesgirl (August Blom, 1911), he played in some 18 films for Nordisk Film. With his somewhat boyish appearance and his fresh but gentle acting style, he soon became a popular actor.

Between 1913 and 1915 he made nine films in Sweden. There he worked with the famous director Viktor Sjöström on the films Miraklet/The Miracle (1913), Prästen/Saints and Sorrows (1914), Hjärtan som mötas/Hearts That Meet (1914), and Sonad skuld/Guilt Redeemed (1915) with Lili Beck.

He also worked with the other great Swedish film director, Mauritz Stiller on Pa livets ödesvägar/On the Fateful Roads of Life (1913), Det röda tornet/The Red Tower (1914) and Bröderna/Brothers (1914) starring Gunnar Tolnæs. In 1917 Wieth's film career came to a temporary halt.

After a three year intermission, Wieth returned to film with the leading role of Captain Filip Vanderdecken in the Danish serial Den flyvende Hollaender/The Flying Dutchmen (Emanuel Gregers, 1920), and a role in Blade af Satans bog/Leaves Out of the Book of Satan (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1921) opposite his ex-wife Clara Pontoppidan and newcomer Karina Bell.

Carlo Wieth
Danish postcard.


For years, Carlo Wieth quitted film again, only returning long after sound had set in. His first sound film was the melodrama Det gyldne smil/The Golden Smile (1935), based on the novel by Kaj Munk and directed by the prolific Hungarian director Pal (Paul) Fejös. After a career in Hungary, Austria and Hollywood, Fejös had settled down at Nordisk in Denmark.

By now Wieth's film parts were small, and his acting style was theatrical and a bit stiff. Wieth did three films in 1939 including Skilsmissens børn/Children of Divorce (Benjamin Christensen, 1939), and three more in 1942.

His last role was a leading part in Vi kunde ha' det saa rart/We could have it so good (1942), directed by Christen Jul and Mogens Skot-Hansen. In this Palladium comedy, Wieth is a doctor with three lively children in need of a nanny. The doctor has an affair with another woman, but in the end he realizes nanny Lena is the girl (the story reminds of the Sound of Music).

Carlo Wieth died in 1943. He and Agnes Thorberg-Wieth had a son, actor Mogens Wieth.

Lili Beck
Lili Beck. Swedish postcard by Svenska Biografteatern. Photo: Ferd Flodin, Stockholm.

Sources: Danske Film Database, Det Danske Film Institute and IMDb.


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