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Americanisation in 20th Century Europe: business, culture, politics. Volume 2

 | 
Nick Tiratsoo
, 
Mathias Kipping

"Hollywood and nothing else?

The Americanisation of the German film industry in the Weimar Republic

Hans-Joachim Braun

Résumé

Lors des années 1920, Hollywood fait de grandes intrusions au sein du marché du film allemand. UFA, la première société cinématographique d’Europe, essaya de résister mais Hollywood était trop puissant. Malgré cette compétition très serrée entre les industries du film américaine et allemande, une étroite coopération et peut-être même une certaine symbiose existèrent entre elles : Hollywood attirait les talents allemands, mais les capitaux et les réalisateurs américains furent aussi employés en Allemagne. Néanmoins, la restructuration de l’UFA qui devient un constituant du Konzern Hugenberg en 1927, la Grande Dépression et l’introduction du cinéma parlant eurent pour résultat de distendre très fortement les liens entre Hollywood et l’Allemagne.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 V. de Grazia, “Mass Culture and Sovereignty: The American Challenge to European Cinemas 1920-1960”,(...)

1In German intellectual circles of the 1920s the fear of US ‘cultural imperialism' was widespread. Hollywood cinema came to be regarded as soulless, artistically childish and uncritical. But with its economies of scale, capital intensive technologies, standardization, skill in creating and marketing ‘stars’, with its movie palaces and successful public relations campaigns it slowly conquered the German market.1

2How did this happen? How did the German film industry react to the ‘American threat’? Did, on the other hand, German films play a significant role in the United States? Did the US attempt to conquer the German market result in a complete US victory? What was the relationship between culture, business and technology in the German and US film industries and was there any interaction between Germany and America? These are the main issues to be debated in this chapter.

Berlin and Hollywood: comparisons

  • 2 T.J. Saunders, Hollywood in Berlin. American Cinema and Weimar Germany, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Univ (...)
  • 3 A. Kaes, “Film in der Weimarer Republik”, in W. Jacobsen, A. Kaes, H.H. Prinzler (eds.), Geschichte (...)

3As in the United States and in Western Europe, cinema in Germany became increasingly popular during the first decades of the Twentieth Century. In 1910 there were approximately 1,000 theatres in the Reich; two years later their number had increased to 1,500. At the outbreak of the First World War the number was 2,466, in the first year of peace 2,836. In line with this, the size of the film theatres grew rapidly.2 In 1910 Berlin had over 2 million inhabitants, in 1925 the figure was around 2.5 million. In 1921 there were 418 cinemas in Berlin with a total of 148,00 seats. Although the number of cinemas had decreased to 358 by 1932, the number of seats had increased to about 189,000 owing to the growth of large cinemas with a capacity of more than 1,000 seats like the ‘Ufa Palace at the Zoo’, the ‘Capitol’ or the ‘Titania Palace’. Their expansion caused many smaller cinemas to close down. The annual number of visits to Berlin cinemas oscillated between 40 and 60 million; in 1928 there were about 60 million visits to Berlin cinemas, whereas the total for Germany was about 350 million.3

  • 4 On UFA, see K. Kreimeier, Die UFA Story. Geschichte eines Filmkonzerns, München, Hanser, 1992; and (...)
  • 5 de Grazia 1989: 67.

4Regarding the organisation of the German film industry, the foundation of the UFA concern stands out. In 1917 a combination of private companies and State interests founded the Universum Film AG, better known as UFA, which soon grew into a firm with the largest and best-equipped studios in Europe. The main purpose for the State support of UFA was boosting public morale at the end of the First World War. After the war UFA was privatised and sold to companies like Ivrupp, Deutsche Bank and BASF.4 Similar to the large companies in the United States, UFA set up its own distribution network, an important move, since control over distribution was the key to determining the nature of the product.5

  • 6 K. Thompson, Exporting Entertainment. America in the World Film Market 1907-34, London, British Fil (...)

5Germany emerged from the First World War with a relatively strong film industry and, to a large extent, resisted an American takeover of its market for several years. During the war the German Reich had imposed an embargo against films from the West, but several films made their way into Germany via neutral countries. The embargo was extended until May 1920. To prevent US films from flooding in, Germany implemented quotas on film imports on 1 January 1921. Its terms permitted the import of a set amount of films each year equal to 15 per cent of the negative footage produced in Germany in 1919. As it happened, however, the German film industry did not take these stipulations too seriously: to suit marked needs, considerably more films were apparently granted import licences.6

  • 7 Collier’s Weekly, 19 October 1918.
  • 8 Thompson 1985:121-2.

