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TitlePopular Cinema of the Third Reich
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
ISBN 139780292734579
CategoryArts - Film
File Size4.0 MB
Total Pages288
Document Text Contents
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Page 144

There is one important aspect that is usually neglected in the study of na-
tional cinemas: the popular and critical reception of foreign films and their
fundamental impact on the national as a cultural, political, and economic
category. The cinema of the Third Reich is no exception here. Just as we
cannot assume an absolute primacy of politics over economics when study-
ing foreign relations during these years, so we must acknowledge the grow-
ing relevance of film as a commodity in an increasingly global marketplace.
Especially the period from 1933 to 1940 offers an opportunity for tracing





1933 –1940


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Page 145

the remarkable continuities in the fascination with all things American and
in the search for artistic alternatives to the classical Hollywood style.

Of particular relevance to a better understanding of popular cinema in
the Third Reich, the reception of foreign films moves the debates beyond
the circular reasoning that often confines critical analyses of the national
within the parameters of the nation and that, in the absence of relational
categories, ends up supporting nationalist discourses. Looking at a national
cinema through the lens of foreign films draws attention to the national as
a category of difference, a difference that is not simply posited in political,
economic, or aesthetic terms but constantly renegotiated in the daily busi-
ness of import licenses, export quotas, and protective tariffs and rearticu-
lated in the heightened terms of film advertising and reviewing. Here the
asymmetries in the relationship between national cinemas (e.g., Hollywood
vs. Europe, Germany vs. Austria) introduce an additional vantage point, or
a double reflection, as it were, through which to link the national to vari-
ous efforts of either establishing dominance or resisting domination in the
economic and cultural realms. With these larger questions in mind, the fol-
lowing pages examine the reception during the 1930s of American films in
the Third Reich, and of German films in the United States, and utilize such
an extended definition of national cinema to trace the compromises be-
tween film as political propaganda and cultural commodity.

Until now, very little research has been done on the persistent appeal
of American mass culture during the Third Reich, and almost nothing
is known about the small but significant market for German films in the
United States during the same period. A strong preference for product- or
text-oriented approaches in studies on national cinemas has contributed to
the essentializing definitions that mark “Nazi cinema” as the ultimate Other
in aesthetic and ideological terms. Challenging the persistent myths about
its highly politicized nature, the many movements across borders intro-
duce a more nuanced view of cinema that, among other things, includes
economic considerations. Likewise, the emphasis on “Nazi films” as com-
modities circulating in various national and international contexts protects
against the homogenizing tendencies in much theoretical writing on cin-
ema, ideology, and the fascist imaginary. In the previous chapters, I have
tried to develop an alternative model that focuses on the conflicts and com-
promises in the constituent elements of popular cinema; the reception of
foreign films in essential to such a critical project.

The Foreign and the Familiar 129

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Page 287

Saison in Kairo (Season in Cairo, 1933), 218
SA-Mann Brand (SA-Man Brand, 1933), 144,

Scampolo, ein Kind der Straße (Scampolo, a

Child of the Street, 1932), 37
Schell, Maria, 222
Schlußakkord (Final Chord, 1936), 54, 107–

127, 225
Schmidt, Joseph, 29
Schmitz, Sybille, 199, 260n.2
Schneider, Madga, 199
Schrammeln (Schrammel Music, 1944), 157
Schritt vom Weg, Der (The Step from the

Path, 1939), 142
Schröder, Kurt, 115, 247n.22
Schünzel, Reinhold, 24, 28, 29, 41–55, 217,

schwarze Robe, Die (The Black Robe, 1944),

schwedische Nachtigall, Die (The Swedish

Nightingale, 1941), 215
Schweikart, Hans, 213
Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, Die (Veronika

Voss, 1982), 260n.2
Seine Tochter ist der Peter (His Daughter Is

Called Peter, 1937), 144
Sieg im Westen (Victory in the West, 1941),

146, 147
Sierck, Detlef (Douglas Sierck), 54, 107–113,

Siodmak, Curt, 56
Siodmak, Robert, 29, 30
So ein Flegel (Such a Brat, 1934), 96
So ein Mädel vergißt man nicht (You Don’t

