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Percy Adlon

Percy Adlon

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 1, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Germany Profession: producer, director, screenwriter, radio narrator, actor, radio editor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Thoughtful, stylish postwar German filmmaker who began his career as an actor in repertory theater but soon graduated to editing and narrating literary programs for German radio. Adlon began working in TV in 1970, and made several shorts and documentaries before being commissioned, in 1978, to make a full-length television film, "The Guardian and His Poet", about Swiss poet Robert Walser and his publisher/mentor. Well-received at several major film festivals, "Guardian" paved the way for Adlon to make his first feature, "Celeste" (1981), a painstaking recreation of the last days of Marcel Proust as witnessed by his maid.Adlon's first major international acclaim came with "Sugarbaby" (1985), an off-beat love story featuring a subway conductor and a portly, female mortician. It was praised for its joyful portrayal of sexual desire on the part of an unglamorous, overweight woman (played by Marianne Sagebrecht, who was also at the center of Adlon's later success, "Bagdad Cafe" 1987). "Bagdad Cafe", an off-beat tale of a German woman, stranded in a desolate California outpost, whose optimism and positive energy touches the lives of all around her, became a cult hit and one of the top-grossing foreign...

Thoughtful, stylish postwar German filmmaker who began his career as an actor in repertory theater but soon graduated to editing and narrating literary programs for German radio. Adlon began working in TV in 1970, and made several shorts and documentaries before being commissioned, in 1978, to make a full-length television film, "The Guardian and His Poet", about Swiss poet Robert Walser and his publisher/mentor. Well-received at several major film festivals, "Guardian" paved the way for Adlon to make his first feature, "Celeste" (1981), a painstaking recreation of the last days of Marcel Proust as witnessed by his maid.

Adlon's first major international acclaim came with "Sugarbaby" (1985), an off-beat love story featuring a subway conductor and a portly, female mortician. It was praised for its joyful portrayal of sexual desire on the part of an unglamorous, overweight woman (played by Marianne Sagebrecht, who was also at the center of Adlon's later success, "Bagdad Cafe" 1987). "Bagdad Cafe", an off-beat tale of a German woman, stranded in a desolate California outpost, whose optimism and positive energy touches the lives of all around her, became a cult hit and one of the top-grossing foreign films of all time.

Sagebrecht also starred in "Rosalie Goes Shopping" (1989) as a German war bride attempting to maintain her family's high standards of living with credit cards. In this satire, Adlon poked fun at American consumerism, although some critics found the film lacking his usual gentle understatement. He subsequently directed singer k d lang in her feature debut, "Salmonberries" (1991), which focused on the growing friendship of a half-Eskimo woman and a female refugee from East Germany. Adlon's 1993 comedy "Younger and Younger" centered on an unfaithful husband (Donald Sutherland) who begins to have visions of his dead wife (Lolita Davidovich) in which she successively becomes younger and more beautiful.

Adlon's wife Eleonore has produced all but one of his films and wrote the script for "Bagdad Cafe"; their son Felix is also a filmmaker.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Hawaiian Gardens (2001) Director
3.
  Younger & Younger (1993) Director
4.
  Salmonberries (1991) Director
5.
  Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989) Director
6.
  Bagdad Cafe (1987) Director
7.
  Sugarbaby (1985) Director
9.
  Swing, The (1983) Director
10.
  Last Five Days, The (1982) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Jack Palance: From Grit to Grace (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up on Lake Starnberg in Bavaria
:
After graduating from college, worked as an actor for three years in state-run theater doing classical repertory and operettas, then as narrator and editor for literary programs on radio
:
In the 1970s created film features for "Abendschau", a topical magazine program on TV, then made short TV documentaries (often portraits of literary and musical figures, shot cinema-verite style)
:
Made first long TV documentary profile, a one hour portrait of cartoonist Tomi Ungerer
1978:
With wife Eleanore, formed production company Pelemele Film GmbH
1978:
TV feature-length fiction film debut, "The Guardian and His Poet" about Swiss poet Robert Walser (first shown on German TV in 1979)
1981:
Theatrical feature writing and directing debut, "Celeste"
1985:
First feature as producer (also writer; director), "Sugarbaby"
1990:
Directed "So in Love" segment of AIDS-benefit TV special, "Red, Hot and Blue", starring k.d. Lang
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Munich University: -
Munich University: -

Notes

Received the Federal Film Award for Germany's most significant filmmaking cash grant, for "Sugarbaby" which Adlon partially used to finance "Bagdad Cafe".

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Eleonore Adlon. Producer. Has collaborated on several films with husband.

Family close complete family listing

uncle:
Louis Adlon. Actor. In Hollywood from the 1920s to the 40s; was Pola Negri's lover; married a sister of Marion Davies; subject of an unproduced script by Adlon, "Louis with a Star".
daughter:
Saskia Adlon. Born in 1961.
son:
Felix Adlon. Director. Born in 1967.

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