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Henrik Galeen

Foto: Walter Lichtenstein (1902-1984)
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von André Limot © Limot

1881 - 1949

The director and screenwriter Henrik Galeen was born as Heinrich Wiesenberg in the Austrian Stryi.

After a study for engineering he was able to gain a foothold on stage as an actor. At the beginning of his career he toured through Germany and Switzerland.
Finally he was engaged by Max Reinhardt as his assistant at the Deutsches Theater and Henrik Galeen made first experiences behind the scenery. He went to the Volksbühne in 1911 where he directed for the first time. In 1920 followed the leadership of the "Theater in der Kommendantenstrasse" in Berlin together with the actor John Gottowt.

He got in touch with the film business in 1913 and he worked among others as a director assistant for "Der Student von Prag" (13).

From 1915 he became a fiml director and already his first movie "Der Golem" (15) with Paul Wegener in the leading role was a big success. For this movie he also wrote the screenplay.

It followed a longer interruption in his film career because of the military draft during World War I.

Afterwards he was able to realise other movies as a director, among them "Judith Trachtenberg" (20), "Der Student von Prag" (26), "Sein grösster Bluff" (27) and "Alraune" (28).

He also wrote numerous screenplays in the next years for productions like "Die rollende Kugel" (19), "Der verbotene Weg" (20), "Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam" (20), the classic "Nosferatu" (22), "Das Wachsfigurenkabinett" (24), "Der Student von Prag" (26), "Sein grösster Bluff" (27) and "Alraune" (28).

Finally he went to England where he shot the movies "The Gorno Marionettes" (28) and "After the Verdict" (29) as a director and wrote the screenplay "Acci-Dental Treatment" (29).

He returned to Germany in 1931. Subsequently he wrote the screenplays "Schatten der Unterwelt" (31), "Bobby geht los" (31) and the remake "Der Student von Prag" (35) - whereat he did not participate personally in this movie and the screenplay based on his former version from 1926 - and as a director in realised "Salon Dora Green" (33).

With the rise of the National Socialism Henrik Galeen was longer able to work in Germany and finally he left the country and emigrated via Denmark to the USA in 1940. There he coult not continue his film career and he earned his living in a backery in New York.

He remained in the USA after World War II where he died in Vermont in 1949.

Other movies from Henrik Galeen (Writer):
Die beiden Gatten der Frau Ruth (19) Die Geliebte Roslowskys (21) Stadt in Sicht (23) Auf gefährlichen Spuren (24) Liebesbriefe der Baronin von S... (24) Zigano (25) Das Fräulein vom Amt (25) Achtung Harry! Augen auf! (26) Die Dame mit der Maske (28) Acci-Dental Treatment (29)

Der verbotene Weg (20)  Stadt in Sicht (23) Liebesbriefe der Baronin von S... (24)

Der Golem (15) Schlemihl (15) Die sterbende Stadt (22) Das Haus ohne Lachen (23) Auf gefährlichen Spuren (24) Zigano (25)