G. W. Pabst
|Intro||Austrian film director|
|A.K.A.||George Willhelm Pabst|
|Was||Film director Film editor Screenwriter Actor|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||25 August 1885, Roudnice nad Labem, Litoměřice District, Ústí nad Labem Region, Czech Republic|
|Death||29 May 1967, Vienna, Austria (aged 81 years)|
Georg Wilhelm Pabst (25 August 1885 – 29 May 1967), known professionally as G. W. Pabst, was an Austrian theatre and film director.
Pabst was born in Raudnitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (today's Roudnice nad Labem, Czech Republic), the son of a railroad official. While growing up in Vienna, he studied drama at the Academy of Decorative Arts and initially began his career as a stage actor in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. In 1910, Pabst traveled to the United States, where he worked as an actor and director at the German Theater in New York City.
When World War I began, Pabst returned to Europe, where he was interned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Brest. While imprisoned, Pabst organised a theatre group at the camp. Upon his release in 1919, he returned to Vienna, where he became director of the Neue Wiener Bühne, an avant-garde theatre.
Pabst began his career as a film director at the behest of Carl Froelich who hired Pabst as an assistant director. He directed his first film, The Treasure, in 1923. He developed a talent for "discovering" and developing the talents of actresses, including Greta Garbo, Asta Nielsen, Louise Brooks, and Leni Riefenstahl.
Pabst's early and most famous films concern the plight of women, including The Joyless Street (1925) with Greta Garbo and Asta Nielsen, Secrets of a Soul (1926) with Lili Damita, The Loves of Jeanne Ney (1927) with Brigitte Helm, Pandora's Box (1929), and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) with American actress Louise Brooks. He also co-directed with Arnold Fanck a mountain film entitled The White Hell of Pitz Palu (1929) starring Leni Riefenstahl.
After the coming of sound, he made a trilogy of films that secured his reputation: Westfront 1918 (1930), The Threepenny Opera (1931) with Lotte Lenya (based on the Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill musical), and Kameradschaft (1931). Pabst also filmed three versions of Pierre Benoit's novel L'Atlantide in 1932, in German, English, and French, titled Die Herrin von Atlantis, The Mistress of Atlantis, and L'Atlantide, respectively. In 1933, Pabst directed Don Quixote, once again in German, English, and French versions.
After making A Modern Hero (1934) in the USA and Street of Shadows (1937) in France, Pabst returned to Austria and Germany in 1938 to take care of family business, he said later. During World War II, he made two films in Germany, The Comedians (1941) and Paracelsus (1943).
In 1953, Pabst directed four opera productions in Italy: La forza del destino for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence (conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos, the cast included Renata Tebaldi, Fedora Barbieri, Mario del Monaco, Aldo Protti, Cesare Siepi), and a few weeks later, for the Arena di Verona Festival, a spectacular Aïda, with Maria Callas in the title role (conducted by Tullio Serafin, with del Monaco), Il trovatore and again La forza del destino.
In 1955, he directed the first post-war German feature film to feature the character of Adolf Hitler, The Last Ten Days.
On 29 May 1967, Pabst died in Vienna at the age of 82. He was interred at the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna.
- 1941, Venice Film Festival: Gold Medal of the Biennale for Best Director for his film The Comedians
- The Treasure (1923)
- Countess Donelli (1924)
- Joyless Street (1925)
- Secrets of a Soul (1926)
- One Does Not Play with Love (1926)
- The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927)
- The Devious Path (1928)
- Pandora's Box (1929)
- Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)
- The White Hell of Pitz Palu (dir. Arnold Fanck, 1929)
- Morals at Midnight (dir. Marc Sorkin, 1930)
- Westfront 1918 (1930)
- Skandal um Eva (1930)
- The Threepenny Opera (1931) two versions: German and French
- Kameradschaft (1931)
- L'Atlantide (1932) three versions: German, French, and English
- Don Quixote (1933) three versions: German, French, and English
- High and Low (1933)
- Cette nuit-là (1933)
- A Modern Hero (1934)
- Street of Shadows (1937)
- The Shanghai Drama (1938)
- Girls in Distress (1939)
- The Comedians (1941)
- Paracelsus (1943)
- Der Fall Molander (1945)
- The Trial (1948)
- Mysterious Shadows (1949)
- Duel with Death (1949)
- Call Over the Air (dir. Georg C. Klaren, 1951)
- Voice of Silence (1953)
- Cose da pazzi (1953)
- The Confession of Ina Kahr (1954)
- The Last Ten Days (1955)
- Jackboot Mutiny (1955)
- Ballerina (1956)
- Through the Forests and Through the Trees (1956)