6There was no doubt that Hollywood played the main role in the world film market. It was in the lead with its feature films, its movie palaces, its chain store distribution System and its public relations campaigns. Hollywood companies strove at monopolizing control over production distribution as well as over exhibition and equipment manufacture. During the First World War the number of American films going abroad had paralleled the size of exports in other goods, particularly armaments. American businessmen soon realized the enormous advertising potential of films. Collier’s Weekly described this as follows: “consider what the American moving picture is doing in other countries. It is familiarizing South America and Africa, Asia and Europe with American habits and customs. It is educating them up to the American standard of living. It is showing them American clothes and furniture, automobiles and homes. And it is subtly but surely creating a desire for these American-made articles”.7 Apart from the entertainment movies, the various ‘educational’ films which the US government sent abroad, were often advertising products made in America. “Trade”, this was clear to US businessmen and policymakers, “follows films”.8 Like in Europe and particularly in Germany, the US government supported its film industry vigorously by an even more effective System of tariffs, quotas and subsidies. In this, Julius Klein’s Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Trade within the Department of Commerce played the main role.

  • 9 Saunders 1994 : 85.

7In the early 1920s, critics in Germany did not rate the quality of the average Hollywood movie very highly. A critic for Der Film seems to have been fairly representative in his assessment. He was of the opinion that the style and structure of American - often sensationalist - movies were so consistent that to review one meant to review them all. According to him, those movies’ components recurred again and again: a very elementary plot, some sensational physical stunts, frequent brawls, dynamic camera work and breathtaking tempos. In Hollywood, the critic thought, performers were less intent on acting than on showing bravery and agility.9

  • 10 A.B. Kuttner, “The Foreign Invasion”, Exceptional Photoplays, Bulletin, n°10, November 1921; M. Bud (...)

8The German avant-garde film of the early 1920s, which made the UFA famous, met with more critical acclaim in the United States than in Germany. Some American film critics praised, for example, Caligari as an artist’s film of a quality which Hollywood was unable - or unwilling - to produce. They polemicized against the US film industry, which, as an American critic wrote in 1921, “made movies for underdeveloped adults at the level of nine-year olds”.10

  • 11 de Gracia 1989: 59.

9Although many German critics denounced the preference of US movies as ‘cultural imperialism’, several of them did admit that there were some assets of Hollywood films which made them attractive even to viewers with sophisticated tastes. Generally, US films were superior in set design, lighting, and in editing. Acting seemed to be more natural and the narrative more compelling.11

  • 12 H. Siemsen, “Jazz-Band”, Die Weltbühne, 10, 1921, p. 287; KAES 1986: 657,659; On American culture i (...)

10At the end of First World War many German intellectuals perceived US mass culture as a modem culture of the people, meeting the needs and expectations of the major part of the urban population. Several members of intellectual and critic avant-garde circles in Berlin regarded American mass culture as a means of modernizing and democratising German culture. They associated American mass culture with Charlie Chaplin, the US cinema in general, Jazz, Charleston, boxing, and other spectator sports. To follow it, meant to be ‘modem’, up-to-date, ‘with it’. In an article published in 1921, the German critic Hans Siemsen alluded to this democratising impulse of US culture in ironically suggesting that all those staid and pompous German politicians and professors should be obliged to occasionally dance Jazz in public. This would, in a healthy way, divest them from their dignity. “How human, how nice, how funny would they all become. If only the Kaiser had danced Jazz! All those terrible things would never have happened!... But, alas. He would never have learned how to do it. To be German emperor is much easier than dancing Jazz”.12

  • 13 T.-R. Knops, “Siegfried Kracauer und die Mesailliance von Film und Bildungsbürgertum in der Weimare (...)
  • 14 Saunders 1994: Introduction. Detailed studies on film audiences in Germany are scarce. But see K. C (...)

11Compared to Hollywood, European and particularly German cinema was associated with decentralist atelier shops - this did not apply to UFA - and with theatrical and dramatic conventions generally geared to the educated viewer.13 Cinema directors, technicians and actors moved back and forth between theatre and cinema, although even staunch advocates of German cinema culture had to admit that there was an uneasy conflict between big business and cultural pretensions. The keywords of German cinema aesthetics in the early 1920s were the expressionist film of Paul Wegener and Robert Wiene, the Kammerspielfilm (chamber play movie) of EW. Murnau, historical spectacles of Ernst Lubitsch, mythical epics of Fritz Lang and the realist work of Neue Sachlichkeit created by directors like G.W. Pabst. But one should not be mistaken: the main features of Weimar cinema were not so much ‘high art’ products linked to expressionism or Neue Sachlichkeit but works of thematic and stylistic eclecticism, some blend of kitsch, realism and expressionist elements.14

confrontation and co-operation

  • 15 J.-C. Horak, “Rin-Tin-Tin erobert Berlin oder Amerikanische Filminteressen in Weimar”, in U. JUNG a (...)

