05 June 2018

Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920)

Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (1920) was the most successful film of Ernst Lubitsch's German period. The comedy was extremely popular at the box office, and was re-released more than once.

Henny Porten and Emil Jannings in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920)
German collectors card by Ross Verlag in the series Vom Werden deutscher Filmkunst - Der Stumme Film, picture no. 119, group 43. Photo: Ufa. Publicity still for Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) with Henny Porten and Emil Jannings.

Henny Porten in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag no. 630/4. Photo: Messter Film, Berlin. Publicity still for Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) with Henny Porten.

The Taming of Liesel


Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) takes its basic premise from William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, relocated to 19th-century southern Bavaria.

The sweet-natured young Gretel wants to get married to Peter Xaver but her father refuses to allow the match until her elder sister Liesel has married first.

As Liesel is notorious for her bad-tempered personality, this is no easy challenge. Xaver's friend Seppel suggests, that Xaver should marry Liesel first, get rid of her and then marry Gretel...

Henny Porten starred in a double role as both Liesel, the older daughter and Gretel, the younger daughter, Emil Jannings played Peter Xaver, Gustav von Wangenheim Paul Seppl, and Jakob Tiedtke was Mathias Kohlhiesel, the father of Liesel and Gretel and keeper of the village inn.

The comedy is an adaptation of the play Kohlhiesel's Daughters by Hanns Kräly, Lubitsch's frequent collaborator, who also worked on the film's screenplay. Three further film adaptations have been made of the work including a 1930 sound remake which also starred Porten.

Emil Jannings and Henny Porten in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1920)
German postcard by Ross Verlag no. 639/5. Photo: Messter-Film. Publicity still for Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) with Emil Jannings and Henny Porten.

Jakob Tiedtke, Henny Porten and Emil Jannings in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1919)
German postcard by Ross Verlag no. 639/8. Photo: Messter-Film. Publicity still for Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) with Jakob Tiedtke, Henny Porten and Emil Jannings.

Henny Porten and Fritz Kampers in Kohlhiesels Töchter (1930)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 126/3. Photo: Atelier Schmoll, Berlin / Nero-Porten-Film. Publicity still for Kohlhiesels Töchter/Kohlhiesel's Daughters (Hans Behrendt, 1930) with Henny Porten and Fritz Kampers. The sound version!

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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