Erich Pommer


Producer

About

Birth Place
Germany
Born
July 20, 1889
Died
May 08, 1966

Biography

Highly influential figure of the German silent cinema. Pommer began his career working for Gaumont in Paris at the age of 18 and had set up his own Berlin-based production company, Decla, by 1915. Pommer merged the company with Bioscop four years later and went on to produce such expressionist classics as Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) and Fritz Lang's "Dr. Mabuse, D...

Biography

Highly influential figure of the German silent cinema. Pommer began his career working for Gaumont in Paris at the age of 18 and had set up his own Berlin-based production company, Decla, by 1915. Pommer merged the company with Bioscop four years later and went on to produce such expressionist classics as Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) and Fritz Lang's "Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler" (1922).

In 1923, the company was absorbed within UFA, with Pommer taking over as chief of production for the giant studio. His keen eye for new talent and ability to detect commercial appeal led him to back the early works of F W Murnau, Carl Theodor Dreyer and Josef von Sternberg, as well as other Lang films, particularly the classic "Metropolis" (1927)--a big-budget extravaganza which, in fact, contributed to UFA's demise.

Pommer left Germany in 1933 and subsequently worked in both the USA and England, where he formed Mayflower Productions with actor-director Charles Laughton. Among the company's more notable productions were Hitchcock's "Jamaica Inn" (1939), Dorothy Arzner's "Dance, Girl, Dance" (1940) and Pommer's only film as a director, "Vessel of Wrath" (1938). He spent the war years in the USA, becoming an American citizen in 1944. After WWII he again worked in Germany, firstly as a film production supervisor for the Allied authorities; he finally returned to the USA in 1956.

Life Events

1915

Founded Decla (Deutsche Ecliar), a production company

1919

Produced "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"

1923

Decla absorbed by UFA, becomes chief of company's productions

1926

Produces Fritz Lang's classic, "Metropolis"

1937

Forms Mayflower Productions in London with Charles Laughton

1938

Directorial debut, "Vessel of Wrath"

1946

Returns to Germany, working as a producer there

1956

Goes back to Hollywood, where he will live until his death

1958

Last effort as a producer, "Eine Liebesgeschichte"

Videos

Movie Clip

Metropolis (1926) - The Tower Of Babel In the secret chapel in the catacombs beneath the city, Maria (Brigitte Helm) with one of the wildest sequences supporting her parable, directed by Fritz Lang from his script, co-written with his wife Thea von Harbau, from her novel, in Metropolis, 1926.
Blue Angel, The (1930) - Feast Your Eyes On Me The first appearance of Marlene Dietrich as "Lola Lola," as Professor Rath (Emil Jannings) seeks her out at the club where she's been corrupting his students, directed by Josef von Sternberg's, at UFA in Berlin, The Blue Angel, 1930.
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) - He And His Day Beginning Act One of Part One, director Fritz Lang’s evil hero (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) considers images of himself, with aide Spoerri (Forster Larrinaga) and his men (Georg John, Hans Adalbert Von Schlettow) execute a caper, in Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, 1922.
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) - What's The Matter With Me? Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), after delivering a lecture on psychoanalysis in his legit identity, has adopted the persona “Balling,” and entranced industrial heir Hull (Paul Richter) into inviting him to his own club, and losing big money, in Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, 1922.
Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) - Chinese Glasses The brave prosecutor Von Wenk (Bernhard Goetzke) in disguise, has entered the casino where Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), in the third identity we’ve seen so far, chooses him as the next victim for hypnotism and theft, in Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, 1922.
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The - Cesare Knows All Secrets The doctor (Werner Krauss) at a carnival, promoting the first appearance of Cesare (Conrad Veidt), who has a nasty prognostication for Alan (Hans von Twardowski) and buddy Francis (Friedrich Feher), in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, 1919.
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The - Two Time Murderer Caught The doctor (Werner Kraus) is quite happy to let cops examine his snoozing somnambulist Cesare (Conrad Veidt), even as news of the capture of the wrong suspect breaks, in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, 1919, sets by Herman Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Rohrig.
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The - Jane Conrad Veidt (as somnambulist "Cesare") in his leotard, sneaking up on sleeping Jane (Lil Dagover) and escaping through some of the film's most spectacular Decla studio sets, in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, 1919.
Jamaica Inn (1939) - If You Want To See Beauty Alive We’ve just met Charles Laughton as Sir Humphrey, entertaining with his thoughts on beauty, which presage the arrival of orphaned Irish traveler Mary (Maureen O’Hara), trying to join her aunt at the notorious location of the title, in Jamaica Inn, 1939, Alfred Hitchcock directing, from Daphne DuMaurier’s novel.
Jamaica Inn (1939) - We'll Spin A Coin For These Buckles Irish orphan Mary (Maureen O’Hara), deducing that the inn run by her Cornish relations is the hideout of a criminal gang, intervenes as thugs led by Harry (Emlyn Williams) prepare to string up suspected informant Tremain (Robert Newton), Alfred Hitchcock directing, in Jamaica Inn, 1939.
Jamaica Inn (1939) - While At Death's Door Director Alfred Hitchcock at play with sound, as Irish Mary (Maureen O’Hara) awakens with Tremain (Robert Newton), whom she rescued from execution by his own criminal gang, his motives still not clear, when villains led by Harry (Emlyn Williams) find them in a cave in Cornwall, in Jamaica Inn, 1939.
Jamaica Inn (1939) - An Officer Of The Law Crooked Cornish magistrate Sir Humphrey (Charles Laughton) conducting business when increasingly-undressed Irish Mary (Maureen O’Hara) and seaman Tremain (Robert Newton) appear, unaware that he’s the mastermind of the gang of ship-wrecking criminals they’re fleeing, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn, 1939.

Trailer

Bibliography