KRAUSS, Werner





Nationality: Austrian. Born: Gestunghausen, Germany, 23 July 1884, became citizen of Austria. Family: Married Marie Bard (died 1944). Career: Stage actor, first in German provinces; 1914—film debut in Die Pagode ; 1916—on Berlin stage under Max Reinhardt; 1933—appeared on London stage; in Nazi propaganda films, and named Actor of the State; continued acting on stage, and in a few films, after World War II; 1955—directed stage play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial . Died: In Vienna, 20 October 1959.


Films as Actor:

1914

Die Pagode (Fekete) (as Mr. Wu)

1915

Die vertauschte Braut

1916

Hoffmanns Erzählungen ( Tales of Hoffman ) (Oswald) (as Dapertutto); Nacht des Grauens (Robison); Zirkusblut (Oswald)

1917

Der Friedensreiter ; Der Fremde ; Die Rache der Toten (Oswald); Die Seeschlacht (Oswald); Wenn Frauen lieben und hassen (Speyer)

1918

Es werde Licht (Part III) (Oswald); Das Tagebuch einer Verloren (Oswald); Opium (Reinert); Stürme des lebens

1919

Die Frau mit den Orchideen (Rippert); Rose Bernd (Halm); Die Prostitution (Rippert); Totentanz (Rippert); Christus ; Fräulein Pfiffikus ; Das Mädchen und die Männer

1920

Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari ( The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ) (Wiene) (title role); Die Brüder Karamasoff ( The Brothers Karamazov ) (Buchowetzki and Froelich) (as Dmitri); Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin (Maurnau); Johannes Goth (Gerhardt); Das lachende Grauen (Pick); Danton ( All for a Woman ) (Buchowetzki) (as Robespierre); Die Beichte einer Toten ; Der Mann ohne Namen ( The Man without a Name ) (Jacoby)

1921

Christian Wahnschaffe (Gad); Die Frau ohne Seele (Lasko); Grausige Nächte (Pick); Das Medium (Rosenfeld); Der Roman der Christine von Herre (Berger); Scherben ( Shattered ) (Pick); Sappho (Buchowetzki); Zirkus des Lebens (Guter); Die Beute der Erinnyen (Rippert); Der Tanz um Liebe und Glück (Zeyn)

1922

Der brennende Acker ( Burning Soil ) (Murnau); Josef und seine Brüder (Froelich); Lady Hamilton (Oswald); Luise Millerin (Froelich); Die Nacht der Medici (Grune); Nathan der Weise (Noa); Othello (Buchowetzki) (as Iago); Tragikomödie (Wiene); Der Graf von Essex (Felner); Die Marquise von Pompadour (Halm)

1923

Der Puppenmacher von Kiang-Ning (Wiene); I.N.R.I. ( Crown of Thorns ) (Wiene); Zwischen Abend und Morgen (Robison); Das alte Gesetz ( This Ancient Law ) (Dupont); Fridericus Rex (von Cserepy); Der Schatz ( The Treasure ) (Pabst); Das unbekannte Morgen (Korda); Adam und Eva (Porges); Alt-Heidelberg ( Student Prince ) (Behrendt); Fräulein Raffke (Eichberg); Der Kaufmann von Venedig (Felner); Der Menschenfeind (Walther-Fein)

1924

Dekameron-Nächte ( Decameron Nights ) (Wilcox) (as Sultan); Ein Sommernachtstraum ( A Midsummer Night's Dream ) (Neumann) (as Bottom); Das Wachsfigurenkabinett ( Waxworks ) (Leni) (as Jack the Ripper)

1925

Eifersucht ( Jealousy ) (Grune); Das Haus der Lüge ( Die Wildente ) (Pick); Die freudlose Gasse ( Streets of Sorrow ; Joyless Streets ) (Pabst) (as butcher); Die Dame aus Berlin (von Kabdebo); Die Moral der Gasse (Speyer); Reveille, das grosse Wecken (Kaufmann); Der Trödler von Amsterdam (Janson)

1926

Tartüff ( Tartuffe ) (Murnau) (as Orgon); Geheimnisse einer Seele ( Secrets of a Soul ) (Pabst); Man spielt nicht mit der Liebe ( Don't Play with Love ) (Pabst); Nana (Renoir) (as Muffat); Der Student von Prag ( The Student of Prague ; The Man Who Cheated Life ) (Galeen) (as Devil); Kreuzzug des Weibes ( Unwelcome Children ) (M. Berger); Uberflussige Menschen (Rasumny)

