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Brigitte Helm

Brigitte Helm
Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)

1906 - 1996


The actress Brigitte Helm was born as Brigitte Eva Gisela Schittenhelm). The course into the film business wasn't proceeded by herself, it was her mother who pressed ahead with her daughter's career. 
When Fritz Lang shooted the film "Die Nibelungen", Brigitte Helm's mother had written to Thea von Harbou, in which she suggested to her, how talented her daughter would be. Such letters arrived the film makers at thousands and normally landed in the wastebasket. But a picture of Brigitte Helm, which was enclosed to the letter, triggered Thea von Harbou. Brigitte Helm didn't know anything of this and one day she stood quite unexpected in the film studio where she should play something to Fritz Lang. 
It is true that Birgitte Helm wasn't engaged for "Die Nibelungen", but the course was set for her first film appearance in "Metropolis". This film was constituted simultaneously the climax of her career and became a worldwide success. In it she played a double role whose persons didn't differ physically, therefore a differentiated performance was demanded which could characterize the good Maria and the evil Maria. 
Brigitte Helm signed a ten-year contract with the UfA and actec nearly exclusive in leading roles. 
To her well-known silent movies belong "Am Rande der Welt" (27), "Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney" (27), "Alraune" (28) and "Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna" (29).
With the transition to the sound film she was able to continue her film career successfully, in addition she also played in France and England, where she appeared among others in foreign versions of her German movies.
To these productions belong "Im Geheimdienst" (31), "Die Gräfin von Monte Christo" (32), "Die Herrin von Atlantis" (32), "Der Läufer von Marathon" (33), "Spione am Werk" (33), "Gold" (34) and "Ein idealer Gatte" (35).

Although she was established as a movie star long ago she didn't renew her contract with Ufa which was expiring in 35. After a conversation with the chief of production Ernst Hugo Corell, who tried to bring her round, she kept her decision. She had planned to marry and didn't want to play in films moreover. Perhaps an other reason for her decision was the negative press reports which went round because of several traffic accidents she caused and as a result of it a short prison sentence. 
In 35 she got married with the industrial Hugo Kunheim with whom she lived dissociated in Swiss Ascona till her death.

Other movies with Brigitte Helm:
Abwege (28) Die Yacht der sieben Sünden (28) Geheimnisse des Orients (28) L'argent 29) Manolescu - Der König der Hochstapler (29) Skandal in Baden-Baden (29) Rund um die Liebe (29) Alraune (30) Die singende Stadt (30) Gloria (31) The Blue Danube (32) Eine von uns (32) Hochzeitsreise zu dritt (32) Inge und die Millionen (33) Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez (33) L'étoile de Valencia (33) Fürst Woronzeff (34) Die Insel (34) Vers l'abime (34)