Prussian film

Prussian films were a cycle of historical films made in Germany during the Weimar (1918–1933) and Nazi (1933–1945) eras noted for their general glorification of Prussian history and its military. The films are set during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They particularly focused on Frederick the Great who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786 greatly expanding its territory (hence known widely as Fridericus-Rex-Filme). The films were extremely popular with German audiences and an estimated forty four were produced by the end of the Second World War (twenty seven of them during the Weimar era).[1]


While there were Prussian-themed films as far back as 1912-1913, the breakthrough came with the release in 1922 of the first two parts of the Fridericus Rex series featuring Otto Gebühr as Frederick the Great. Two further parts were released in 1923.[2] The success of Fridericus Rex cemented the popularity of the genre and a large number of similar films were produced in following years. Otto Gebühr became closely associated with Frederick and played him numerous times in both the Weimar and Nazi periods.

The boom in Prussian films came shortly after the end of the First World War. Following its defeat Germany had been forced to accept the loss of territory - badly denting national pride. The Kaiser Wilhelm II, a member of the Hohenzollern dynasty which had ruled in parts of Prussia since the sixteenth century, was deposed in 1918, and Germany became a Republic. The films are sometimes seen as prefiguring the rise of Nazism, but may at the time have represented a nostalgic wish for a restored monarchy.


Following the collapse of the Nazi regime and the Allied Occupation of Germany in 1945, strict rules were enacted concerning German films and any perceived promotion of German ultra-nationalism which might lead to a revival of Nazism was outlawed. This effectively ended the cycle of "Prussian films", although films set in the Prussian-era continued.

Selected films


  1. ^ Kreimeier p.93-94
  2. ^ Kreimeier p.93-94


  • Bergfelder, Tim & Harris, Sue & Street, Sarah. Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema. Amsterdam University Press, 2007.
  • Elsaesser, Thomas. Weimar Cinema and After: Germany's Historical Imaginary. Routledge, 2000.
  • Hake, Sabine. German National Cinema. Routledge, 2002.
  • Kreimeier, Klaus. The UFA Story: A Story of Germany's Greatest Film Company 1918-1945. University of California Press, 1999.
  • Murray, Bruce Arthur & Wickham, Chris. Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television. SIU Press, 1992.
Acid Western

Acid Western is a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960s. Acid Westerns subvert many of the conventions of earlier Westerns to "conjure up a crazed version of autodestructive white America at its most solipsistic, hankering after its own lost origins".

Cadets (film)

Cadets (German: Kadetten) is a 1939 German historical war film directed by Karl Ritter and starring Mathias Wieman, Carsta Löck and Andrews Engelmann. The film is set in 1760, against the backdrop of the Austro-Russian Raid on Berlin during the Seven Years' War. It depicts a group of Prussian cadets holding off superior Russian forces.

Because of its anti-Russian theme the film was pulled from release in 1939 following the Nazi-Soviet Pact. It was put on general release in December 1941, once Germany and the Soviets were at war.The film is loosely connected to the Prussian film cycle of historical epics.

Fridericus Rex

Fridericus Rex (German: Fridericus Rex - 1. Teil: Sturm und Drang) is a 1922 German silent historical film directed by Arzén von Cserépy and starring Otto Gebühr, Albert Steinrück and Gertrud de Lalsky.

It portrays the life of the eighteenth century monarch Frederick the Great. Immensely popular, it was followed by three sequels and launched the Prussian film as a major German genre during the Weimar era.The film's sets were designed by the art directors Hans Dreier and Ernö Metzner. The film was shot at the Johannisthal Studios in Berlin. Location filming took place at the Charlottenburg Palace and other sites around historic Brandenburg.

List of apocalyptic films

This is a list of apocalyptic feature-length films. All films within this list feature either the end of the world, a prelude to such an end (such as a world taken over by a viral infection), and/or a post-apocalyptic setting.

