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Showing posts with label Ossi Oswalda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ossi Oswalda. Show all posts

25 January 2014

Ernst Schneider

Ernst Schneider was one of the most acclaimed studio photographers of Berlin during the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s. Many celebrities from the theatre, the opera, the circus, and later the cinema came to his studio. Schneider also belonged to the esteemed fashion photographers of the German capital, and published books with his nude photography.

Karina Bell
Karina Bell. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2094/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Ossi Oswalda
Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3871/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Ernst Schneider, Berlin / FPS.

Hans Stüwe
Hans Stüwe.  German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 645, 1919-1924. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.

Nude Photography


Ernst Schneider started his career in photography sometime at the turn of the 20th Century. Exact data are not available at the net.

His first fashion shots were published in magazines like Welt der Frau (World of Women) and Gartenlaube (Gazebo).

In 1908, he published Die Gestalt des Menschen und Ihre Schönheit: Vorlagen zum Studium des nackten menschlichen Körpers (The Human Form and Beauty: templates to study the naked human body). This book with nude photography was also published in the U.S. by the publisher J. Singer and Company in 1908.

In addition to beautiful women Schneider photographed opera and theatre stars such as Franz Lehar, Richard Tauber and Hans Albers. Even Mata Hari posed for Schneider’s camera.

Madge Lessing
Madge Lessing. German advertising postcard by Richard Habisch & Co., Berlin, for Gargoyle Bohner Wasch, sent by mail in 1911. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Sascha Gura
Sascha Gura. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K 3072. Photo: Ernst Schneider.

Iris Arlan
Iris Arlan. Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 5513. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 761/2, 1925-1926. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Hanni Weisse
Hanni Weisse. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3087/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Richard Tauber
Richard Tauber. German postcard by Odeon. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

The City's Best Fashion Houses


Around 1908 Atelier Ernst Schneider started to work closely together with such postcard publishers as Rotophot and Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) and from 1919 on with Ross Verlag.

From 1910 on, the studio was located at Unter den Linden 62-63. Atelier Ernst Schneider moved to the fashionable Kurfürstendamm in 1932. The company remained there until the end of the 1930s.

Schneider worked for the city's best fashion houses and he had a large villa in Wannsee, where many fashion photographs were taken. During the 1930s his work appeared in Vanity Fair and Die Illustrierte Berliner Zeitung.

What later happened to Ernst Schneider and his studio is unclear. If you have more information, please let us know.

Evelyn Holt
Evelyn Holt. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3688/1, 1928 - 1929. Photo: Atelier Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Agnes Esterhazy
Agnes Esterhazy. German postcard by Ross Verlag, nr. 3705/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Ernst Schneider.

Marcella Albani
Marcella Albani. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3704/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Werner Fuetterer
Werner Fuetterer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, nr. 4050/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin / Europäische Film-Production. Publicity still for Morgenröte/Dawnings (Wolfgang Neff, Burton George, 1929).

Olga Tschechowa
Olga Tschechova. German postcard by Ross Verlag no. 4652/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Lya Mara
Lya Mara. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4308/4, 1929-1930. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

This is the third post in a new series on star photographers. The first post was on the Reutlinger Studio in Paris and the second on Italian star photographer Attilio Badodi.

Sources: Detlef Krenz (diegeschichteberlins.de) (German), Postkarten-Archiv.de (German) and Luminous Lint.

21 October 2013

Ossi Oswalda

Ossi Oswalda (1895-1947) was one of the most popular comediennes of the German silent cinema. Ernst Lubitsch became her Pygmalion, who let her play in numerous comedies between 1916 and 1920. Her popularity at the time earned her the nickname 'The German Mary Pickford'.

Ossi Oswalda
French postcard in the Europe series, no. 590. Photo: Agence Européenne Cinematographique.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 529/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Ossi Oswalda-Film.

Ernst Lubitsch


Ossi Oswalda (1895-1947) was born in Niederschönhausen, Imperial Germany (now part of Berlin), but she was of Prague origin. Her real name was Oswalda Stäglich.

