Percy Adlon

Paul Rudolf Parsifal "Percy" Adlon[2] (German: [ˈpɛɐ̯si ˈaːdlɔn]; born 1 June 1935) is a German director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his film Bagdad Café. He is associated with the New German Cinema movement, whose "members" also include Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Percy Adlon
Paul Rudolf Parsifal Adlon

1 June 1935 (age 83)
Munich, Germany
ResidencePacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California
OccupationDirector, screenwriter, producer
Years active1975–present

Early life

Adlon was born in Munich. He grew up in Ammerland/Starnberger See. He studied art, theater history, and German literature at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University; took acting and singing classes; and was a member of the student theater group.


Percy's films are shown and compete regularly at international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and others.

He started his professional career as an actor, became interested in radio work, was a narrator and editor of literature series and a presenter and voice-over actor in television for 10 years.

In 1970, he made his first short film for Bavarian television, followed by more than 150 documentary films about art and the human condition. His first one-hour portrait Tomi Ungerer's Landleben started a very successful co-operation with Benigna von Keyserlingk who became Adlon's television producer of documentaries and feature films.

Their first feature film Céleste, drew international attention at Cannes in 1981. Bagdad Cafe (1987) started their co-operation with Dietrich v. Watzdorf (Bayerischer Rundfunk). The story of Jasmin Münchgstettner and the Café owner Brenda was an international hit. Marianne Sägebrecht whom Percy Adlon discovered in 1979 became a cult figure, and he developed songs with Tony, Oscar, and Grammy award nominated Bob Telson on such songs as "Calling You" a classic.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon have won numerous awards, including top honors in Rio de Janeiro for Bagdad Cafe, and in Montreal for Salmonberries, two Césars, the Ernst-Lubitsch-Award, a Norwegian Amanda Award, the Swedish and the Danish Academy awards, the Prix Humanum, Belgium, prizes in Venice, Chicago, Valladolid, Brussels, Tokyo as well as Bavarian and German Federal Film Awards, among others.

Percy Adlon is the recipient of the Officer's Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, and a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Currently he is working on his new film, Thank You, Thank You (2017). This is the first time that Percy is directing a film he did not write himself.[3]

Personal life

Percy is the great-grandson of Lorenz Adlon, the founder of the Hotel Adlon. Percy was the grandson of Louis Adlon, Sr., who had five children with his first wife Tilly. After almost 15 years of marriage, he met a hotel guest, the German-American Hedwig Leythen (1889-1967),[4][5][6][7] called Hedda, at a New Year's Eve party in the Hotel Adlon, left his wife and children, and in 1922 he married her. It was one of the biggest scandals of Berlin in the 1920s.[8] Tilly moved with her daughter Elisabeth, then two, to the south of Germany, while the other children Susanne Adlon-Meyerhöfer (mother of Percy), Lorenz, and twins Carl and Louis (junior) were sent to boarding school and later all four emigrated to America.[9]

He grew up in the Bavarian countryside with his mother, Susanne Adlon-Meyerhöfer[10][11] and attributes the strong, often unconventional, women's roles in his films to his being brought up in this manner. His son, Felix, an accomplished director in his own right, is the former husband of American actress Pamela Adlon and the father of her three daughters.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon live in Pacific Palisades, California.[12]

Thomas Meyerhöfer (de) is a half-brother of Percy, 15 years younger and son of Emil Meyerhöfer.[13][14][15][16][17]


Adolf Grimme Awards, Germany 1979 • Won, Adolf Grimme Award in Gold Fiction/Entertainment for The Guardian and His Poet (1978). Shared With: Rolf Illig (lead actor)

Amanda Awards, Norway 1989 • Won, Amanda Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Bavarian Film Awards 1988 • Won, Bavarian Film Award Best Screenplay (Drehbuchpreis) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). Shared With: Eleonore Adlon 1983 • Won, Bavarian Film Award Best Direction (Regiepreis) for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).

Bavarian TV Awards 1997 • Won, Bavarian TV Award Directing for The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel (1996).

Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF) 1994 • Won, Silver Raven for Younger and Younger (1993).

Cannes Film Festival 1989 • Nominated, Palme d'Or for Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989).

Chicago International Film Festival 1984 • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Die Schaukel (1983). 1983 • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Fünf letzte

Tage (1982). 1980 • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Céleste (1980).

