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Helmut Käutner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Helmut Käutner
Filmregisseur Helmut Kautne in Nederland, Bestanddeelnr 910-9501.jpg
Helmut Käutner (1960)
Born(1908-03-25)25 March 1908
Died20 April 1980(1980-04-20) (aged 72)
OccupationFilm director, actor
Years active1940–76

Helmut Käutner (25 March 1908 – 20 April 1980) was a German film director active mainly in the 1940s and 1950s. He entered the film industry at the end of the Weimar Republic and released his first films as a director in Nazi Germany. Käutner is relatively unknown outside of Germany, although he is considered one of the best filmmakers in German film history.[1] He was one of the most influential film directors of German post-war cinema and became known for his sophisticated literary adaptations.

He was born in Düsseldorf, Germany. Käutner started out as a director in the Nazi era, but his films remained largely free of Nationalsocialist propaganda.[2] One of his early successes was Romanze in Moll (1943), an adaptation of Guy du Maupassant’s short story “Les Bijoux". Other remarkable films were Große Freiheit Nr. 7 and Under the Bridges.

His 1956 film Der Hauptmann von Köpenick was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 29th Academy Awards.[3] Three years later, his film The Rest Is Silence was entered into the 9th Berlin International Film Festival. He died in Castellina in Chianti, Italy. Käutner made two films for Universal Pictures in Hollywood: The Restless Years (1958) and A Stranger in My Arms (1959). However, neither of them received critical success and Käutner was unhappy with the lack of creative freedom he had, so he returned to Germany.[4]

Selected filmography


Feature Films


  • Das Gespenst von Canterville (1964, TV film) — (based on The Canterville Ghost)
  • Romulus der Große (1965, TV film) — (based on Romulus the Great)
  • Die Flasche (1965, TV film) — (based on a story by Joachim Ringelnatz)
  • Robin Hood, der edle Räuber (1966, TV film) — (Musical based on Robin Hood)
  • Leben wie die Fürsten (1966, TV film) — (based on a play by Jean Anouilh)
  • Die spanische Puppe (1967, TV film) — (based on The Double Doll by Giles Cooper)
  • Stella (1967, TV film) — (based on a play by Goethe)
  • Valentin Katajews chirurgische Eingriffe in das Seelenleben des Dr. Igor Igorowitsch (1967, TV film) — (based on a play by Valentin Kataev)
  • Bel Ami [de] (1968, TV film) — (based on Guy de Maupassant's Bel-Ami)
  • Tagebuch eines Frauenmörders (1969, TV film) — (screenplay by István Békeffy [de])
  • Christoph Kolumbus oder Die Entdeckung Amerikas [de] (1969, TV film) — (based on a play by Walter Hasenclever and Kurt Tucholsky)
  • Einladung ins Schloß oder Die Kunst das Spiel zu spielen (1970, TV film) — (based on Invitation to the Castle)
  • Der Kommissar: Anonymer Anruf (1970, TV series episode)
  • Die seltsamen Abenteuer des geheimen Kanzleisekretärs Tusmann (1972, TV film) — (based on a story by E. T. A. Hoffmann)
  • Ornifle oder Der erzürnte Himmel (1972, TV film) — (based on a play by Jean Anouilh)
  • Die preußische Heirat (1974, TV film) — (based on Zopf und Schwert by Karl Gutzkow)
  • Derrick: Stiftungsfest (1974, TV series episode)
  • Margarete in Aix (1976, TV film) — (based on a play by Peter Hacks)
  • Mulligans Rückkehr (1978, TV film) — (based on a novel by Hans Frick [de]) (final film)




  • Hans-Jürgen Tast: Helmut Käutner – Unter den Brücken. 1944/45. Schellerten: Kulleraugen, 2007; ISBN 978-3-88842-033-7
  • Hans-Jürgen Tast: Helmut Käutner – In jenen Tagen. 1947. Schellerten: Kulleraugen, 2007; ISBN 978-3-88842-034-4


Further reading

  • Peter Cornelsen. Helmut Käutner. Seine Filme, sein Leben. München: Heyne 1980. ISBN 3-453-86027-6.
  • Wolfgang Jacobsen & Hans-Helmut Prinzler: Käutner. Berlin: Wiss.-Verl. Spiess 1992. ISBN 3-89166-159-2.
  • Thomas Koebner, Fabienne Liptay, Claudia Mehlinger & René Ruppert (eds.): Helmut Käutner. München: edition text + kritik 2008. ISBN 978-3-88377-943-0.
  • Hans Dieter Schäfer. Moderne in Dritten Reich. Kultur der Intimität bei Oskar Loerke, Friedo Lampe und Helmut Käutner. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2003; ISBN 3-515-08432-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 December 2022, at 02:02
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