Austrian actor Adrian Hoven (1922 - 1981) was the athletic and dynamic Sonnyboy of the German cinema in the 1950’s, who would become one of the stars of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's films in the 1970's. As a writer, producer and director he made horror and erotica with SM overtones.
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden (Westf.), no. F 4. Retail price: 25 Pf. Photo: Melodie/Dt. London. Publicity still for Bonsoir Paris.
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. Fl 2. Photo: Melodie/Dt. London/Heil. Publicity still for Bonsoir Paris.
German postcard by UFA, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. 87. Photo: Arthur Grimm/Constantin Film.
Adrian Hoven was born as Wilhelm Arpad Hofkirchner in Wöllersdorf, Niederösterreich (Austria) in 1922. He was discovered during WW II by director Helmut Weiss and made his debut in the Heinz Rühmann comedy Quax in Afrika/Quax in Africa (1943-1947, Helmut Weiss). After the war he decided to go to an acting school. He started to work on the Berlin stages, but again Weiss gave him a break in the cinema, the part of a cadet in Herzkönig/King of Hearts (1947, Helmut Weiss). After the circus drama Tromba (1949, Helmut Weiss), Hoven decided to concentrate solely on films. It would be the start of a successful career with more than 100 films. As the young hero or lover he seemed to excell in every genre; in melodramas like Dr. Holl/Affairs of Dr. Holl (1951, Rolf Hansen), in comedies like Die unentschuldigte Stunde/The Unexcused Hour (1957, Willi Forst), in romances like Mädchenjahre einer Königin/The Story of Vickie (1954, Ernst Marischka) and ...wie einst Lili Marleen/Like Once Lili Marleen (1956, Paul Verhoeven), but also in war films like Canaris/Canaris: Master Spy (1954, Alfred Weidenmann) and Rommel ruft Kairo/Rommel Calls Cairo (1959, Wolfgang Schleif). With his black hair and blue eyes he looked as dashing in a dinner jacket as in a uniform.
Dutch Postcard by UFA. Photo: Joe Niczky/UFA.
Vintage Postcard. Photo: Berolina.
Horror and Erotica
In 1965 Adrian Hoven founded with Pier A. Caminneci the production company Aquila Film Enterprises and made his first film as a director, writer and producer, the psycho thriller Der Mörder mit dem Seidenschal/The Murder With the Silk Scarf (1966, Adrian Hoven) starring Carl Möhner. The film was not a box office success so he switched to more commercial genres like horror and erotica. He produced the SM fantasy Necronomicon/Geträumte Sünden/Succubus (1966, Jesus Franco), which became an international cult hit. He also occasionally tried his hand at screenwriting under the nom de plume of Percy Parker. As an actor he could be seen in European thrillers and horror exploitation, including Avec la peau des autres/With the Lives of Others (1966, Jacques Deray) starring Lino Ventura, Rote Lippen, Sadisterotica/Two Undercover Angels (1969, Jesus Franco), and Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält/Mark of the Devil (1970) starring Herbert Lom.
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel. Photo: Aristan/NF-Film/Brünjes.
German postcard by F.J. Rüdel, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 87. Photo: FAMA-Film/Niczky. Publicity still for Dr. Holl.
German postcard by Kolibri, no. 1940. Photo: Camera-Film.
Neue Deutsche Film
More challenging was Adrian Hoven's work for the Neue Deutsche Film. He played a transvestite in Schatten der Engel/Shadow of Angels (1976, Daniel Schmid) and he worked for several prestigious (TV-)films by the great director Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Welt am Draht/World on Wires (1973) with Klaus Löwitsch, Martha (1974) featuring Margit Carstensen, Faustrecht der Freiheit/Fox and His Friends (1975) as the father of Peter Chatel, Angst vor der Angst/Fear of Fear (1975), Satansbraten/Satan's Brew (1976), Despair (1978) starring Dirk Bogarde, the 15-hour TV miniseries Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and Lili Marleen (1981) with Hanna Schygulla. He also worked as a TV host. His son Percy Hoven works as an actor and TV presenter too. Adrian Hoven died in 1981 in Tegernsee, Germany. he was 58. His final film was the carnival drama Looping - Der lange Traum vom kurzen Glück/Looping (1981, Walter Bockmayer, Rolf Bührmann) with Hans Christian Blech.
Scene from Liebling mein Herz lässt Dich grüssen (1955). Source: Fritz 5152 (YouTube).
Trailer Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee (1961). Source: Rialto Film (youTube).
Trailer for Eurotrash Chinos y minifaldas/Scorpions And Mini Skirts (1967, Ramón Comas), "the most surprising production of the year". Source: Our Man in Havanna (YouTube).
Sources: Hal Erickson (Rovi), Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-Line), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.