César Awards, France 1989 • Won, César Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). • Won, César Best Film of the European Community (Meilleur film de l'Europe communautaire) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Ernst Lubitsch Award 1988 • Won, Ernst Lubitsch Award for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Film Independent Spirit Awards 1989 • Nominated, Independent Spirit Award Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987). • West Germany.

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1989 • Won, Critics Award Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987). • West Germany. • Tied with The Dead.

Guild of German Art House Cinemas 1989 • Won, Guild Film Award - Gold German Film (Deutscher Film) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). 1984 • Won, Guild Film Award - Silver

German Film (Deutscher Film) for Céleste (1980).

Manhattan Film Festival 2012 • Won, Buzz Award for Céleste (1980).

Medias Central European Film Festival 7+1 2011 • Won, Audience Award Best Picture for Mahler on the Couch (2010). Shared With: Felix O. Adlon

Montréal World Film Festival 1991 • Won, Grand Prix des Amériques for Salmonberries (1991).

Robert Festival 1989 • Won, Robert Best Foreign Film (Årets udenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Tokyo International Film Festival 1993 • Nominated, Tokyo Grand Prix for Younger and Younger (1993).

Valladolid International Film Festival 1985 • Won, Silver Spike for Zuckerbaby (1985).

Venice Film Festival 1982 • Won, OCIC Award for Fünf letzte Tage (1982). • Nominated, Golden Lion for Fünf letzte Tage (1982). [18]


  • Vormund und sein Dichter, Der (1978) (TV) Director, Writer (written by), Producer ... a.k.a. The Guardian and His Poet (USA) (Adolf Grimme Award in Gold)
  • Herr Kischott (1980) (TV) Director
  • Céleste (1981) Director, (Writer Special Jury Award IFF Chicago)
  • Fünf letzte Tage (1982) Director ... a.k.a. Last Five Days ... a.k.a. The Five Last Days (German Federal Film Award, Bavarian Film Award, OCIC-Prize, IFF Venice, 1982)
  • Die Schaukel (1983) Director, Writer ... a.k.a. The Swing
  • Zuckerbaby (1985) Director, Writer ... a.k.a. Sugarbaby (Ernst-Lubitsch-Award for Marianne Sägebrecht)
  • Herschel und die Musik der Sterne (1986) (TV) Director, Writer
  • Out of Rosenheim a.k.a. Bagdad Cafe (USA) (1987) Director, Writer, Producer (Grand Prix IFF Rio de Janeiro, César, best foreign Film (French FIlm Award), Ernst-Lubitsch-Award (Director), Swedish and Danish Film Academies, Bavarian Film Award (original screenplay) Prix Humanum, Belgium.)
  • Babycakes (1989) (TV) Writer (screenplay Zuckerbaby, aka, Sugarbaby)
  • Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989) Director, Writer, Producer (Official German Entry, 1989 Cannes Film Festival. Best Film - Section "Cinema & Denaro", IFF EuropaCinema & TV, Viareggio.)
  • Red Hot and Blue (1990) (TV) Director
  • Salmonberries (1991) Director, Writer ... a.k.a. Percy Adlon's Salmonberries (Germany: poster title) (Grand Prix des Ameriques, Montreal. Bavarian Film Awards for director P.A. and for Rosel Zech, Best Actress.)
  • Younger and Younger (1993) Director, Writer, Producer. (Special Prize of the Jury, Brussels. Best Actress IFF Tokyo Lolita Davidovich)
  • In der glanzvollen Welt des Hotel Adlon (1996) (TV) Director ... a.k.a. The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel (Bavarian Television Award)[19]
  • Eat Your Heart Out (1997) Producer
  • Die Straußkiste (1999) Director, Writer Cinematographer ... a.k.a. Forever Flirt (International: English title)
  • Hawaiian Gardens (2001) Director, Writer
  • Koenig's Sphere (2001) Director ... a.k.a. Koenigs Kugel (German title)
  • Bagdad Cafe - The Musical (2003–2006) Director
  • Orbela's People (2007)
  • Mahler auf der Couch (2010)

Other work

Further reading

  • Hans-Michael Bock (Ed.): The Concise CineGraph. Encyclopedia of German Cinema. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books 2009, p. 3-4.

