19 July 2015

Albert Paulig

Albert Paulig (1873-1933) was a popular comedian in the German silent cinema of the 1910s and 1920s.

Albert Paulig
German postcard by Verl. Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 1746.

Albert Paulig
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1319. Photo: Willinger.

His Own Comedy Series

Born in Stollberg, Germany in 1873, Albert Paulig was trained to become a teacher. He also did a musical training at the Konservatorium Dresden (conservatory of Dresden), but initially he became a salesman.

In 1896 he had his stage debut at the Stadttheater in Zwickau. Other locations he performed were Łódź, Hannover and Dresden. In 1901 he first performed in Berlin at the Deutsch-Amerikanischen Theater, after which he did several guest performances in other Berlin stages.

In 1913, when he was already 40, Albert Paulig was discovered as a film comedian. Because of his success he got his own series in the 1910s, the Albert-Paulig series, with titles just as simple as Paulig als Asta Nielsen/Paulig as Asta Nielsen (Albert Paulig, 1915) or Albert hat Prokura/Albert has the power of attorney (Uwe Jenss Kraft, 1919).

Starting with Alberts Hose/Albert’s Pants (1915), Paulig directed his own comedy series. But in between he also acted in films by other directors.

Paulig for example played opposite Ernst Lubitsch in both the popular success Die Firma heiratet/The Firm Weds (Carl Wilhelm, 1914) and its unofficial sequel Der Stolz der Firma/The Pride of the Firm (Carl Wilhelm, 1914). He also co-starred with Hanni Weisse in Meine Braut, seine Frau/My bride, his wife (Danny Kaden, 1916).

Albert Paulig in Die Dollarprinzessin
German postcard by G.L., no. 3172/3. Photo: Elite, Berlin. Albert Paulig, Alfred Walters and Fritzi Arco in the operetta Die Dollarprinzessin (The dollar princess). This operetta by Leo Fall was first performed in Vienna in 1907, this card is for the Berlin version of 1908.

Albert Paulig
German postcard, no. 9434. Photo: Atelier Rembrandt.

Strong Popularity

After he stopped his Albert-Paulig series in 1919, Paulig’s popularity remained strong among audiences. During the 1920s, he acted in over 100 films. While Albert Paulig mostly performed in supporting parts, he sometimes had major parts as the protagonist or the main antagonist.

Albert Paulig co-starred with Mia May and Georg Alexander in the comedy Die platonische Ehe/The platonic marriage (Paul Leni, 1919), and acted with Hans Albers and Ria Jende in Der Schuss aus dem Fenster/The shot out the window (director unknown, 1920).

He did several small parts in the Ossi Oswalda comedies of the late 1910s and early 1920s such as Das Mädchen aus dem wilden Westen/The girl from the Wild West (Erich Schönfelder, 1921). The most famous example is the classic Die Austernprinzessin/The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubisch, 1919).

Paulig was reunited with Hanni Weisse in the comedy Weil Du es bist/Because it's you (Hans Werckmeister, 1925). He had the lead as Archduke Albert Paul in G’schichten aus dem Wienerwald/Tales from the Vienna Woods (Jaap Speyer, 1928), co-starring Eric Barclay, Magnus Stifter and Fritz Schulz.

In the later 1920s, he was often seen in supporting parts in the sensational Harry Piel adventure films, such as Der Mann ohne Nerven/The Man Without Nerves (Harry Piel, 1924), Zigano, der Brigant vom Monte Diavolo/Zigano (Harry Piel, 1925), Sein grösster Bluff/His Greatest Bluff (Harry Piel, 1927), Panik/Panic (Harry Piel, 1928), and Männer ohne Beruf/Men without Profession (Harry Piel, 1929).

Albert Paulig
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 1332. Berlin. Photo: Willinger.

Albert Paulig
German postcard by Verl. Herm. Leiser, Berlin-Wilm., no. 6053. Berlin. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

Army Officers

When sound film set in, Paulig managed to continue his career, often portraying aristocrats and industrials, but in particular army officers. An example of the latter is Schön is die Manöverzeit/Manoeuver Time Is Fine (Erich Schönfelder, Margarete Schön, 1931) with Ida Wüst.

He also acted the musical Es war einmal ein Walzer/Once There Was a Waltz (Victor Janson, 1932) written by Billy Wilder, Der Prinz von Arkadien/The Prince from Arcadien (Karl Hartl, 1932) with Willi Forst, Das Testament des Cornelius Gulden/The Testament of Cornelius Gulden (E.W. Emo, 1932), starring Magda Schneider and Georg Alexander, and Manolescu, der Fürst der Diebe/Manolescu (George C. Klaren, Willi Wolff, 1933), starring Iván Petrovich.

The crime film K1 greift ein/K1 intervenes (Edmund Heuberger, 1933) was his last film. He couldn’t attend the premiere of the film, as he died himself in Berlin on 19 March 1933, because of a heart failure, two days after the film had passed censorship. According to Filmportal.de, which lists his most extended filmography, Albert Paulig acted in 183 films.

Albert Paulig
German postcard in the Film-Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 122/2. Photo: Nicola Perscheid, Berlin. Ca. 1916-1918.

Albert Paulig
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3024/1, 1928-1929.

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.

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