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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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Learning the Alphabet

Learning the Alphabet

(p.81) 8 Learning the Alphabet
Veit Harlan

Frank Noack

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter deals with Veit Harlan’s belated and unexpectedly intense interest in the cinema as an art form. Although his first four films are adaptations of stage plays, two of which Harlan had directed himself, he is more interested in visuals than in dialogue. He is particularly interested in dissolves, some formal and others metaphorical. Dissolves will become his trademark, most notoriously used in Jud Süss. Despite his own artistic ambitions, Harlan is initially regarded as little more than a reliable director of low-budget comedies, and his debut film, Krach im Hinterhaus (Trouble backstairs, 1935), remains for several decades the only German low-budget film by a first-time director to become one of the year’s top-grossing pictures. Unusual for an alleged opportunist, he makes his fourth film, Alles für Veronika (All for Veronica, 1936), for a Jewish producer, Moritz Grünstein, in Budapest’s Hunnia studios.

Keywords:   box-office success, comedy, Krach im Hinterhaus, formal and metaphorical dissolves, Moritz Grünstein, low-budget film, stage adaptation, Alles für Veronika

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