See also

  • Lorenz Adlon (1849–1921), German hotelier, grandfather of Percy
  • Hotel Adlon, Berlin, Germany – built by Lorenz Adlon
  • Louis Adlon (1908–1947), German-American film actor in Hollywood, grandson of Lorenz, cousin of Percy
  • Pamela Adlon (born 1966), American actress, daughter-in-law of Percy
  • Hotel Adlon, German film, from book by Louis's father's second wife


  1. ^ Official bio
  2. ^ Cinema in the Federal Republic of Germany: the new German film, origins and ... - Hans Günther Pflaum, Hans Helmut Prinzler - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-07-05 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "IMDbPro".
  4. ^ Adlon, Hedda (30 December 1994). "Hotel Adlon". Heyne – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Adlon, Hedda [WorldCat Identities]".
  6. ^ "Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek".
  7. ^ "Hotel Adlon Kempinski".
  8. ^ "Familien-Saga Adlon: Was ist wahr und was ist Erfindung im großen TV-Epos? - TV -". 10 January 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Stöcker, Martina. "Berliner Hotel: Die wahre Geschichte des Adlon". RP ONLINE.
  10. ^ "Das Adlon. Eine Familiensaga" – via
  11. ^ "The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel" – via
  12. ^ Official bio
  13. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (29 June 2015). "Ein "Ciao" zum Abschied: Thomas Meyerhöfer geht in den Ruhestand -".
  14. ^
  15. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer. "Eins zu Eins. Der Talk - Bayern 2 - Download, MP3, Video - Podcast - BR".
  16. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (29 June 2015). "Ein "Ciao" zum Abschied: Thomas Meyerhöfer geht in den Ruhestand -".
  17. ^ "radioWelt: Thomas Meyerhöfer - ModeratorInnen - Bayern 2 - Radio -". 26 January 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. ^ "IMDbPro".
  19. ^

External links

23rd Guldbagge Awards

The 23rd Guldbagge Awards ceremony, presented by the Swedish Film Institute, honored the best Swedish films of 1987, and took place on 1 February 1988. Pelle the Conqueror directed by Bille August was presented with the award for Best Film.

39th Venice International Film Festival

The 39th annual Venice International Film Festival was held from 28 August to 2 September 1982.


Adlon is a surname. People with this surname include:

Lorenz Adlon (1849–1921), German hotelier

Louis Adlon (1908–1947), German-American film actor in Hollywood

Percy Adlon (born 1935, Munich), German film producer

Pamela Adlon (born 1966), American film actressSee alsoHotel Adlon, Berlin, Germany – built by Lorenz Adlon

Hotel Adlon, German film

Bagdad Cafe

Bagdad Cafe (sometimes Bagdad Café, titled Out of Rosenheim in Germany) is a 1987 English-language German film directed by Percy Adlon. It is a comedy-drama set in a remote truck stop and motel in the Mojave Desert in the US state of California. Loosely based on Carson McCullers' novella The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951), the film centers on two women who have recently separated from their husbands, and the blossoming friendship that ensues. It runs 95 minutes in the U.S. and 108 minutes in the German version.

Bagdad Cafe (TV series)

Bagdad Cafe is an American television sitcom starring Whoopi Goldberg and Jean Stapleton that aired on CBS. The series premiered March 30, 1990, and ran two seasons before being cancelled in winter 1990. The last two episodes aired in July 1991. The show is based on the 1987 Percy Adlon film Bagdad Cafe.

Bavarian Film Awards (Best Director)

This is a list of the winners of the Bavarian Film Awards for Best Director.

Céleste (film)

Céleste is a 1982 German film by Percy Adlon about the life of the French writer Marcel Proust as he lay in his bed from 1912 to 1922; the story is told through the eyes of his real life maid, Céleste Albaret. She waited decades before writing her own book about the experience which was adapted for the screen by Percy Adlon.

Andrew Sarris called the film "one of the most profound tributes one art form has ever paid to another."

Eat Your Heart Out

Eat Your Heart Out is a German-American comedy-drama film directed by Felix O. Adlon and starring Christian Oliver, Pamela Adlon and Laura San Giacomo.

Filmverlag der Autoren

Filmverlag der Autoren is a German film distributor that was founded in 1971 to help finance and distribute independent films by German Autorenfilm directors, that is directors who are renowned for predominantly adapting their own screenplays. Many directors of the New German Cinema movement were associated with it such as Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Percy Adlon, and Alexander Kluge; whose films were produced and distributed by the Filmverlag and many of whom were members of the Filmverlag's board.

Hotel Adlon (film)

Hotel Adlon (de) is a 1955 West German drama film filmed in German and directed by Josef von Báky, starring Sebastian Fischer, Nelly Borgeaud and René Deltgen. with film's sets designed by the art director Rolf Zehetbauer.

