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  1. A good film about Otto von Bismarck, here part I (ca. 1942) directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner Part 2 to follow - The Dismissal - the exciting climax, after the death of Wilhelm I. (9.March 1888) and Kaiser Friedrich (June 1888), the Accession of Wilhelm II. and the steps he took to dismiss Bismarck because of disagreements in the policies. - here:
  2. The Battle of Düppel (Dyböl), 18. April 1864, recent film Danish production, Prussian victory: In parts rather long drawn out, realistic battle scenes and requisites, some English subtitles. However, the troops in the film showed a remarkable lack of discipline and self control, which would have been unthinkable in those days. Was broadcast as a series on Danish Television.
  3. The most famous actor to ever portray Friedrich II in film and television was probably Otto Gebühr. Between 1920 and 1942 over 12 films were made by the UFA company in Potsdam-Babelsberg, which in later years stood under direct control of Goebels' Reichspropagandaministerium. Goebels was so impressed by Otto Gebühr, that he posted him as "als ein von Gott begnadeter Schauspieler" and "unabkömmlich" - no conscription for military service. The first of the films were all silent films with no tone. The first sound film under these productions was "Das Flötenkonzert von Sans Souci", in 1930. One film after another followed. The Goebels' Propagandaministerium found it important, especially in the war years to produce patriotic historical films to boost morale, and these films were produced under difficult conditions to the very end, the last two great films being "Colberg 1807" in 1944/45 and "Waterloo" in the same year. Other well known films about Friedrich played by Otto Gebühr were: Der Große König 1942 Der Alte Fritz 1927/8 Fridericus 1936 Der Choral von Leuthen 1933 After the war, Otto Gebühr carried on as an actor, mostly with, as before, Veit Harlan as the Regisseur or film director. Photos, extracts from films: Friedrich in conference with his generals A battle scene from one of the films Friedrich amidst his famous generals Feldwebel Tresckow is accused of desertion Some of these films are available present day as DVD. However, in Germany we still have even more censorship than in the postwar years and many films of the period are still banned, cannot be seen, nor imported. Penalties can be imposed.
  4. Die Nibelungen is a 1966/1967 West German fantasy film released in two parts, Siegfried von Xanten and Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild's Revenge). It was directed by Harald Reinl and produced by Artur Brauner. Die Nibelungen starred Uwe Beyer, Karin Dor and Herbert Lom. The two films were a remake of Fritz Lang's 1924 silent classic Die Nibelungen, which was in turn based on the epic poem the Nibelungenlied. Siegfried von Xanten defeats the dragon Fafnir, and becomes invulnerable by bathing in the beast's blood. He then wins a net of invisibility (Tarnkappe) and the legendary Treasure of the Nibelungs (Nibelungenschatz) from the dwarf Alberich. Siegfried falls in love with Kriemhild, sister of King Gunther of Burgund. However, Gunther will not allow Siegfried to marry her until he has helped Gunther to win a wife himself. They travel to Iceland where Siegfried helps Gunther to defeat and win Queen Brunhild. They return to the Burgundian court at Worms and both weddings take place. However, jealousy and envy cause frictions at the court. Intrigues eventually result in Hagen of Tronje killing Siegfried during a hunt.[1] In part 2, Kriemhild marries Etzel, King of the Huns, in order to gain revenge for the murder of her husband. The Burgundians, led by Gunther and Hagen, follow an invitation after Kriemhild gives birth to Ortileb, and travel to Etzel's hall, where they are attacked by the huns. Hagen kills Ortileb in the fight. There is a great slaughter and Gunther is killed. Finally Kriemhild kills Hagen and is then killed herself.[2] Production Die Nibelungen is a remake of the eponymous 1924 silent film directed by Fritz Lang. Lang's film had also been released in two parts (Siegfried and Kriemhilds Rache) and was based on a screenplay written by Lang and his wife, Thea von Harbou. The original source for the story was the Middle High German epic poem Das Nibelungenlied, likely written around the year 1200. This in turn was based on motifs from even older Germanic myths. Although a new screenplay was written by Harald G. Petersson, Ladislas Fodor and director Harald Reinl, in many respects it followed the earlier version fairly closely. In the late 1950s, German producer Artur Brauner had wanted Fritz Lang to remake his own silent film and had already informed the press that the project would go ahead. However, in the fall of 1959, Lang energetically resisted this proposal, pointing out that it could be interpreted as Lang "not having anything new to say and being forced to fall back on successes of the past".[3]:147 Lang ended up making three films for Brauner that were in fact referencing his own past (The Tiger of Eschnapur, The Indian Tomb and The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse), but it took another six years for Brauner to find the right director for his Nibelungen project. Harald Reinl had been the commercially most successful director of the 1950s and 1960s in Germany.[3]:147 But it was the vast box office success of his three films (1963, 1964, 1965) based on Karl May's Winnetou character that convinced Brauner that Reinl was the right man for the job. Brauner wanted a disciplined worker who would respect budgets even without constant direct control by the producer, who could deal with large numbers of extras and who had experience shooting in Yugoslavia. Reinl also was fond of impressive landscape shots and, in conjunction with a symphonic music score, these were supposed to add gravitas to the story.[3]:147 The 1966/1967 film was produced by Artur Brauner's CCC Filmkunst in cooperation with Belgrad-based Avala Film.[1] Both parts were shot back-to-back between 20 April and 20 October 1966.[1] Locations included what was then Yugoslavia[1] (today's Serbia: Sremska Rača, Smederevo fortress and Slovenia: Postojna Cave) as well as Iceland,[1] and Spain[1] (Ciudad Encantada and Cuenca). Interiors were shot at CCC-Studios in Berlin-Spandau and at the Avala-Studios in Belgrad.[1] To save on costs, the large-scale sets (the court at Worms and Etzel's Hall) were constructed in the Belgrad studios. However, this was the limit of the cooperation with Avala and the total cost of Die Nibelungen reportedly came to 8 million DM, which would have made it the most expensive post-war film in West Germany at the time.[3]:147 According to a survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute prior to shooting, 35% of participants wanted to see a movie about the hero Siegfried, but he had to be blonde and played by an unknown actor.[3]:147Uwe Beyer, an olympic hammer thrower (Bronze medalist in 1964) was selected to play Siegfried. He had no prior acting experience and was dubbed by Thomas Danneberg in postproduction. Wiki Text. However, the film and legend are historically based, Burgundians against the Huns, epic of the Middle Ages, also documented in a historic text on parchment from the period, now preserved in a museum, Das Nibelungenlied.The City of Worms was at the time the seat of power, and the later events took place in Iceland, and finally on the Danube in the region of Tulln and Vienna. See also the music of Richard Wagner, Der Ring der Niebelungen and Siegrieds Rheinfahrt Cast Uwe Beyer as Siegfried von Xanten Maria Marlow (de) as Kriemhild Rolf Henniger (de) as King Gunther Karin Dor as Brunhild Siegfried Wischnewski as Hagen of Tronje Herbert Lom as Etzel Dieter Eppler as Rüdiger Terence Hill as Giselher Fred Williams as Gernot Hans von Borsody as Volker Skip Martin as Alberich Hilde Weissner as Ute[1][2]
  5. Made in 1955 with O.W. Fischer in the main role as Ludwig II., Ruth Leuwerijk als Kaiserin Elisabeth of Austria - brilliant film in brilliant original settings. All the important personalities of the day are well portrayed and immediately recognisable. Ludwig II reigned 1864-1886 (8 parts)
  6. A very well made WW1 film about the Western Front, 1918 - filmed 1930. Was later banned by censorship.
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