12In the late 1910s and early 1920s, Germany, with its film companies and production and distribution facilities, profited significantly from inflation, exporting films in great quantifies. In late 1920 the US company First National successfully released Ernst Lubitsch’s Madame Dubarry, retitled Passion. When Hollywood introduced more German films like Deception (Lubitsch’s Anna Boleyn) or Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligary into the US, several American film producers already sensed a ‘German invasion’. But the alarm in the United States was unfounded and there was no doubt that the US film industry was still considerable stronger than its German counterpart.15

  • 16 Horak 1992 : 256-258.
  • 17 Variety, 24 June 1921.

13American private and governmental measures contributed to continuing this state. Adolph Zukor, one of the most prominent film producers in Hollywood, admitted that he had bought at least twenty-five German films in order to keep them from the US market, also in part to prevent endangering the marketing success of his own stars like Pola Negri.16 From the films imported from Germany only a few made it into the American cinemas. If that happened, as was the case with Dr. Caligari in April 1921 or Wegener’s Der Golem in June of the same year, they were mainly shown in small ‘art houses’. Other German films were less successful commercially. The US magazine Variety pointed out the reason: “it is a curious fact about many German pictures. They deal with great stories but have no romance, being entirely of men”.17 The film critic of the New York Times held a similar view. Under the reassuring headline “Don’t Fear German Films” he wrote:

  • 18 New York Times, 29 May 1921; Kaes 1993: 71.

In Germany many of the important films are too gruesome for the American public. The adresses who appear in many of the films are not young and beautiful enough to satisfy Americans. German filmmakers are producing many cubist effects. Some of these films are skilfully done, but they are generally gloomy and not of a character which Americans demand.18

  • 19 Bock and Töteberg 1992: 78-79.
  • 20 Horak 1992: 258-260.

14But US confrontation and rivalry with Germany had its limits; Paramount’s ‘Famous Players’ Company tried cooperation as well. On 17 April 1921 they and some representatives of UFA founded a German-American film company called EFA (‘European Film Alliance’). This firm was based in Berlin, built studios for production and also set up a network for distributing films and showing them in cinemas. There were several reasons for establishing EFA: ‘Famous Players’ hoped to slowly adopt a leading role in the Central European market, whereas the German interest was to facilitate its access to the international market, particularly to the United States. Evading the German import quota on films was one of ‘Famous Players’ main objectives. Films produced by EFA in Berlin counted as German films and were, moreover, considerably cheaper than those made in Hollywood.19 However, not much came out of the EFA venture. There was constant tension and quarrels over business strategy between the American and German partners. In November 1922 the company was dissolved, having produced only five films which, being ‘not American enough’, did not succeed in the US market. A German critic summed the problem up in one sentence: “EFA failed, because it was a ‘bastard between Madame Dubarry and the exchange rate’”.20

making inroads into germany: the parufamet treaty

  • 21 W. Faulstich and H. Korte (eds.), Fischer Filmgeschichte. Vol. 2 Der Film als gesellschaftliche Kra (...)
  • 22 E. Katz, The Film Encyclopaedia, revised by F. Klein and R.D. Nolan, 3rd ed., New York, Harper Coll (...)

15Once the currency reform was introduced in November 1923, German industry underwent a crisis, due to its declining exports and losses of other inflation-period advantages. The new currency allowed importers to buy foreign films at lower cost and imports took over a larger share of the market.21 This meant that Germany was increasingly flooded with Hollywood films. Moreover, with high salaries and the promise of superior working conditions, the US film industry drew away some of Germany’s major cinema talent. Ernst Lubitsch, director of such critically acclaimed films as Madame Dubarry/Passion (1919), or Anna Boleyn/Deception (1920), went to Hollywood in 1922 and in the mid-1920s some more great talents of German cinema were lured away to America: directors like Paul Leni, E.A. Dupont, F.W. Murnau and Ludwig Berger, actresses like Pola Negri and Lya de Putti, and actors like Conrad Veidt and Emil Jannings, who, in 1929, even received an Oscar. The producer Erich Pommer, to whom in the early 1920s UFA owed a large share of its artistic success, left the company in 1926 to work for Paramount. Disillusioned, however, he returned to Germany in 1928, produced masterworks like The Blue Angel (1930) and had to leave Germany after Hitler came to power in 1933. Others made their way from Hollywood to Berlin like the actress Louise Brooks or the director Josef von Sternberg, who, during his peak years 1927-35, was the undisputed great master of the American screen.22 So apart from keen competition, there was therefore close cooperation between Hollywood and Berlin. With the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s this interchange between Hollywood and Berlin came to an end. UFA was diversified enough not to lose its dominant position among German firms, but smaller firms specializing in production were severely hit by the export crisis. None of the film industries in Europe could survive by producing films just for their own national market.