Oswalda trained as a ballerina and became a dancer for a theater in Berlin.

She made her film debut in Nächte des Grauens/Night of Horrors (Richard Oswald, Arthur Robison, 1916) before being discovered by the actor and screenwriter Hanns Kräly.

He recommended her to director Ernst Lubitsch who cast her in their comedy Schuhpalast Pinkus/Shoe Salon Pinkus (1916).

Lubitsch became her Pygmalion, who let her play in numerous comedies between 1916 and 1920, which joked with the provincial and stiff petty-bourgeois mentality of Wilhelminian Germany.

Examples are Ossis Tagebuch/Ossi's Diary (1917), Ich möchte kein Mann sein/I Don't Want to Be a Man (1918), Meine Frau, die Filmschauspielerin/My Wife the Movie Star (1919), and Die Puppe/The Doll (1919).

The best of these was Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (1919), in which Ossi is a spoiled daughter of a wealthy American, who is supposed to wed an impoverished German prince (but is marrying his stupid servant instead).

The whole film exaggerated all the clichés about Americans who like everything big and make modern, absurdistic music, and about Germans who are only interested in food & drinks, but Lubitsch did so in a very witty way.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1377. Photo: Alex Binder.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3310. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 286. Photo: Alard Walten, Berlin.

Ernst Lubitsch, Ossi Oswalda
With Ernst Lubitsch. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 337/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Zander & Labisch.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1929.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 474/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 3197. Photo: Alex Binder.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 761/2, 1925-1926. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Unrestrained, Wild and Witty Girl


When Ernst Lubitsch left for America he left Ossi Oswalda in the hands of Victor Janson, who had been her co-star in Die Wohnungsnot/The Housing Shortage (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) and Kakadu und Kiebitz/Kakadu and Kiebitz (Erich Schönfelder, 1920).

Janson was not unworthy for his task but he repeated Oswalda's typology of the unrestrained, wild and witty girl, without adding the spice Lubitsch always had added.

In 1921, Oswalda started her own film production company with her husband at the time, baron Gustav von Koczian.

However, during the next four years they only produced four films, including Amor am Steuer/Love at the Wheel (Victor Janson, 1921) and Das Mädel mit der Maske/The Girl With the Mask (Victor Janson), 1922 with Hermann Thimig.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1347/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Manassé, Wien.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2055/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 753/2, 1925-1926.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1734/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Ernst Sandau, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 761/5,1925-1926. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Ernst Sandau, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1050/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Crown Prince


From 1925 on, Ossi Oswalda was contracted to the Ufa. She starred in comedies like Blitzzug der Liebe/Love Express Train (Johannes Guter, 1925) and Herrn Filip Collins Abenteuer/Mr. Filip Collins Adventure (Johannes Guter, 1926) with Georg Alexander.

When Oswalda's name was romantically linked to that of former Crown Prince Wilhelm, while that of Lily Damita with the prince's son Ludwig Ferdinand, insulting caricatures spread and the Hohenzollern family stopped both affairs short.

The affair also influenced Oswalda's career, who continued to make films but she would never reached the top anymore. Her star dwindled down, and her parts became smaller and smaller.

She appeared in only two sound films, making her final film appearance in Der Stern von Valencia/The Star of Valencia (Alfred Zeisler, 1933).

Later on, she became a stage actor, and in 1943, she wrote the story for the Czechoslovakian film Ctrnáctý u stolu (Oldrich Nový, Antonín Zelenka, 1943).

For a short while, Ossi Oswalda was the talk of the town again once more, after she had died in the most miserable condition in Prague in 1947.

Ossi Oswalda and Victor Janson in Niniche
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 685/4, 1919-1924. Photo: publicity still for Niniche (Victor Janson, 1925).

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 474/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1453/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Angelo Photos.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1050/3, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1690/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Deutsch-Nordische Film-Union.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3871/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Ernst Schneider, Berlin / FPS.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1480/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 2055/5, 1927-1928. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4244/1, 1929-1930. Photo Atelier Manassé, Vienna.


