Gustav Ucicky (1898 - 1961)

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About Gustav Ucicky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Ucicky

Gustav Ucicky (6 July 1898 - 27 April 1961) was an acclaimed Austrian film director, screenwriter and cinematographer from Vienna.

He was one of the more successful and acclaimed directors in Austria and Germany from the 1930s through to the early 1960s. His work covered a wide variety of genres, but he most acclaimed for his work in romantic drama and drama films.

[edit]Biography

Ucicky is often stated to have been the illegitimate son of painter Gustav Klimt for whom his mother worked and modelled, although this is unconfirmed. He entered the film industry at the age of 17. One day in 1916, he and his friend Karl Hartl turned up at Sascha Films (the first large movie studio in Vienna) looking for work and were hired. Ucicky was initially employed as a camera assistant, eventually becoming a camera operator and gained experience working in documentaries before shooting his first feature in 1919. Over the next five years, he worked on some of the studio's most acclaimed movies, including Sodom und Gomorrha (1922), and worked with some of the top directors of the period, including Michael Curtiz.

In 1927, Ucicky moved into directorship on a series of productions after the release of Café Elektric (1927), when the death of the studio's founder, Count Sascha Kolowrat-Krakowsky, and the subsequent bankruptcy of the company forced him to relocate his career to Germany. In 1929, he was hired by the Ufa Film Company in Berlin and was part of the first wave of directors there to embrace sound film. After directing Hokuspokus in 1930, he quickly moved into the front rank of young directors, generating a string of popular, successful films, like Morgenrot. His 1933 drama Flüchtlinge was a major success in Germany, in addition to being well received in America, despite it being a propaganda film about a German official (Hans Albers) who helps to rescue a group of his countrymen from the brutality of the Soviet Union and return them to their homeland. Ucicky was one of the leading directors at Ufa throughout the mid- and late '30s, working with major stars, including Emil Jannings (in Der zerbrochene Krug, 1937).

After the German occupation of Austria in 1938, Ucicky returned to Vienna and became a key figure of Wien-Film, the government-sponsored production company that was intended to shoot propaganda movies on behalf of the Third Reich. Ucicky achieved acclaim for Der Postmeister (aka The Stationmaster, 1940), which won the Mussolini Cup for best foreign film at the Venice Film Festival, and among his subsequent movies, Heimkehr (1941) was also honored at the Venice festival. The author Elfriede Jelinek states that Heimkehr is “the worst propaganda feature of the Nazis at all”.

As late as 1940, he was still a respected name among American critics in New York, with his drama Mutterliebe ("Mother Love") receiving high praise for his direction. Like most of his colleagues, his career came to a standstill in the years immediately after the war, as economic conditions and the four-power occupation of Vienna made production extremely difficult. It was not until 1948 that Ucicky re-emerged with a film entitled, Nach dem Sturm ("After the Storm"). He continued making successful films, including many that were released internationally, such as Die Hexe ("The Witch"), 1954, up until his death from a heart attack in 1961.

Ucicky's last finished film was Das Erbe von Björndal ("The Inheritance of Bjorndal"). At the time of his death, he was preparing a film entitled Das Letzte Kapitel ("The Last Chapter"), which was completed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner.

[edit]Filmography

1919 Gold (cameraman)

1920 Golgatha (cameraman)

1921 Wege des Schreckens (cameraman)

1922 Sodom und Gomorrha (cameraman)

1927 Café Elektric

1928 Ein besserer Herr

1929 Der Sträfling aus Stanbul

1930 Das Flötenkonzert von Sanssouci

1930 Hokuspokus

1931 York

1932 Menschen ohne Namen

1933 Morgenrot

1933 Flüchtlinge

1934 Der junge Mann Neuhaus

1935 Das Mädchen Johanna

1936 Savoy-Hotel 217

1936 Unter heißem Himmel

1937 Der zerbrochene Krug

1938 Frau Sixta

1939 Mutterliebe

1940 Ein Leben lang

1940 Der Postmeister

1941 Heimkehr

1943 Späte Liebe

1944 Am Ende der Welt

1944 Der gebieterische Ruf

1944 Das Herz muß schweigen

1947 Singende Engel

1948 Nach dem Sturm

1950 Der Seelenbräu

1950 Cordula

1952 Bis wir uns wiedersehn

1954 Die Hexe

1955 Zwei blaue Augen

1956 Der Jäger von Fall

1957 Der Edelweißkönig

1957 Die Heilige und ihr Narr

1958 Das Mädchen vom Moorhof

1958 Der Priester und das Mädchen

1960 Das Erbe von Björndal

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Gustav Ucicky's Timeline

1898
1898
1961
1961
Age 63