Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)
The actor Emil Jannings is the German actor as such. You can say without
arrogance that he even was the greatest European actor in his time, who
had under no circumstances to fear the comparison with his American colleagues.
Emil Jannings was born as Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz in Rorschach,
From 1900 he came in touch with the theater for the first time, where
he worked as a unpaid trainee for the time being. Later he acted for touring
companies. In the following years he worked his way constantly up und played
in Nuremberg, Darmstadt, Bremen and finally for Max Reinhardt in Berlin.
First bigger roles at the theater followed in 1917.
He made his debut for the film already in 1914 in "Im Schützengraben/Der
12jährige Kriegsheld" (14), but his real career started in 1916. In
the following four years he acted in "Aus Mangel an Beweisen" (16), "Nächte
des Grauens" (16), "Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach" (17), "Lulu" (17), "Die
Augen der Mumie Ma" (18), "Vendetta" (19) and "Rose Bernd" (19).
When played the role of Ludwig IV in the movie "Madame Dubarry" (19),
directed by Ernst Lubitsch, it stand for his great breaktthrough in his
In the next ten years he went down in film history with his silent
movies. He played in the successful productions "Kohlhiesels Töchter"
(20), "Die Brüder Karamasoff" (20), "Algol" (20), "Anna Boleyn" (20),
"Danton" (21), "Das Weib des Pharao" (21), "Peter der Grosse" (22) and
"Tragödie der Liebe" (23).
In the middle of the 20s nearly all ways led to Emil Jannings. He personified
the leading roles in the international successful productions "Quo Vadis"
(24), "Nju" (24), "Der letzte Mann" (25) - one of his greatest masterly
performance, "Tartüff" (25), "Varieté" (25) and finally "Faust"
(26). Because of his huge successes of his last movies he got a three-year
contract with Paramount.
In the USA he shot among others the movies "The Way of All Flesh -
Der Weg allen Fleisches" (27), "The Last Command - Sein letzter Befehl"
(27), "The Patriot - Der Patriot" (28) and "Betrayal - Verrat" (29).
For his performance in "The Way of All Fleshs" and "The Last Command"
he achieved the first oscar in film history at all.
When the sound film rang in a new era, Emil Jannings feared because
of his knowledge of English, that he doesn't justice to the artistic aspect
of the English sound film and went back to Germany.
His first film in Germany also caused a sensation and counts to the
best movies of the 30's. The leading actress Marlene
Dietrich lauchned her Hollywood career with this film. We are talking
about ""Der blaue Engel" (30), where Emil Jannings played professor Unrat.
But in the next years he wasn't able to go on from his earlier successes,
only in the National Socialist Germany he became again a great star. In
these years he played often historical personalities and was participated
in some of important movies, which worked for the National Socialism.
To his great successes of the 30's and 40's count "Der Herrscher" (37),
"Der zerbrochene Krug" (37), "Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des Todes"
(39), "Ohm Krüger" (41), "Die Entlassung" (42) and "Altes Herz wird
wieder jung" (43).
After the war he was denazified in 1946 and got the Austrian nationality
one year later.
Emil Jannings was married in second marriage with actress Hanna Ralph
(1885-1978), in third marriage with actress Lucie
Höflich and in fourth marriage with actress Gussy Holl.
Other movies with Emil Jannings:
Frau Eva (16) Im Angesicht des
Toten (16) Der Morphinist (16) Passionels Tagebuch (16) Stein unter Steinen
(16) Das Leben ein Traum (16) Der 10. Pavillon der Zitadelle (16) Die Bettlerin
von St. Marien (16) Unheilbar (16) Das Geschäft (17) Gesühnte
Schuld (17) Wenn vier dasselbe tun (17) Das fidele Gefängnis (17)
Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari (17) Nach zwanzig Jahren (18) Keimendes Leben
(18) Der Mann der Tat (19) Die Tochter des Mehemed (19) Das grosse Licht
(20) Colombine (20) Der Schädel der Pharaonentochter (20) Der Stier
von Olivera (21) Der Schwur des Peter Hergatz (21) Die Ratten (21) Othello
(22) Alles für Geld (23) Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (23) Liebe macht
blind (25) The Street of Sin - Der König von Soho (27) Sins of the
Fathers - Sünden der Väter (28) Liebling der Götter (30)
Stürme der Leidenschaft (31) König Pausole (33) Der schwarze
Walfisch (34) Der alte und der junge König (35) Traumulus (35) Der
letzte Appell (39)