1927

Funkzauber (Oswald); Die Hose ( A Royal Scandal ; The Trousers ) (Behrendt); Laster der Menschheit (Meinert); Die Hölle der Jungfrauen (Dinesen); Da hält die Welt dem Atem an (Basch); Der fidele Bauer (Seitz); Unter Ausschluss der Offentlichkeit (Conrad Wiene)

1928

Looping the Loop (Robison)

1929

Napoleon auf St. Helena (Pick)

1931

Yorck (Ucicky) (title role)

1932

Mensch ohne Namen ( The Man without a Name ) (Ucicky)

1935

Hundert Tage (Wenzler—German version of Campo di maggio )

1936

Burgtheater ( Vienna Burgtheater ) (Forst)

1939

Robert Koch (Steinhoff) (as Dr. Rudolf Virchow)

1940

Jud Süss (Harlan) (several roles)

1941

Annelie ( Die Geschichte eines Lebens ) (von Baky)

1942

Die Entlassung (Liebeneiner); Zwischen Himmel und Erde (Braun)

1943

Paracelsus (Pabst)

1950

Prämien auf den Tod (Jurgens); Der fallende Stern (Braun)

1955

Sohn ohne Heimat (Deppe)



Publications


By KRAUSS: books—


Schauspiel meines Lebens (autobiography), edited by H. Weigel, 1957.


On KRAUSS: book—

Kracauer, Siegfried, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film , Princeton, New Jersey, 1947.

Muller, Horst F., Werner Krauss Das Wissenschaftliche Werk: Band 8: Sprachwissenschaft und Wortgeschichte , Hawthorne, 1997.


On KRAUSS: article—

Retro , March-April 1981 and January-February 1982.

Martinelli, V., "Mitteleuropean Screens: Directors and Stars," in Cinegrafie (Ancona), no. 9, 1996.


* * *


Perhaps the greatest actor of the German Expressionist era, Werner Krauss is best known today for his work as Dr. Caligari in Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , as the obsessed Count Muffat in Jean Renoir's version of Emile Zola's Nana , and for his part in Veit Harlan's antisemitic rendering of Jud Süss .

In The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Krauss epitomizes the German Expressionist performance aesthetic which would dominate the next decade: an obvious external expression of interiority. Throughout the central part of the film, Krauss hobbles through nightmare sets, his crippled walk an expression of a crippled mind, his dark and menacing facial and body makeup of the rot within, his sparse and erratic white hair of his overall decrepitude. His posture, rounded inward to symbolize mystery and enclosure, refuses the spectator any sympathetic identification. At the film's end, when Caligari is shown to be the head of an asylum and the film the rantings of an inmate, Krauss expressionistically softens all aspects of posture and characterization to appear the epitome of benevolence.

In the wake of Caligari , Krauss continued to play evil or obsessed characters. Notable roles include Iago in Buchowetzki's Othello and Jack the Ripper in Leni's Waxworks .

By 1926, Krauss was the leading German film actor of his time, having worked with F. W. Murnau, G. W. Pabst, Lupu Pick, E. A. Dupont, Carl Froelich, Richard Oswald, and Paul Leni. But as he admitted to Jean Renoir, his general physical character had become a cliché. He had invested every character with the bowed head, drooping shoulders, and studied walk of an individual burdened with the cares of the world. That posture had become his prop, and Renoir, then attracted to Expressionism, utilized it. In Nana Count Muffat falls prey to the demands of the exploitative Nana. Totally submissive to her demands, he ultimately disgraces himself by barking, sitting, rolling over, and playing dead like a dog. His utterly degraded character is reflected in his lumpish posture. That same year he appeared to much acclaim as the devil in Henrik Galeen's version of The Student of Prague .

Unlike many of the major talents of his time, Krauss did not flee Germany upon the rise of Nazism. Instead, he starred in many of their cinematic vehicles. The most notorious was Jud Süss , a film demanded by the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. In the years following the war, all associated with this film were plagued with recriminations for their participation. After the fall of Hitler, Krauss appeared in only three more films before his death in 1959.

—Doug Tomlinson

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA


Werner Krauss - Actors and Actresses forum