Table 1: Number of German and American Feature Films shown in Germany, 1923-1931

German

American

German and American

1923

253

102

355

1924

220

186

406

1925

212

216

428

1926

185

216

401

1927

243

190

633

1928

224

199

423

1929

183

142

325

1930

146

80

226

1931

144

84

228

Source: T. J. Saunders, Hollywood in Berlin. American Cinema and Weimar Germany, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1994, p.54, 233. There are no reliable figures for the number of feature films from other countries.

16Table 1 shows that the number of German films shown in Germany remained relatively stable until the beginning of the Great Depression and the introduction of sound films from 1929 onwards. Films became more expensive to produce. The comparatively low figure for 1926 reflects UFA’s economic problems. Between 1924, when Germany’s inflation induced advantages were over, until 1928 the number of US films released in Germany often came close to that made in Germany. During two years, 1925 and 1926, the figure was even higher. From 1929 onwards the Great Depression as well as the introduction of sound film hit American film exports to Germany severely.

  • 23 On Stinnes see P. Wulf: Hugo Stinnes: Wirtschaft und Politik 1918-1924, Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 197 (...)
  • 24 Thompson 1985:112-116.

17Although the import of the UFA film Madame Dubarry into France had resulted in a ban because of alleged anti-French propaganda, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari met with a friendly welcome. UFA and the French Aubert company took up negotiations which were greeted as the beginning of a new era of cooperation within Europe directed against the threat of American dominance. But the project failed mainly because of Financial problems. Another project was somewhat more successful : in December 1924, shortly after the UFA-Aubert deal, the German production and distribution company Westi, founded by the firms of Wengeroff and Stinnes23, established Pathé-Westi together with the renowned French Pathé company. But this venture, too, did not meet expectations. Other UFA attempts in later years like the setting up of a distribution firm with the Swedish Svenska, or the ‘Derufa’, a joint Russian German production and distribution company, were more successful.24

  • 25 Horak 1992 : 262-265.
  • 26 and Töteberg 1992 : 170-179 ; W. Wagner, “Die Warenästhetik des Hollywoodfilms”, unpublished Phil. (...)
  • 27 Thompson 1985 :107-110.

18In response to the Film Europe’ project, the US film industry took steps to protect its interests abroad. A welcome opportunity was UFA’s financial difficulties. In early 1925 UFA was in financial trouble. Failing to obtain a loan from either the State, major banks - in mid-May 1925 the Deutsche Bank, UFA’s main shareholder, had withdrawn a loan from UFA - or large private investors, it was forced to conclude an unfavourable deal with Paramount and MGM. The difficult export situation, high production costs for ambitious film projects like Metropolis and other reasons had brought UFA into trouble. The situation was worsened by the fact that rival companies and individuals like Sam Rachman who worked for Paramount and was based in Berlin spread rumours of UFA’s imminent insolvency.25 The Universal film company had hoped to sign an agreement with UFA but Paramount, together with MGM, proved stronger. The methods used were rough indeed. The New York Times reported that Paramount and MGM had put Universal and UFA under severe pressure by threatening to build a chain of film theatres in Germany showing their most popular films at bargain prices. According to this ‘Parufamet treaty’, UFA received a loan of 17 million Reichsmark at 7.5 per cent interest.26 In exchange for this, UFA joined a new distribution company, Parufamet. UFA was required to distribute twenty films annually from each of its partners and show them for a minimum of half a week in all UFA-owned cinemas. The US companies for their part agreed to distribute ten UFA films a year.27

  • 28 Saunders 1994 : 71.
  • 29 Film-Kurier, 8 October 1925, and W.S. Bush, “Europe Panic-stricken over Visit of American Picture M (...)

19At first sight the conditions of the treaty looked fair, but a closer look reveals that it was rather unequal. The US partners had the right to re-edit, cut and title UFA films subject only to the condition that nothing be done to discredit UFA or Germany. This had no counterpart in the agreement on US films in Germany.28 Public reaction in Germany against the Parufamet treaty was strong; several observers even likened it to the Versailles Treaty.29 In the early months of 1926, the editorials of the Reichsfilmblatt voiced a harsh anti-American sentiment, denouncing UFA as a US company and charging the United States with a systematic attempt at destroying Germany’s cultural independence.

  • 30 H. Ihering, “UFA und Buster Keaton”, in H. Ihering, Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, 3 vols., Berlin, Aufb (...)

