About Karl Vollmöller: German playwright and screenwriter (1878 - 1948) | Biography, Filmography, Bibliography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Karl Vollmöller
German playwright and screenwriter

Karl Vollmöller

Karl Vollmöller
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German playwright and screenwriter
Known for The Miracle
A.K.A. Karl Gustav Vollmöller, Karl Gustav Vollmoeller, Karl Vollmoeller
Was Writer Playwright Screenwriter Translator Poet Archaeologist
From Germany
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature Social science
Gender male
Birth 7 May 1878, Stuttgart, Germany
Death 18 October 1948, Los Angeles, USA (aged 70 years)
Star sign Taurus
Mother: Emilie Vollmöller
Father: Robert Vollmöller
Siblings: Mathilde Vollmoeller-PurrmannHans Robert VollmöllerKurt Vollmoeller
Spouse: Norina Matchabelli
The details (from wikipedia)


Karl Gustav Vollmöller (or Vollmoeller; 7 May 1878 – 18 October 1948) was a German philologist, archaeologist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and aircraft designer. He is most famous for the elaborate religious spectacle-pantomime The Miracle and the screenplay for the celebrated 1930 film The Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel), which made a star of Marlene Dietrich.


Vollmöller was born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, the son of merchant Robert Vollmöller (1849–1911), who founded his own textile company (Vollmoeller AG) in 1881 and, together with his wife Emilie, née Behr (1852–1894), became known as a pioneer of social market economy. His uncle Karl Vollmöller (1848–1922) was a notable Romance philologist and Anglicist; his sister Mathilde Vollmöller (1876–1943) married the painter Hans Purrmann in 1912.

He began writing after the early death of his mother in 1894, and went on to study classical philology, art and painting at the universities of Berlin and Paris. From 1899 he attended classical archaeology lectures in Bonn where he obtained his doctorate in 1901. At that time he spent the summers in Sorrento, Italy and published poems in periodicals like Simplicissimus, Pan, and Stefan George's Blätter für die Kunst. In 1898 he journeyed Greece together with the poet Max Dauthendey and two years later joined the excavations at Pergamon led by Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Alexander Conze, Theodor Wiegand, and Paul Wolters. Vollmöller also carried out own excavations at Megara, together with Richard Delbrück. At the same time, he continued his poetry, maintaining a lively exchange with Stefan George, André Gide, August Strindberg, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Gabriele D'Annunzio, whose 1901 play Francesca da Rimini he translated into German.

From 1902, Vollmöller was a regular participant in the Gordon Bennett Cup auto races. He took part in the 1908 New York to Paris Race driving a Zust 28/45 HP and finished third. In September 1912 he was involved in a road accident while driving through Innsbruck, when his car deadly hit a five-year-old girl running out on the street. Vollmöller and his brother Hans Robert also had been working as aircraft designers; four prototypes were built until 1910, a motorised aeroplane is today on display at the Flugwerft Schleissheim aviation museum.

From 1904 Vollmöller translated classical dramas by Sophokles and Aischylos into German. His Antigone and Oresteia adaptions were staged several times by the famous theatre director Max Reinhardt, the beginning of a long-term successful collaboration. In 1911 both wrote The Miracle in which Vollmöller cast his own wife Maria Carmi in the leading role. The Miracle retold an old legend about a nun in the Middle Ages who runs away from her convent with a knight, and subsequently has several mystical adventures, eventually leading to her being accused of witchcraft. During her absence, the statue of the Virgin Mary in the convent's chapel comes to life and takes the nun's place in the convent until her safe return. The play opened in Germany in 1911 and subsequently in London and on Broadway in 1924. Filmed twice as a silent movie, it was filmed once again in a much-altered version (with dialogue) in widescreen and Technicolor in 1959.

Selected filmography

  • The Miracle, directed by Michel-Antoine Carré and Max Reinhardt (1912, based on the play The Miracle)
  • Das Mirakel, directed by Mime Misu (1912, unofficial based on the play The Miracle)
  • Eine venezianische Nacht [de], directed by Max Reinhardt (1913, based on the ballet-pantomime Venezianische Abenteuer eines jungen Mannes)
  • The Miracle, directed by Irving Rapper (1959, based on the play The Miracle)


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 10 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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