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Max Reinhardt

Foto: Nicola Perscheid (1864-1930)

1873 - 1943

The theater director Max Reinhardt was born as Maximilian Goldmann in Baden/Austria. He was the most important theater makers of the early 20th century. For him the actors and the acting took center stage. He shaped the German theater scene like no other before and many stage actors who worked for him became also famous actors in the film business.

He began his professional career with a bank apprenticeship but he was already fascinated by the acting at that time that he took acting lessons despite his shyness.
He already made his stage debut in 1890 at the small theater "Fürstlich Sulkowsky Privat-Theater" in Matzleinsdorf and there he chose his pseudonym Max Reinhardt.
He worked his way up the ladder on stages in Austria in the next years and in 1893 he was engaged at the Stadttheater Salzburg. There he was engaged to Berlin where he continued his career as an actor for the present.
But soon Max Reinhardt found his real passion as a director of plays and manager of theaters. He founded several theaters, among them the famous Reinhard-Bühnen, which engaged the best of the best actors and actresses in Germany and Austria. His brother Bruder Edmund Reinhardt supported him as a manager.

Max Reinhardt soon became a distinctive person of the German theater and he established new production styles and the use of the scenery.
His milestones in the next years comprise the co-founding of the stage "Schall und Rauch" (01), the direction of the Neues Theaters (02-05), the direction of the Deutsches Theater from 1905, the foundation of the actiong school of the Deutsches Theater in 1905, the direction of the Berliner Volksbühne (15-18), the foundation of the Grosses Schauspielhaus (19), the foundation of the Komödie am Kurfürstendamm (24) and the direction of the Theater an der Josefstadt (24-33).

Despite his passion for the theater Max Reinhardt did not have any resentments against the new arising film business.
Far from it! He already realised his first movie as a director in 1910 with "Sumurun" (10), it followed the movie "Das Mirakel" (12), based on a huge stage success he had one year before. With the play "Das Mirakel" performed in London he managed the international breakthrough in the world of the theater. The movie was finished by the director Michel Carré.
With his direction for the movie "Eine venezianische Nacht" (14) followed his last cinematical for the time being. Afterwards he concentrated again to the theater.

Max Reinhardt founded the Salzburger festivals in 1920 with the play "Jedermann". He took over the guidance for the next 18 years. The festivals are still existing today and very popular.

In face of his enormous contribution the the German theater it did not protect him from the arising National Socialism. In fact he got even offered to continue his work in Germany as a "special Aryan" but Max Reinhardt didn't want to work under the hunt against the Jews.
Therefore he went back to Austria where he continued to work for the theater. There also followed some guest performances in the USA.There he also realised his last movie as a director with  "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (35).

Max Reinhardt left Europe in 1937 and went to the USA for good. He founded the academy for theater and film called "Max Reinhardt Workshop" in Hollywood. Three years later he obtained the American citizenship.
But there was not enough time to create a second stage career in Hollywood like the one he established in Germany. After he dog bit he suffered several stroke and he died in 1943.

Max Reinhardt as married with the actresses Else Heims and Helene Thimig.

Other movies with Max Reinhardt (Actor):
Camille (26)

Das Mirakel (12)