List of German films of the 1980s

This is a list of the most notable films produced in Cinema of Germany in the 1980s.

For an alphabetical list of articles on West German films see Category:West German films.

Lorenz Adlon

Lorenz Adlon (German: [ˈaːdlɔn]; 29 May 1849 – 7 April 1921) was a German caterer, gastronomer and hotelier.

Louis Adlon

Louis Adlon (7 October 1907 – 31 March 1947), also known as Duke Adlon, was a German-born motion-picture actor.

Mahler on the Couch

Mahler on the Couch (German: Mahler auf der Couch) is a 2010 German film directed by Percy Adlon and Felix Adlon. It is an historical drama depicting an affair between Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius, and the subsequent psychoanalysis of Mahler's husband Gustav Mahler by Sigmund Freud.

Marianne Sägebrecht

Marianne Sägebrecht (born 27 August 1945) is a German film actress.

Her background included stints as a medical lab assistant and magazine assistant editor before she found her calling in show business. Claiming to be inspired by Bavaria's mad King Ludwig II, she became known as the "mother of Munich's sub-culture" as producer and performer of avant-garde theater and cabaret revues, particularly with her troupe Opera Curiosa. Spotted by director Percy Adlon in a 1977 production of Adele Spitzeder in which she essayed the role of a delicate prostitute, Sägebrecht was cast as Madame Sanchez/Mrs. Sancho Panza in Adlon's TV special Herr Kischott (1979), a spin on Don Quixote. The director put her in his 1983 feature The Swing in a small role and then in the leading role of Marianne, an overweight mortician in love with a subway conductor, in Sugarbaby (1985).

In 1987 she co-starred in the romantic comedy Bagdad Café. American films beckoned as well and Sägebrecht was often cast in roles tailored to her unique abilities. Paul Mazursky reworked the part of a Teutonic masseuse for her in Moon over Parador (1988) while Danny DeVito tailored the part of the German housekeeper for a divorcing couple in The War of the Roses (1989).

Returning to Germany, she played a timid maid in the 1930s who marries her Jewish employer for convenience then falls in love in Martha and I (1990; released in the USA in 1995). Sägebrecht headlined the black comedy as an unhappy wife whose straying husband plots her death in Mona Must Die (1994) and had small supporting parts in The Ogre (1996) and Left Luggage (1998).

In 1997, she was a member of the jury at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival.

Rosalie Goes Shopping

Rosalie Goes Shopping is a 1989 English-language German film directed by Percy Adlon and starring Marianne Sägebrecht, Brad Davis, and Judge Reinhold.


Salmonberries is a 1991 drama film directed by Percy Adlon and written by Adlon and his son Felix. It stars k.d. lang as Kotzebue, an orphaned Eskimo and young woman of androgynous appearance who works as a (male) miner in Alaska, and Rosel Zech as Roswitha, an East German exiled and widowed librarian. The film takes place in Kotzebue, Alaska and Berlin, Germany, shortly after reunification; the dialog is mostly English but includes some German with English subtitles.

Their ambiguous relationship seems to be on the edge of lesbian love.The films title takes its name from the endless jars of preserved berries that line the walls of Roswitha's bedroom.Singer k.d. lang, who performs an evocative ballad, "Barefoot," in the film, it was co-written by k.d. lang and Bob Telson.After Miss lang had asked Adlon to direct a music video for her, ("So in Love" for the AIDS-benefit Red Hot + Blue compilation album) he wrote the script of "Salmonberries" especially for her.

The Sphere

The Sphere (officially Sphere at Plaza Fountain) is a 25-foot (7.6 m) high, cast bronze sculpture by German artist Fritz Koenig. It is located in Liberty Park at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Originally located at the Austin J. Tobin Plaza, the centerpiece survived the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, which resulted from the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The Sphere was recovered from the rubble, visibly damaged but largely intact. After being dismantled and stored near a hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the sculpture was the subject of the 2001 documentary Koenig's Sphere. On March 11, 2002, six months after the attack, the sculpture was moved temporarily to Battery Park, where in unrestored condition it was re-dedicated (September 11, 2002) with an eternal flame.

Having become a major tourist attraction, the unrestored sculpture was re-dedicated on August 16, 2017 by the Port Authority at a permanent location in Liberty Park, overlooking the September 11 Memorial and its original location.

Younger and Younger

Younger And Younger is 1993 American comedy film directed by Percy Adlon.

Films directed by Percy Adlon

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