Forget Such a Girl, 1933), 29
Söderbaum, Kristina, 100, 143, 261n.12
Söhnker, Hans, 64, 222, 243n.50
Solari, Laura, 199
Solistin Anna Alt (Solo Artist Anna Alt,

1945), 200
Sonnenuntergang (Before Sunset, 1956), 229
Speer, Albert, 59
Spione (Spies, 1928), 49, 236n.21
Stadt Anatol (City of Anatol, 1936), 53
Stadt ohne Juden (City without Jews, 1926),

Stark, Traudl, 144
Stemmle, Rudolf Adolf, 93

Tag der Freiheit (Day of Freedom, 1935), 142
Tasnady, Maria von, 113
Testament des Dr. Mabuse, Das (The Testa-

ment of Dr. Mabuse, 1933), 26, 142

Thiele, Herta, 239n.23
Thiele, Wilhelm, 154
Thimig, Hermann, 39, 42, 43
Togger (1937), 219
tolle Bomberg, Der (The Mad Bomberg,

1957), 228
Tourjansky, Viktor, 224
Traub, Hans, 184
Traumulus (1936), 147
Trenker, Luis, 57
Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will,

1935), 76
Tunnel, Der (The Tunnel, 1933), 30, 54–56

Über alles in der Welt (Above All in the
World, 1940), 74

. . . und über uns der Himmel ( . . . and
Above Us the Sky, 1947), 223

Ucicky, Gustav, 155
Uhlig, Anneliese, 200
Ulrich, Luise, 154
Umwege des schönen Karl, Die (The Round-

abouts of Handsome Karl, 1938), 59
unmögliche Frau, Die (The Impossible

Woman, 1936), 199
Unser Fräulein Doktor (Our Miss Ph.D.,

1940), 204
Unsterblicher Walzer (Immortal Waltz, 1939),

Urlaub auf Ehrenwort (On Honorable Leave,

1938), 145

Venus vor Gericht (Venus on Trial, 1941), 59
Verklungene Melodie (Faded Melody, 1938),

verlorene Sohn, Der (The Prodigal Son,

1934), 57, 142
Verräter (Traitors, 1936), 145, 225
Versprich mir nichts (Don’t Promise Me Any-

thing, 1937), 125
vier Gesellen, Die (The Four Apprentices,

1938), 198
Viktor und Viktoria (Victor and Victoria,

1933), 23, 38– 45, 142, 217
Vollbrecht, Karl, 52–55
Vom Teufel gejagt (Chased by the Devil,

1950), 224
Vorstadtvarieté (Neighborhood Variety,

1935), 155

Wallburg, Otto, 36, 37
Walzerkrieg (Waltz Wars, 1933), 30, 156, 217
Weidemann, Hans, 78, 79

Index 271

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Weiss Ferdl, 143
weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü, Die (The White

Hell of Piz Palü, 1929), 227
Wen die Götter lieben (Whom the Gods

Love, 1942), 157
Wenn die Abendglocken läuten (When the

Evening Bells Ring, 1951), 226
Wenn die Liebe Mode macht (When Love

Makes Fashion, 1932), 218
Wenn wir alle Engel wären (If We All Were

Angels, 1936), 95–97
Werder, Peter von, 178, 179
Wessely, Paula, 77, 154, 156
Wieck, Dorothea, 136, 199
Wien 1910 (1943), 153
Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood, 1942), 158–

162, 168
Wiener G’schichten (Viennese Stories, 1940),

Wiener Mädeln (Viennese Girls, 1945– 49),

158, 162–168

Wilder, Billy, 154
Wilhelm, Wolfgang, 82, 83
Winkler, Max, 150
Wir machen Musik (We Make Music, 1942),

Wohlbrück, Adolf (Anton Walbrook), 40, 41,

Wunschkonzert (Request Concert, 1940), 75,

77, 93, 223

Ziemann, Sonja, 217
Zimmermann, Heinz, 79
Zu neuen Ufern (To New Shores, 1937), 109,

147, 225
Zwei glückliche Menschen (Two Happy

People, 1943), 199
Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt (Two Hearts

in Three-Four Time, 1930), 156
Zwischen gestern und morgen (Between Yes-

terday and Tomorrow, 1947), 223, 225

272 Popular Cinema of the Third Reich

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