20Even in German avant-garde intellectual circles which, in the early 1920s, had welcomed the democratising, progressive power of ‘cultural Americanism’, attitudes towards the United States changed in the mid-1920s. Herbert Ihering, an influential theatre critic, who, a few years earlier, had praised mass culture and cultural modernity à la USA, became more and more sceptical and disillusioned. In 1926 he wrote about the situation in Germany: “The number of people who watch films and do not read any books goes into millions. They have all been subjected to the American taste, they have become standardized and uniform. The American film is the new world militarism. It is approaching. It is more dangerous than Prussian militarism. It does not only devour individuals. It devours whole nations”.30

  • 31 H.-J. Braun, The German Economy in the Twentieth Century. The German Reich and the Federal Republic (...)
  • 32 H.-J. Braun, ‘“Moving On’ : Airplanes and Locomotives in 20th century Music”, in H.-J. Braun (ed.),(...)
  • 33 S. Kracauer, Die Angestellten. Ans dem neuesten Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 1974, p.9 (...)

21After the mid-1920s, during the short period of ‘relative stabilisation’ in the Weimar Republic between 1924/25 and 1928/2931, many German critics changed their predominantly positive image of American society and culture to an increasingly sceptical one. They no longer associated the United States with the positive, progressive, democratising features of mass culture, expressed in Jazz, sports32 and other forms of entertainment, but with technocracy, industrial rationalization, soulless efficiency and machine like work discipline. Sympathetic or even enthusiastic liberal and left wing writers became more and more disillusioned. After advancing the American gospel of social, political and cultural modernity and the democratisation of culture they now felt that capitalism in the US film industry had completely eliminated individualism and had brought forth standardization, industrial concentration and rationalized uniformity. Siegfried Kracauer, a perceptive social scientist with a keen interest in the development of film, radically changed his positive attitude towards “Americanism” and the democratising effects of cinema. In 1929 he criticized the Hollywood style film industry and its films for distracting the crowds of homeless white-collar workers from their appalling material condition. Instead of making them aware of their economic exploitation Hollywood offered them shallow detraction.33

  • 34 De Grazia 1989: 68.
  • 35 On the German film of that period see J. Toeplitz, Geschichte des Films, Vol. 2, 1928-1933, Berlin, (...)

22From a perspective of business strategy, the Parufamet treaty succeeded in weakening Hollywood’s strongest competitor. It did, however, not solve UFA’s Financial problems but incited German nationalists to demand political action by German companies and the state to ward off an alleged American take-over. A leading figure in this was the nationalist Alfred Hugenberg. In early 1927 his multimedia conglomerate acquired a majority share in UFA.34 Apparently with help from the foreign ministry and the economics ministry it succeeded in buying out American interest. Measures to consolidate UFA’s market position by rationalizing production schedules, strengthening exports and branching out into the technical sector followed and were treated as a victory against US imperialism by nationalist-conservatives. After crisis and restructuring, growth was discernible in the German film industry by 1928. The combined interest of the dominant firms, particularly of UFA, the State and nationalist ideologues had succeeded in building a vertically integrated, strongly capitalized industrial corporation. Oriented to the large markets of central Europe it was sufficiently diversified and innovative enough to compete successfully with American cinema in the next development phase of movie history, the phase of sound feature.35

sound film

  • 36 J. Wyver, The Moving Image, An International History of Film, Television and Video, Oxford, New Yor (...)
  • 37 Thompson 1985:150.

23The introduction of sound film introduced new conditions and problems into the relationship between Hollywood and the German film industry. In 1918 three Germans had invented a cinema sound System which they called Tri-ergon’ (the work of three). Their attempt to innovate it in the early and mid-1920s proved unsuccessful. The innovation process of cinema sound therefore started with Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone shots and with their Don Juan, released in August 1926. This was followed by the widely acclaimed The Jazz Singer in October 1927.36 Against the Warner Brothers’ sound System the German companies set up some sort of European alliance. In July 1928 the German Triergon, with a method using a wider filmstrip with the soundtrack outside the sprocket holes, and the Dutch Küchenmeister company founded the Tonbild-Syndikat AG (or Tobis). Its objective was to fight the US introduction of sound film into Germany on patent grounds. A month later the two major German electrical companies Siemens and Halske and AEG together with the phonogram company Polyphon Werke registered Klangfilm GmbH. Klangfilm, which held patents similar to those of Tobis, constituted a serious threat to Tobis.37

  • 38 On The Singing Fool, see Saunders 1994: 224-226.
  • 39 Gomery 1980: 384.

24But the two companies soon settled their differences when ERPI, the US firm Electrical Research Products Incorporated, a subsidiary of Western Electric, started wiring German film theatres with its Sound equipment. Law suits for patent infringement followed and intensified, when in April 1929 Warner Brothers announced that The Singing Tool, a sound film popular in the US, would soon premiere in Berlin.38 The two major American sound companies, ERPI and RCA, started negotiations with the German companies, but failed to reach an agreement. In mid-1930, however, a sound patent agreement followed, according to which Tobis-Klangfilm, RCA and ERPI became members of an international cartel, dividing the world into territories for providing sound film equipment.39

  • 40 Thompson 1985: 159-160. On the situation in Germany from the point of view of contemporary critics (...)

