Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Babelsberg Studios

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The Babelsberg Studios

Article excerpt

Many of the stars of German cinema were born at the legendary Babelsberg Studios outside Berlin. The first studio was built there in 1912 - its walls constructed entirely of glass - on a 40,000-square-metre site acquired the year before by the Bioscop film company. In the next eighty years some 2,500 films would be made at Babelsberg.

Among those who helped to make the name of the new studios were the actress Asta Nielsen, Paul Wegener, director of Der Golem (1915), and Ernst Lubitsch, who produced seven films there in 1918, including his first international success, Carmen, with Pola Negri. Two great directors whose careers were closely associated with Babelsberg in the 1920s were Fritz Lang (Metropolis, 1927) and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (Nosferatu, 1922). Germany's first sound stages were built at Babelsberg in 1929, and in 1930 The Blue Angel was made there with Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in the leading roles.

After the nationalization of the German film industry in 1938-1939, Babelsberg fell under the control of Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels and his machine. …

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