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Hocuspocus (1930 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

German film poster
Directed byGustav Ucicky
Written byWalter Reisch
Karl Hartl
Based onHokuspokus
by Curt Goetz
Produced byGünther Stapenhorst
CinematographyCarl Hoffmann
Music byWilly Schmidt-Gentner
Robert Stolz
Distributed byUFA
Release date
  • 11 July 1930 (1930-07-11)
Running time
83 minutes

Hocuspocus (German: Hokuspokus) is a 1930 German comedy film parallel version directed by Gustav Ucicky, starring Anglo-German Lilian Harvey, Willy Fritsch, and Oskar Homolka.[1] It was the first adaptation of the 1926 play Hokuspokus by Curt Goetz, but used different role names.

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After unsuccessful painter Paul Kellermann has disappeared, interest in his paintings rises, until his soft-spoken widow Kitty Kellermann is accused to have murdered her husband by drowning him in a lake. A mysterious person warns the court president Grandt that somebody wants to kill him, and he sends a telegram to his friend and lawyer to come for support. The night before the court session that likely will sentence her, a surprise visitor shows up at night and seemingly provides ample evidence that his friend and lawyer, knowing about the terms in the testament, has the intention to take advantage of that, having bought a ticket well before he received the telegram. After making his point that things are not always as they may seem, as simple sleight of hand "hocus-pocus" tricks and a forged date on a ticket apparently had convinced the judge within minutes that his long-term friend has evil intentions, the visitor declares that he is Peter Bille, a former circus artist, escape artist, illusionist, speed painter, trick shooter and jurist, and that he will defend poor and innocent Mrs. Kellermann because her lawyer has stepped down.



The film sets were designed by the art directors Robert Herlth and Walter Röhrig. Both versions were shot at the Babelsberg Studios.

The English-language version was made at the same time, The Temporary Widow, the title referring to one of the paintings. Also directed by Ucicky and starring bi-lingual Lilian Harvey, Laurence Olivier acted in his first full movie.[2] Two more German movies were made after the war, both with the original role names (Agda Kjerulf instead of Kitty Kellermann, and so on), one with Curt Goetz himself, in 1953, and another, after Goetz's death, in 1966 (the latter in color).


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bergfelder, Tim; Cargnelli, Christian, eds. (2008). Destination London: German-Speaking Emigrés and British Cinema, 1925–1950. New York: Berghahn Books. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-85745-019-7.

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This page was last edited on 6 April 2024, at 04:14
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