25An issue related to the problem of sound film was translating the soundtrack. Obviously this did not pose a problem between Hollywood and Britain or Australia, but between Hollywood and Germany it certainly did. By October 1929 the Hollywood studios had started dubbing soundtracks, but with crude results. Another translation method looked more promising: doing the same film again with actors speaking a different language. This was comparatively easy with émigré or multilingual actors like Greta Garbo, but had obvious limitations as well.40

  • 41 Thompson 1985:162.

26In August 1930 Hollywood announced the Dunning process, whereby the backgrounds and extras were filmed in Hollywood studios. These shots were sent abroad and native producers then completed the film with local actors in their native language. This comparatively cheap method was also far from perfect. But within two years, lip synchronization techniques had improved so much that other methods were only seldom used.41 The introduction of sound coincided with changes in the governmental regulations and with the Great Depression of the early 1930s. It was they, rather than the problems of dubbing, which were responsible for the decline of American film exports to Germany.

conclusion

  • 42 Saunders 1994: 246-247.

27Summing up, it can be said that the US film industry managed, indeed, to make large inroads into the German film market in the 1920s. Although German companies, particularly UFA, put up some resistance, Hollywood proved too strong. But the view of two rivals with completely different objectives does not do justice to the facts : with German producers, directors and film stars going to Hollywood, and Germany adopting US production and marketing methods (the UFA Babelsberg studios looked much like the Universal Studios in Hollywood), there was intensive interaction and, to some extent, symbiosis.42 After 1927 renewed and intensified German propaganda and the propagation of stereotypes - American ‘civilisation’ versus German ‘culture’ - had its effect and went hand in hand with German film business interests in Central and Western Europe. The restructuring of UFA as part of the Hugenberg concern and the introduction of sound film improved the competitive position of the German film industry vis-à-vis Hollywood in Europe, and the Great Depression slowed down US film exports even more.

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Kahs A. 1975. “Brecht und der Amerikanismus im Theater der 20er Jahre: Unliterarische Tradition und Publikumsbezug”, Sprache im technischen Zeitalter, 53-56, p.359-371.

Kaes A. 1986. “Massenkultur und Modernität. Notizen zu einer Sozialgeschichte des frühen amerikanischen und deutschen Films”, in F. Trommler (ed.), Amerika und die Deutschen, Opladen, Westdeutscher Verlag, p.651-665.

Kaes A. 1993. “Film in der Weimarer Republik”, in W. Jacobsen, A. Kaes, and H.H. Prinzler (eds.), Geschichte des deutschen Films, Stuttgart, Weimar, J.B. Metzler, p.39-100.

Kasten J. 1990. Der expressionistische Film. Abgefilmtes Theater oder avantgardistisches Erzählkino? Fine stil-, produktions-und rezeptionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung, Münster, MAKS.

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Knops T.-R. 1989. “Siegfried Kracauer und die Mesailliance von Film und Bildungsbürgertum in der Weimarer Republik”, in K. Hickethier (ed.), Filmgeschichte schreiben. Ansätze, Entwürfe und Methoden, Dokumentation der Tagung der GFF, Berlin, Edition Sigma, p.78-92.

Korte H. 1978. (ed.), Film und Realität in der Weimarer Republik. Mit Analysen der Filme “Kuhle Wampe” und ‘Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück”, Frankfurt am Main, Fischer.

Kracauer S. 1974. Die Angestellten. Aus dem neuesten Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.

Kracauer S. 1947. From Caligari to Hitler. A Psychological History of the German Film, London, Dennis Dobson.

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Notes

1 V. de Grazia, “Mass Culture and Sovereignty: The American Challenge to European Cinemas 1920-1960”, journal of Modern History, 61, 1989, p.61. P. Bächlin, Der Film als Ware, Frankfurt am Main, Fischer-Athenäum-Taschenbücher, 1975. On making and marketing stars see D. Gomery, The Hollywood Studio System, Basingstoke, London, BFI, Macmillan, 1986.

2 T.J. Saunders, Hollywood in Berlin. American Cinema and Weimar Germany, Berkeley, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1994, p. 20.

3 A. Kaes, “Film in der Weimarer Republik”, in W. Jacobsen, A. Kaes, H.H. Prinzler (eds.), Geschichte des deutschen Films, Stuttgart, Weimar, J.B. Metzler, 1993, p.62 ; On Berlin film theatres, see J. Schebera, Harnais in Neubabelsberg. Studios, Stars and Kinopaläste in Berlin in den zwanziger Jahren, Leipzig, Edition Leipzig, 1990.

