1889 - 1966
Erich Pommer ranks with the most important personalities of the German silent movie era and he was participated in the worldwide success of the German film. No other producer had influenced the German film so much like Erich Pommer.
Pommer started his film career as a film agent for Gaumont in Vienna, since 1912 he worked for the "Film- und Kinematographen GmbH Eclair". When this company started to produce movies under the name "Wiener-Autoren-Film", Pommer became their production manager. This marked the beginning of a unique career.
In 1914 Pommer was called up to the West front and after a wound he was assigned as recruit instructor. In 1917 he changed to the film and picture office where he was in charge of week shows and documentaries.
Already in 1915 he founded the "Decla-Film Gesellschaft" and during his absence the leadership was protected by his brother Albert Pommer and Erich Morawsky. The production company flourished and finally merged with the "Deutsche Bioscop AG" in 1920 to "Decla-Bioscop AG". During this time they realised several movie classics and Pommer consolidated his reputation as an ambitionated producer. In 1923 Pommer was elected into the board of directors of the Ufa and pulled now the most important strings of the German movie production.
To his well-known productions of the 10s belong "Der Herr ohne Wohnung" (15), "Carl und Carla" (15), "Die Stimme des Toten" (16), "Dynamit" (16), "Der Schwur der Renate Rabenau" (16), "Die Faust des Schicksals" (17), "Das Spiel vom Tode" (17), "Genie und Liebe" (18), "Harry wird Millionär" (18), "Die Krone des Lebens" (18), "Halbblut" (19), "Die Spinnen" (19), "Harakiri" (19) and "Opfer" (19).
Many internationally successful but also cost-intensive films were created, especially in the 20s and the German film industry belonged to the most important besides the one of the USA.
Numerous film classics were realised in the 20s, among them "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" (20), "Genuine" (20), "Irrende Seelen" (21), "Der müde Tod" (21), "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler" (22), "Phantom" (22), "Ein Glas Wasser" (23), "Die Finanzen des Grossherzogs" (23), "Die Nibelungen (22-24), "Der letzte Mann" (24), "Pietro, der Korsar" (25), "Tartüff" (25), "Varieté" (25), "Metropolis" (26) - the most expensive and many years later also the most successful production of the Ufa, "Manon Lescaut" (26), "Faust" (26), "Heimkehr" (28), "Asphalt" (29) and "Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna" (29).
Because of the financial disaster during the production of "Metropolis" the Ufa did not extend the contract with Pommer and he went to the USA for awhile where he produced two movies for Paramount with the movie star Pola Negri. In 1927 he returned again to Germany and was contracted again by the Ufa.
At the beginning of the sound film Pommer achieved an unexpected success with "Der blaue Engel" (30), through which Marlene Dietrich began her great career. But also the movies "Die Drei von der Tankstelle" (30) and "F.P.1 antwortet nicht" (32) set new standards.
Till 1933 Erich Pommer realised very successful movies like "Liebling der Götter" (30), "Bomben auf Monte Carlo" (31), "Der Kongress tanzt" (31), "Ein blonder Traum" (32) and "Ich und die Kaiserin" (33). 1933 - the year the Nazis came into power - the Ufa began to cancel the contracts with their Jewish employees, also the one with Erich Pommer. Pommer emigrated to Paris where he produced severel movies, afterwards he arrived at Hollywood where he produced the movie "Music in the Air " (34).
But not the USA but England became the country of his choice. There he founded a new production company together with the actor Charles Laughton. Between 1937 and 1939 they produced movies like "Vessel of Wrath" (38) and "Jamaica Inn" (39), always with Laughton as the leading actor.
When World War II broke out Pommer was located in New York and decided to stay in the USA. After some movies Pommer fall seriously ill in 1941, his contract with RKO wasn't renewed. In 1944 he got the American nationality. Pommer got into financial difficulties so that he and his wife had to work in a porcelain factory.
After the war Erich Pommer returned to Germany as a film officer with the order to reorganize the German film production.
In 1951 he founded the "Intercontinental Film GmbH" in Munich where he could realise some remarkable movies - "Nachts auf den Strassen" (51), "Kinder, Mütter und ein General" (55). But the restrictions he became dictated led to his return to California. He became seriously ill again - a leg was amputated and therefore he was confined to a wheelchair - and his career as a producer ended.
In 1966 Erich Pommer died at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, LA.
Other movies from Erich Pommer: