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Bernhard Wicki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bernhard Wicki
Born(1919-10-28)28 October 1919
St. Pölten, Austria
Died5 January 2000(2000-01-05) (aged 80)
Munich, Germany
Film director
Years active1940–1994

Bernhard Wicki (28 October 1919 – 5 January 2000) was an Austrian-Swiss actor, film director and screenwriter. He was a key figure in the revitalization of post-war German-language cinema, particularly in West Germany, and also directed several Hollywood films.[1]

His works as a director include his debut 1959 anti-war film Die Brücke, the religious drama The Miracle of Father Malachia (1961), the Friedrich Dürrenmatt adaptation The Visit (1964), and the German segments of the World War II epic The Longest Day (1962). He won four German Film Awards for Best Direction.

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Life and career

Wicki studied in the city of Breslau such topics as art history, history and German literature. In 1938, he transferred to the drama school of the Staatliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin. In 1939, because of his membership in the Bündische Jugend, he was imprisoned for many months in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After his release, he moved to Vienna, then in 1944 to Switzerland.

After World War II, he starred in many films, including Die letzte Brücke (1953) and Es geschah am 20. Juli (1955). He was also a photographer. His first attempt at directing came three years later with the documentary Warum sind sie gegen uns? (1958). He became internationally famous with his 1959 anti-war film Die Brücke, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2] In 1961 he won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 11th Berlin International Film Festival for his film The Miracle of Father Malachia.[3] His break in Hollywood came shortly thereafter when he was chosen to direct Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner in the highly acclaimed World War II espionage thriller, Morituri in 1965.

Wicki was a patron of the International Film Festival in Emden-Norderney, which first started in 1990.

Wicki first married Agnes Fink, a fellow acting colleague, and later married Elisabeth Endriss, also a colleague. In the documentary Verstörung – und eine Art von Poesie (June 2007), Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss portrayed Wicki's life and work.

Wicki is buried at the Nymphenburger cemetery in Munich (grave number 4-1-23).

In 2001, the Bernhard Wicki Memorial Fund was established in Munich. Since 2002, it has awarded a yearly prize, The Bridge, to selected films that promote peace. A further prize of 15,000 euros, endowed in 2006, is presented in his name in the city of Emden.

Selected filmography



Decorations and awards


  1. ^ "B. Wicki, Director, 80, Of German And U.S. Films". The New York Times. 17 January 2000. p. B 7. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  2. ^ "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Berlinale 1961: Prize Winners". Retrieved 22 January 2010.

Further reading

  • Peter Zander: Bernhard Wicki. Bertz + Fischer Verlag, Berlin 1995, 2. überarbeitete Auflage, ISBN 3-929470-04-7
  • Richard Blank: Jenseits der Brücke. Bernhard Wicki. Ein Leben für den Film, 1999 ISBN 3-430-11473-X
  • Andreas Weber (ed.): Er kann fliegen lassen. Gespräche und Texte über Bernhard Wicki. Literaturedition Niederösterreich, St. Pölten 2000, ISBN 3-901117-47-4
  • Filmfestival Nordrhein-Westfalen (Hrsg.): Sanftmut und Gewalt – Der Regisseur und Schauspieler Bernhard Wicki. Filmographie, Biographie, Essays, Interview. Mit Beiträgen von Robert Fischer (Vorwort), Alexander Kluge, Laurens Straub, Wilhelm Roth, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Hans Abich, Gunther Witte, Hermann Barth. edition filmwerkstatt, Essen 2004, ISBN 3-9807175-6-9
  • Inka Graeve Ingelmann (Hrsg.): Bernhard Wicki. Fotografien. Dumont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Köln 2005, Gebunden, ISBN 3-8321-7570-9, Ausstellungskatalog
  • Elisabeth Endriss-Wicki: Die Filmlegende Bernhard Wicki. Verstörung – und eine Art von Poesie. Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89487-589-3
  • Michel Quint, "Die schrecklichen Gärten". btb-Verlag 2002, ISBN 3-442-75068-7 (Übersetzung von Elisabeth Edl), Original edition: "Effroyables Jardins", Editions Joelle Losfeld, Paris 2000

External links

This page was last edited on 25 October 2023, at 22:33
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