Scene from Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (1919). Source: Jfahr (youTube).

Source: Vittorio Martinelli (Le dive del silenzio)  (Italian), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

15 September 2013

Ernst Lubitsch

Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947) was a German-American actor, screenwriter, producer and film director, who started his career in the silent cinema of the Weimar Republic. During the 1920s, his urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director. His films were promoted as having ‘the Lubitsch touch.’

Ernst Lubitsch
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 1926. Photo: Fritz Richard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Ethnic Jewish Humour


Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1892. He was the son of Anna (née Lindenstaedt) and Simon Lubitsch, a tailor. His family was Ashkenazi Jewish, his father born in Grodno and his mother from Wriezen (Oder), outside Berlin. Ernst was drawn to the stage while participating in plays staged by his high school, which he quit at 16.

He worked as a bookkeeper at his father's store by day and appeared in cabarets and music halls by night. By 1911, he was a member of Max Reinhardt's renowned Deutsches Theater, where he quickly advanced from bit parts to character leads.

He made his film debut the following year and appeared in approximately thirty films between 1912 and 1920. Lubitsch appeared in a series of very successful film comedies as a character named Meyer in which he emphasized ethnic Jewish humour.

In 1914 he began to write and direct his own films, and made his mark as a serious director with the drama Die Augen der Mumie Ma/The Eyes of the Mummy (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918), starring Pola Negri. He gradually abandoned acting to concentrate on directing and his last film appearance was opposite Pola Negri and Paul Wegener in the drama Sumurun (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920).

Ernst Lubitsch, Ossi Oswalda
With Ossi Oswalda. German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 337/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Zander & Labisch.

Pola Negri
Pola Negri. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 407/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Rembrandt Phot.

Emil Jannings and Henny Porten
Emil Jannings as the British king Henry VIII and Henny Porten as Anna Boleyn, in Anna Boleyn (1920). German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 645/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Union Film.

Grand Master


As a director, Lubitsch alternated between escapist comedies and large-scale historical dramas, enjoying great international success with both. A triumph was Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919), featuring Ossi Oswalda, a sparkling satire caricaturizing American manners.

His reputation as a grand master of world cinema reached a new peak after the release of his spectacles Madame Du Barry/Passion (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919) with Pola Negri, and Anna Boleyn/Deception (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920) starring Henny Porten and Emil Jannings. Both of these films found American distributorship by early 1921.

They, along with his Carmen/Gypsy Blood (Ernst Lubitsch, 1921) were selected by The New York Times on its list of the 15 most important movies of 1921. With glowing reviews under his belt, and American money flowing his way, Lubitsch formed his own production company and made the high-budget spectacular Das Weib des Pharao/The Loves of Pharaoh (Ernst Lubitsch, 1921).

Henny Porten, Anna Boleyn
Henny Porten as Anna Boleyn, in Anna Boleyn (1920). German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 401/3, 1919-1924. Photo: Rembrandt Phot. / Messter Film, Berlin.

Henny Porten, Anna Boleyn
Henny Porten as Anna Boleyn, in Anna Boleyn (1920). German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 402/4, 1919-1924. Photo: Rembrandt Phot. / Messter Film, Berlin.

Hollywood


Ernst Lubitsch left Germany for Hollywood in 1922. He was contracted by Mary Pickford to direct her in the film Rosita (1922). The result was a critical and commercial success, but director and star clashed during its filming, and it ended up as the only project that they made together.

A free agent after just one American film, Lubitsch was signed to a remarkable three-year, six-picture contract by Warner Brothers that guaranteed the director his choice of both cast and crew, and full editing control over the final cut. Settling in America, Lubitsch established his reputation for sophisticated comedy with such stylish films as The Marriage Circle (1924), Lady Windermere's Fan (1925), and So This Is Paris (1926).

But his films were only marginally profitable for Warner Brothers, and Lubitsch's contract was eventually dissolved by mutual consent, with MGM-Paramount buying out the remainder. His first film for MGM, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) with Ramon Novarro, was well regarded, but lost money.

Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg
Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 98/6. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch, 1927).

Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg
Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 98/10. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch, 1927).

Musicals


Lubitsch seized upon the advent of talkies to direct musicals. With his first sound film, The Love Parade (1929), starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, Lubitsch hit his stride as a maker of worldly musical comedies and earned himself another Oscar nomination.

The Love Parade (1929), Monte Carlo (1930), and The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) were hailed by critics as masterpieces of the newly emerging musical genre. Lubitsch served on the faculty of the University of Southern California for a time.

His next film was a romantic comedy, written with Samson Raphaelson, Trouble in Paradise (1932). The cynical comedy was popular both with critics and with audiences. But it was a project that could only have been made before the enforcement of the Production Code, and after 1935, Trouble in Paradise was withdrawn from circulation. It was not seen again until 1968.

Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette MacDonald
Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. Dutch postcard. JosPé, no. 402. Photo: Paramount.

Maurice Chevalier & Miriam Hopkins in The Smiling Lieutenant
Maurice Chevalier and Miriam Hopkins. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5976/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931).

Running Paramount


Ernst Lubitsch continued to specialize in comedy, whether with music, as in MGM's opulent The Merry Widow (1934) and Paramount's One Hour with You (1932), or without, as in Design for Living (1933).

He made only one other dramatic film, the anti-war Broken Lullaby/The Man I Killed (1932).

In 1935, he was appointed Paramount's production manager, thus becoming the only major Hollywood director to run a large studio. But Lubitsch had trouble delegating authority, which was a problem when he was overseeing sixty different films. He was fired after a year on the job, and returned to full-time moviemaking.

Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier. Dutch postcard, no. 196. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931).

Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6709/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Paramount.

Garbo Laughs!


In 1935 he married British actress Vivian Gaye. They had one daughter, Nicola Lubitsch in 1938. And in 1936, he became a naturalized US citizen.

Lubitsch moved to MGM, and directed Greta Garbo in Ninotchka (1939). The famously serious actress' laughing scene in this satirical comedy was heavily promoted by studio publicists with the tagline "Garbo Laughs!"

In 1940, Lubitsch directed The Shop Around the Corner, an artful comedy of cross purposes. The film reunited Lubitsch with his Merry Widow screenwriter Raphaelson, and starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as a pair of bickering co-workers in Budapest, each unaware that the other is their secret romantic correspondent.

Roland Young, Genevieve Tobin, Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6732/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still for One Hour with You (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932) with Roland Young, Genevieve Tobin, Jeanette MacDonald, and Maurice Chevalier.

Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ninotchka
Belgian collector's card by Kwatta, no. C 181. Photo: MGM. Publicity still for Ninotschka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939) with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas.

Heaven Can Wait


Lubitsch went independent to direct That Uncertain Feeling (1941, a remake of his 1925 film Kiss Me Again), and the dark anti-Nazi farce To Be or Not to Be (1942). A heart condition curtailed his activity, and he spent much of his time in supervisory capacities.

Heaven Can Wait (1943) was another Raphaelson collaboration. Then, Lubitsch worked with Edwin Justus Mayer on the scripting process of A Royal Scandal (1945), a remake of Lubitsch's silent film A Forbidden Paradise. The script was written and prepared under Lubitsch, and he was the original director of this film, and directed the rehearsals. He became ill during shooting, so hired Otto Preminger to do the rest of the shooting.

After A Royal Scandal, Lubitsch regained his health, and directed Cluny Brown (1946), with Charles Boyer and Jennifer Jones. In 1947, he was awarded a Special Academy Award. Ernst Lubitsch died later that year in Hollywood of a heart attack, his sixth. His last film, That Lady in Ermine (1948) with Betty Grable, was completed by Otto Preminger and released posthumously.


Meyer aus Berlin/Meyer from Berlin (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919). Source: Bob Toomey (YouTube)


Trailer for Ninotschka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939). Source: OscarMovieTrailers (You Tube).

Sources: Ephraim Katz (The Film Encyclopedia), William McPeak (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.