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Veit HarlanThe Life and Work of a Nazi Filmmaker$
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Frank Noack

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167008

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167008.001.0001

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Youth Culture

Youth Culture

Chapter:
(p.35) 3 Youth Culture
Source:
Veit Harlan
Author(s):

Frank Noack

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813167008.003.0004

This chapter deals with Harlan’s sudden rise to fame as a theater actor. In 1925, he becomes a member of Berlin’s State Theater and has his breakthrough with Max Halbe’s play Jugend (Youth), a story of doomed love that he will later adapt for the screen. In contrast to this rather old-fashioned play, he repeatedly appears in provocative, sexually charged productions and experimental plays written by young radicals such as Arnolt Bronnen who openly attack the older generation. Critics usually describe Harlan as vivid, boyish, and sometimes too loud. There are early signs of stagnation in his acting career; he does not always play the lead, and some of his stage partners such as Lucie Mannheim and Marlene Dietrich ultimately get more attention. But even in supporting parts, he occasionally steals scenes and becomes the center of attention, as in Erwin Piscator’s celebrated Eisenstein-influenced staging of Die Räuber (The robbers) in 1926.

Keywords:   attacking older generation, acting breakthrough, Erwin Piscator, experimental plays, Marlene Dietrich, provocative plays, rise to fame, stagnation, young radicals

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