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Arnold Fanck

Picture Arnold Fanck

1889 - 1974

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The director Arnold Fanck made a name a a filmmaker of mountain movies from the 20's, a genre which was created by him. The shootings were often entailed with great strains - not only for the technicians but also for the actors who were demanded till to their boundaries - which required a good physical condition. As a pionier of the open-air filming and mountain movies Arnold Fanck went down in the German film history.

During the childhood of Arnold Fanck there was no hint for his future career. As a child he suffered from asthma, later he got tuberculosis. 
After the final examination of his education died his father in 1906 and the family went to Freiburg where Arnold Fanck discovered skiing for himself and with it the fascination of nature he explored as a climber and photographer.

During World War I he first served as a first-aid man, later he came to the forging department of the German intelligence service where he worked with photographic gadgets. He also developed some of them.

After the war he earned his money as a carpet trader and was able to afford his first film camera. The cinematographer Sepp Allgeier introduced him into this technique. In 1920 Fanck founded together with Dr. Deodatus Tauern the Berg- and Sportfilm GmbH Freiburg, also a member of the company was Sepp Allgeier who shot Arnold Fanck's first movies.
To Arnold Fanck's first works as a director belong "Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs" (20), "Im Kampf mit dem Berge" (21), "Die weisse Kunst" (24) and "Der Berg des Schicksals" (24). Fanck was not only a director but also was a producer, writer, editor and sometimes a cinematographer for his movies.
Luis Trenker made his film debut with Fanck's "Der Berg des Schicksals" (24). He later became a very popular movie star in the 30's with his own mountain movies and his popularity continued till his death.

Beside Luis Trenker there was another future world star for whom Arnold Fanck paved the way - Leni Riefenstahl. She made her film debut in his movie "Der heilige Berg" (26) and she also appeared in his productions "Der grosse Sprung" (27), "Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü" (29), "Stürme über dem Montblanc" (30), "Der weisse Rausch - Neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs" (31) and "S.O.S. Eisberg" (33).

Arnold Fanck changed from the feature films to documentaries from the middle of the 30's. After the movie "Der ewige Traum" (34) and the documentary "Höchstleistungen im Skilauf" (35) he went to Japan and South America where he made the documentaries "Die Tochter des Samurai" (36), "Bilder von Japans Küsten" (36), "Die Wildnis stirbt" (36), "Kaiserbauten in Fernost" (38), "Von Patagonien nach Feuerland" (40) and "Japans heiliger Vulkan" (41). 

Although Arnold Fanck refused to become a member of the NSDAP 1933 but was able to continue his work in Germany. Only in 1940 he had to give to the pressure and became a member. To his works at that time belong  among others the documentaries "Josef Thorak, Werkstatt und Werk" (43) and "Arno Breker" (44). 
When he was obliged for the Volkssturm in 1945 he fled from Berlin and lived in Freiburg.

Arnold Fanck was not able to revive his film career after the war, interested parties failed to come. Only his script for "Föhn" (50) and the movies "Tetje und Fiedje" (56) and "Der weisse Rausch - einst und jetzt" (65) were realised.
 

Other movies from Arnold Fanck (Director):
Pömperlys Kampf mit dem Schneeshuh (22) Das Wolkenphänomen in Majola (24) Das weisse Stadion (28) Rêve éternel (34) Die Seehunde (34) Training zum Skifilmen (35) Atarashiki tsuchi (37) Hänschen klein (38) Auf neuen Wegen (39) Reis und Holz im Lande des Mikado (40) Ein Robinson (40) Kampf um den Berg Eine Hochtour vor 20 jahren (41) Frühling in Japan (41) Atlantik-Wall (44)

Producer:
Die Meister des Wassers (20) Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs (20) Moritz, der Träumer (21) Mit der Jungfraubahn in die Regionen ewigen Eises (21) Jiu-Jitsu Die unsichtbare Wafef (21) Der grosse Boxkampf Dempsey Carpentier (21) Im Kampf mit dem Berge (21) Chufu (22) Pömperlys kampf mit dem Schneeschuh (22) Fussballwettspiel Erde Mars (22) Die sterbende Stadt (22) Die deutschen Kampfspiele (22) Auf rauschender Fahrt (22) Ali-Baba und die 40 Räuber (22) Das Herz des Menschen (23) Franzens Lebensrettung Ein Erlebnis unter den wilden (23) 1000 Dollar Belohnung (23) Südtirol Ein Vorposten deutscher Kultur (23) Die weisse Kunst (24) Das Wolkenphänomen in Majola (24) Der Totenwolf (24) Der Berg des Schicksals (24) Die begehrte Lotte oder Welch entzückende Füsschen (24) Das Rudern (25) Wintersport im Schwarzwald (27) Die Tochter des Samurai (36) Atarashiki tsuchi (37) Hänschen klein (38) Winterreise durch Südmandschurien (38) Kaiserbauten in Fernost (38) 

Writer:
Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs (20) Im Kampf mit dem Berge (21) Pömperlys Kampf mit dem Schneeschuh (22) Der Berg des Schicksals (24) Der heilige Berg (26) Der grosse Sprung (27) Milak, der Grönlandjäger (28) Der Kampf ums Matterhorn (28) Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü (29) Die heiligen drei Brunnen (30) Stürme über dem Mont Blanc (30) Der weisse Rausche Neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs (31) Abenteuer im Engadin (32) S.O.S. Eisberg (33) Rêve éternel (34) Nordpol Ahoi! (34) Der ewige Traum (34) Badinge, der König der Gorillas (34) Die Tochter des Samurai (36) Atarashiki tsuchi (37) Hänschen klein (38) Ein Robinson (40)

Editor:
Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs (20) Im Kampf mit dem Berge (21) Die weisse Kunst (24) Der Berg des Schicksals (24) Das Wolkenphänomen in Majola (24) Der heilige Berg (26) Der grosse Sprung (27) Das weisse Stadion (28) Om mani padme hum (28) Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü (29) Om mani padme hum (29) Stürme über dem Mont Blanc (30) Der weisse Rausche Neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs (31) Fliehende Schatten (32) Rêve éternel (34) Der ewige Traum (34) Training zum Skifilmen (35) Höchstleistungen im Skilauf (35) Die Tochter des Samurai (36) Atarashiki tsuchi (37) Ein Robinson (40) Atlantik-Wall (44)

Cinematographer: 
Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs (20) Im Kampf mit dem Berge (21) Südtirol Ein Vorposten deutscher Kultur (23) Der Berg des Schicksals (24) Das Wolkenphänomen in Majola (24) Hänschen klein (38) Joseph Thorak, Werkstatt undWerk (43) Arno Breker (44) 

A special thanks goes to M. Fanck for the handing over of the autograph of Arnold Fanck.
 
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