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Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin - From Schoenhauser Allee to Hollywood (Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin - Von der Schoenhauser Allee nach Hollywood)

Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin - From Schoenhauser Allee to Hollywood
Tom Tykwer in "Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin" (photo © Transit Film 2006)

From his early successes in silent German films such as The Oyster Princess and Madame Dubarry to his mature Hollywood masterpieces (Ninotchka, To Be or Not to Be, The Shop Around the Corner), the films of Ernst Lubitsch have had a lasting impact upon the cinema of Europe and America.

In Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin, the first-ever feature documentary on the inventor of the "Lubitsch Touch", tells the story of how the son of a Jewish tailor first came into contact with the theater while still attending school. In 1911 Lubitsch joined Max Reinhardt's ensemble, and as of 1913 he started performing in film comedies. His immense popularity enabled him to take up directing.

In Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin, it is Lubitsch's daughter Nicola who guides us through her father's exciting time in Germany, supported by an illustrious group of film historians, Lubitsch experts and some of today's most influential German film directors. Rare film clips, newly discovered photographs, newsreel footage and original audio recordings with actress Henny Porten, other first-hand witnesses and Lubitsch himself round off this comprehensive portrait of one of cinema's few true geniuses.


Robert Fischer was born 1954 in Greven. He started writing about film in the mid-1970s and soon became one of Germany's foremost film historians. For his translations of Truffaut's complete writings into German, he was named Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Cultural Minister Jack Lang. Together with Joe Hembus he wrote a history of the New German Cinema. After five years as Vice Director at the Munich Film Museum, where he was involved in the reconstruction of Orson Welles’ unfinished films, he switched to filmmaking in 1999. A selection of his films includes: STRANGE BEHAVIOR OF MOVING PICTURES (short, 1978), MONSIEUR TRUFFAUT MEETS MR. HITCHCOCK (1999), NEVER STOP BEGINNING – UFA STAR CAROLA HOEHN (2000), FILM IS TRUTH: MILOS FORMAN (2000), FASSBINDER IN HOLLYWOOD (2002), DALTON TRUMBO: REBEL IN HOLLYWOOD (2006), ERNST LUBITSCH IN BERLIN (2006), WORKING WITH MAX OPHULS: LOLA MONTES REVISITED (2007), STARTING OUT: THE MAKING OF JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI’S DEEP END (2011), OUTLAW BROTHERS: THE MAKING OF THE LONG RIDERS (2013), SWAN SONG: THE STORY OF BILLY WILDER’S FEDORA (2014), RETURN OF BEETHOVEN STREET: SAM FULLER IN GERMANY (2015), SUCKER PUNCH BLUES: A LOOK BACK ON JOHN HUSTON’S FAT CITY (2017), and FILM BEYOND CINEMA: THE DUMPSTER KID EXPERIMENT AND OTHER UTOPIAS (2018), among others.
Genre Biopic
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2006
Director Robert Fischer
Cinematography Michael Ruediger, Manuel Lommel, Jonathan Rho
Frank Schoenfelder
Aljoscha Zimmermann, Sabrina Hausmann
Cast Enno Patalas, Jan-Christopher Horak, Wolfgang Becker, Dani Levy, Amanda Goodpaster, Evy Bettelheim-Bentley, Joerg Jannings, Henny Porten, Hans Helmut Prinzler, Michael Hanisch, Tom Tykwer, Nicola Lubitsch, Ernst Lubitsch
Producer Loy W. Arnold
Production Company Transit Film/Munich
Length 110 min
Format color, b&w
Original Version
 German/English
Subtitled Versions English, German, Spanish
Festivals San Sebastian 2006, Moscow 2012

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