Louise, Queen of Prussia (film)

Louise, Queen of Prussia (German: Luise, Königin von Preußen) is a 1931 German historical drama film directed by Carl Froelich and starring Henny Porten, Gustaf Gründgens and Ekkehard Arendt. The film's art director was Franz Schroedter.

It depicts the life of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1776–1810), the wife of Frederick William III of Prussia. It forms part of the Prussian film genre.

The film was produced by Porten's own production company, founded during the silent era when she was a dominant German star. The failure of the film led to the financial ruin of Porten's production company, and she appeared in far fewer films after this point.

Marshal Forwards (film)

Marshal Forwards (German:Marschall Vorwärts) is a 1932 German historical war film directed by Heinz Paul and starring Paul Wegener, Traute Carlsen and Hans Graf von Schwerin.It portrays the life of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, a German hero of the Napoleonic Wars who was present at the Battle of Leipzig and the Battle of Waterloo. It takes its name from Blücher's contemporary nickname, which came from his aggressive forward-thinking stance. It is part of the Prussian film genre, popular during the Weimair and Nazi eras.

Meat pie Western

Meat pie western, also known as a kangaroo western, is a category of Western-style films or TV series set in the Australian outback. The first term is a play on the term Spaghetti Western, used for Italian-made Westerns, relating in both cases to what are regarded as national dishes. Some critics have said that the category is important to differentiate more Americanised Australian films from those with a more historical basis, such as films about bushrangers (also called bushranger films).

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Queen Louise (1957 film)

Queen Louise (German: Königin Luise) is a 1957 West German historical drama film directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner and starring Ruth Leuwerik, Dieter Borsche and Bernhard Wicki. It was made at the Emelka Studios in Munich.

The film depicts the life of Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of Frederick William III of Prussia, and her stand against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. It was one of a number of films made during the 1950s that portrayed historical royal Germany in a positive manner. It is similar in theme to the Prussian film genre which had been popular between the two World Wars including two films about Louise Queen Louise (1927) and Louise, Queen of Prussia (1931).

Romanian New Wave

The Romanian New Wave (Romanian: Noul val românesc) is a genre of realist and often minimalist films made in Romania since the mid-aughts, starting with two award-winning shorts by two Romanian directors, namely Cristi Puiu's Cigarettes and Coffee, which won the Short Film Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, and Cătălin Mitulescu's Trafic, which won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival later that same year.

Silent film

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound (and in particular, no audible dialogue). In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. The term "silent film" is a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation. Sometimes a person would even narrate the intertitle cards for the audience. Though at the time the technology to synchronize sound with the video did not exist, music was seen as an essential part of the viewing experience.

The term silent film is a retronym—a term created to retroactively distinguish something. Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies," "sound films," or "talking pictures." Within a decade, the widespread production of silent films for popular entertainment had ceased, and the industry had moved fully into the sound era, in which movies were accompanied by synchronized sound recordings of spoken dialogue, music and sound effects.

Most early motion pictures are considered lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75 percent of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data.

The Eleven Schill Officers (1932 film)

The Eleven Schill Officers (German: Die elf Schillschen Offiziere) is a 1932 German historical film directed by Rudolf Meinert and starring Friedrich Kayßler, Hertha Thiele and Heinz Klingenberg. It was a remake of a 1926 silent film of the same name which had also been directed by Meinert. The film depicts the failed 1809 uprising of Prussian soldiers led by Ferdinand von Schill against the occupying French. It focuses in particular on eleven of Schill's officers who were executed by the French at Wesel. The film was a Prussian film, part of a wider trend of German historical films made during the Weimar Era and set in the Napoleonic Era.


Yorck is a 1931 German war film directed by Gustav Ucicky and starring Werner Krauss, Grete Mosheim and Rudolf Forster. It portrays the life of the Prussian General Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg, particularly his refusal to serve in Napoleon's army during the French Invasion of Russia in 1812. It was a Prussian film, one of a cycle of films made during the era that focused on Prussian history.

The film's sets were designed by the art director Robert Herlth and Walter Röhrig. It was shot at the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam and on location around Berlin.

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