Teatro Auditorium Manzoni > 11:00


Hanns Schwarz
Introduced by

Luciano Palumbo (Murnau-Stiftung)


Saturday 29/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

On his return from his American triumphs, which saw him take home the first ever Oscar for his roles in The Way of All Flesh (Victor Fleming, 1927) and The Last Command (Josef von Sternberg, 1928), Emil Jannings wanted to measure himself immediately against sound cinema. The transition to a new language did not slow down his run of successes, which continued in his homeland with The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930), but it did lead him to mount a new challenge against his final detractors: to demonstrate he was just as talented in light comedy. Shot with the Klangfilm system, a German competitor to American sound systems, Liebling der Götter knowingly exploits the opportunities offered by the new technical medium. In the use of different spoken accents, not to mention the powerful tenor voice of Marcel Wittrich who dubs the scenes in which Emil Jannings sings, we can see the director’s desire to enrich the narration and images with devices new to the film spectator, which had previously been the sole preserve of theatre. It is no coincidence that a popular actor from the variety theatre acts as his righ-hand man: Hans Moser, with his peculiar and instantly recognisable vocal timbre, who here plays the role of the assistant Kratochvil. Nevertheless Liebling der Götter does not only exist as a sound film. A silent version was produced in parallel so that it could be distributed in cinemas that were less well-equipped, or in other countries. Both versions were shot using a separate camera negative, so they differ not only in terms of the soundtrack, but also in the content of individual shots and of certain editing choices. While the camera negative of the silent version is now considered lost, the sound version is in good condition having been preserved for many years in the former RFT film archives. The restoration of the silent version is currently under way.

Luciano Palumbo

Cast and Credits

T. alt.: Der grose Tenor. Sog.: from the play Der Tokaier (1930) by Hans Müller. Scen.: Hans Müller, Robert Liebmann. F.: Günther Rittau, Konstantin Tschet. M.: Willy Zeyn jun. Scgf.: Erich Kettelhut. Mus.: Willy Schmidt-Gentner. Int.: Emil Jannings (Albert Winkelmann), Renate Muller (Agathe Winkelmann), Olga Tschechowa (Olga von Dagomirska), Hans Moser (Kratochvil), Max Gülstorff (Medizinalrat), Eduard von Winterstein (Dr. Marberg), Willy Prager (Marcus Colwyn), Siegfried Berisch (Romanones). Prod.: Erich Pommer per Universum-Film AG. DCP. Bn.