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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Wiene
Robert Wiene in the early 1930s
Born(1873-04-27)27 April 1873
Died17 July 1938(1938-07-17) (aged 65)
Years active1913–1938
RelativesConrad Wiene (brother)

Robert Wiene (German: [ˈviːnə]; 27 April 1873 – 17 July 1938) was a German film director, screenwriter and producer, active during the silent era. He is widely-known for directing the landmark 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and a succession of other expressionist films. Wiene also directed a variety of other films of varying styles and genres. Following the Nazi rise to power in Germany, Wiene, who was of Jewish descent,[1] fled into exile.

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  • Genuine - Dir. Robert Wiene, 1920 - 1hr, 28min Version
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  • The Hands of Orlac 1924 - by Robert Wiene [Full Movie]
  • [4k, 60fps, colorized] (1920) Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari.Robert Wiene. Scenes.
  • INRI (1923)



Early life

Robert Wiene was born in Breslau, in the German Province of Silesia (now the city of Wrocław in Poland), as the elder son of the successful theatre actor Karl Wiene. His younger brother Conrad also became an actor. Wiene spent his childhood in various cities throughout Central and Western Europe, including Vienna, Stuttgart, Dresden and Prague.

Prior to his directing career, Wiene at studied law at the University of Berlin and the University of Vienna.[citation needed] He practiced law in Weimar until 1908, when he moved back to Vienna to manage a theatre company. During this time, he also acted, in small parts on the stage.

Career in Austria and Germany

His first involvement with film was in 1912, writing and (possibly) directing Die Waffen der Jugend.[citation needed] In 1919, he co-founded with Heinz Hanus the Filmbund (Film Union), a professional association of Austrian filmmakers and one of the first organizations of its kind in Europe.[2]

His most memorable feature films are the horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Raskolnikow (1923), an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, both of which had a deep influence on the German cinema of that time.[citation needed]

Exile and death

Four months after the Nazis took power, Wiene's latest film, Taifun, was banned on 3 May 1933. A Hungarian film company had been inviting German directors to come to Budapest to make films in simultaneous German/Hungarian versions, and given his uncertain career prospects under the new German regime Wiene took up that offer in September to direct "One Night in Venice" (1934).[3] Wiene went later to London, and finally to Paris where together with Jean Cocteau he tried to produce a sound remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.[4]

Wiene never returned to Germany, although the reason is unclear. Although one German obituary identified him as a Jew, he had identified himself as a Protestant in Viennese university and residence records from 1894 through 1925.[3] In addition, Wiene had adapted from a novel and directed the 1923 silent religious film I.N.R.I., depicting in a conventional way the events preceding the crucifixion of Christ.[citation needed]

Wiene died in Paris ten days before the end of production of a spy film, Ultimatum, after having suffered from cancer. The film was finished by Wiene's friend Robert Siodmak.[citation needed]

Selected filmography

Only about 20 of the more than 90 movies in which Robert Wiene collaborated still exist:[5]




  1. ^ Christian Rogowski, The Many Faces of Weimar Cinema: Rediscovering Germany's Filmic Legacy, Camden House (2010), p. 6
  2. ^ Palfy, Isabella (1993). "Kino und Film in der ersten österreichischen Republik. Die Filmpublizistik der Tonfilmzeit von 1929-1938". Fakultät für Grund- und Integrativwissenschaften (Dissertation) (77). Universität Wien.
  3. ^ a b Jung, Uli; Schatzberg, Walter (1993). "The Invisible Man behind "Caligari": The Life of Robert Wiene". Film History. 5 (1): 22–35. JSTOR 3815107.
  4. ^ Robinson, David. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. British Film Institute, 2004, p. 58.
  5. ^ Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg: Beyond Caligari – The Films of Robert Wiene. Berghahn Books, p. vi.


  • Jung, Uli & Schatzberg, Walter. Beyond Caligari: The Films of Robert Wiene. Berghahn Books, 1999.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 May 2024, at 05:38
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