4 On UFA, see K. Kreimeier, Die UFA Story. Geschichte eines Filmkonzerns, München, Hanser, 1992; and H.-M. Bock and M. Töteberg (eds.), Das UFA-Buch. Kunst und Krisen, Stars und Regisseure, Wirtschaft und Politik, Frankfurt am Main, Zweitausendeins, 1992. Older sources are: R. Llpschütz, “Der Ufa-Konzern. Geschichte, Aufbau und Bedeutung im Rahmen des deutschen Filmgewerbes”, Phil. Diss, Berlin, 1932; H. Taub, Die Ufa. Fin Beitrag zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des deutschen Filmschaffens, Berlin, Ufa-Buchverlag, 1943. A. Kaes, “Massenkultur und Modernität. Notizen zu einer Sozialgeschichte des frühen amerikanischen und deutschen Films”, in F. Trommler (ed.), Amerika und die Deutschen, Opladen, Westdeutscher Verlag, 1986, p.656.

5 de Grazia 1989: 67.

6 K. Thompson, Exporting Entertainment. America in the World Film Market 1907-34, London, British Film Institute, 1985, p.106

7 Collier’s Weekly, 19 October 1918.

8 Thompson 1985:121-2.

9 Saunders 1994 : 85.

10 A.B. Kuttner, “The Foreign Invasion”, Exceptional Photoplays, Bulletin, n°10, November 1921; M. Budd, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: Conditions of Reception”, Cine-tracts, 3, 1981, p.41-p.41-49 ; Kaes 1986: 654; On German expressionist film see also P. Coates, The Gorgon’s Gaze. German Cinema. Expressionist» and the Image of Horror, Cambridge, Cambridge U.P., 1991; J. Kasten, Der expressionistische Film. Abgefilmtes Theater oder avantgardistisches Ersählkino? Eine stil, produktions-und rezeptionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung, Münster, MAKS, 1990; W. Kaul, Caligari und der Caligarismus, Berlin, Deutsche Kinemathek, 1970 ; R. Kurtz, Expressionismus und Film, Berlin, Lichtbildbühne, 1926 (Reprint: Zürich, Rohr, 1965).

11 de Gracia 1989: 59.

12 H. Siemsen, “Jazz-Band”, Die Weltbühne, 10, 1921, p. 287; KAES 1986: 657,659; On American culture in Germany see T.P. Hughes, American Genesis. A Gentury of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm 1870-1970, New York, London, Viking, 1989, p.293; D.J.K. Peukert, Die Weimarer Republik. Krisenjahre der Moderne, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp 1987, p. 178-189; P. Gassert, “Amerikanismus, Antiamerikanismus, Amerikanisierung. Neue Literatur zur Sozial-, Wirtschafts-und Kulturgeschichte des amerikanischen Einflusses in Deutschland und Europa”, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 39, 1999, p. 531-561. On Weimar culture see generally J. Hermand and F. Trommler, Die Kultur der Weimarer Republik, Frankfurt am Main, Fischer, 1988, and W Laqueur, Weimar Die Kultur der Republik, Frankfurt am Main, Ullstein, 1977 A brief survey on Weimar film is in H. Hoffmann, “Film - Das neue Medium auf dem Weg zum Massenmedium. Film und Kino zwischen 1918 und 1933”, in H. Hoffmann and H Klotz (eds.), Die Kultur unseresJahrhunderts 1918-1933, Düsseldorf, ECON, 1993, p.173-201. See also the classic S. Kracauer, From Galigari to Hitler. A Psychological Distory of the German Film, London, Dennis Dobson, 1947. H.-J. Braun, “Konstruktion, Destruktion und der Ausbau technischer Systeme zwischen 1914 und 1945”, in H.-J. Braun and W. Kaiser, Energiewirtschaft, Automatisierung Information seit 1914, Berlin, Proylaen Verlag, 1992, (Propylâen Technikgeschichte, W König (ed.), Vol. 5), p.9-279; 533-548.

13 T.-R. Knops, “Siegfried Kracauer und die Mesailliance von Film und Bildungsbürgertum in der Weimarer Republik”, in K. Hickethier (ed.), Filmgeschichte schreiben. Ansätze, Entwürfe und Methoden, Dokumentation der Tagung der GFF, Berlin, Edition Sigma, 1989, p.78-92.

14 Saunders 1994: Introduction. Detailed studies on film audiences in Germany are scarce. But see K. C. Führer, “Auf dem Weg zur ‘Massenkultur ? Kino und Rundfunk in der Weimarer Republik”, Historische Zeitschrft, 262, 1996, p.739-781; A. von Saldern, “Massenfreizeitkultur im Visier. Ein Beitrag zu den Deutungs-und Entwicklungsversuchen wâhrend der Weimarer Republik”, Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte, 33, 1993, p.21-58. On Hamburg, see M. Töteberg, Filmstadt Hamburg. Von Emil Jannings bis Wim Wenders : Kino-geschichte(n) einer Grossstadt, Hamburg VSA-Verlag, 1990.

15 J.-C. Horak, “Rin-Tin-Tin erobert Berlin oder Amerikanische Filminteressen in Weimar”, in U. JUNG and W Schatzberg (eds.), Filmkultur zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik. Beiträge zu einer internationalen Konferenz vom 15. bis 18. Juni 1989 in Luxemburg, München, London, New York, Paris, K.G. Saur, 1992, p.255-256. Thompson 1985 : 105.

16 Horak 1992 : 256-258.

17 Variety, 24 June 1921.

18 New York Times, 29 May 1921; Kaes 1993: 71.

19 Bock and Töteberg 1992: 78-79.

20 Horak 1992: 258-260.

21 W. Faulstich and H. Korte (eds.), Fischer Filmgeschichte. Vol. 2 Der Film als gesellschaftliche Kraft 1925-1944, Frankfurt am Main, Fischer, 1991, p.85.

22 E. Katz, The Film Encyclopaedia, revised by F. Klein and R.D. Nolan, 3rd ed., New York, Harper Collins, 1998, p.1306. KA ES 1986: 661; G. Petrie, Hollywood Destin ies. European Directors in America, 1922-1931, London Boston, Melbourne, Henley, Routledge&Kegan Paul, 1985. Helmut G. Asper, 'Etwas Besseres als der Tod‘. Film exil in Hollywood. Porträts, Filme, Dokumentation, Marburg (Schüren) 2002. See also J. Garnacz, “Hollywood in Germany. Die Rolle amerikanischer Filme in Deutschland 1925-1990”, in U. Jung (ed.), Der deutsche Film. Aspekte seiner Geschichte von den Anfangen bis zur Gegenwart, Trier, Wissenschafts Verlag 1993, p 176-214.

23 On Stinnes see P. Wulf: Hugo Stinnes: Wirtschaft und Politik 1918-1924, Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 1979.

24 Thompson 1985:112-116.

25 Horak 1992 : 262-265.

26 and Töteberg 1992 : 170-179 ; W. Wagner, “Die Warenästhetik des Hollywoodfilms”, unpublished Phil. Dissertation, Ulm, 1975, p.4.

27 Thompson 1985 :107-110.

28 Saunders 1994 : 71.

29 Film-Kurier, 8 October 1925, and W.S. Bush, “Europe Panic-stricken over Visit of American Picture Men to Berlin”, Moving World, 77 (7), 19 December 1925, p.634.

30 H. Ihering, “UFA und Buster Keaton”, in H. Ihering, Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, 3 vols., Berlin, Aufbau Verlag, 1961, 2, p. 59; Kaes 1993: 662.

31 H.-J. Braun, The German Economy in the Twentieth Century. The German Reich and the Federal Republic, London, New York, Routledge, 1990, p.45-63.

32 H.-J. Braun, ‘“Moving On’ : Airplanes and Locomotives in 20th century Music”, in H.-J. Braun (ed.), I Sing the Body Electric. Music and Technology in the 20th century, Hofheim, Wolke, 2000, p.107.

33 S. Kracauer, Die Angestellten. Ans dem neuesten Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp, 1974, p.95-100.

34 De Grazia 1989: 68.

35 On the German film of that period see J. Toeplitz, Geschichte des Films, Vol. 2, 1928-1933, Berlin, Henschel-Verlag, 1992, p.192-227. On technology and film see G. Kemner and G. Eisert, Lebendige Bilder. Eine Technikgeschichte des Films, Berlin, Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2000 ; W. Mühl-Benninghaus, Das Ringen um den Tonfilm. Strategien der Elektro-und der Filmindustrie in den 20er und 30er jahren, Düsseldorf, Droste, 1999.

36 J. Wyver, The Moving Image, An International History of Film, Television and Video, Oxford, New York, Basil Blackwell, 1989, p.66-72; S. Neale, Cinema and Technology: Image, Sound, Colour., London, Macmillan/BFI Publishing, 1985 ; S. Zielinski, Audiovisionen. Kino und Fernsehen als Zwischenspiele in der Geschichte, Reinbeck bei Hamburg, Rowohlt, 1989, p.143-146. On the US see: Crafton, The Talkies. American Cinema's Transition to Sound 1926-1931, Berkeley University of California Press, 1997.

37 Thompson 1985:150.

38 On The Singing Fool, see Saunders 1994: 224-226.

39 Gomery 1980: 384.

40 Thompson 1985: 159-160. On the situation in Germany from the point of view of contemporary critics see G. Gandert, (ed.), Der Film in der Weimarer Republik. Ein Handbuch der zeitgenössischen Kritik 1929, Berlin, de Gruyter, 1993.

41 Thompson 1985:162.

42 Saunders 1994: 246-247.

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