Anton Walbrook


Actor

About

Also Known As
Adolf Wohlbruck
Birth Place
Austria
Born
November 19, 1900
Died
August 09, 1967
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Suave, highly polished and intense performer who broke with ten generations of his family's circus tradition to make his mark on the Austrian and German stage. Walbrook entered German film in the early 1920s and emerged as a star a decade later, billed as Adolf Wohlbruck. Energetic and boyishly handsome--in contrast to the smooth maturity he would soon begin to convey so well--he graced ...

Biography

Suave, highly polished and intense performer who broke with ten generations of his family's circus tradition to make his mark on the Austrian and German stage. Walbrook entered German film in the early 1920s and emerged as a star a decade later, billed as Adolf Wohlbruck. Energetic and boyishly handsome--in contrast to the smooth maturity he would soon begin to convey so well--he graced a number of enjoyable films, among them the gender-bending romantic comedy "Viktor und Viktoria/Victor and Victoria" (1933), which later became the basis for Blake Edwards' "Victor/Victoria." Attracting attention, he arrived in Hollywood to appear in the 1937 production, "Michael Strogoff/The Soldier and the Lady," reprising his starring role in the earlier French and German versions.

Walbrook went on to establish himself on the English stage and screen as an upper-crust Continental charmer. Much of his most important film work came in British film of the 1940s. He was delicately moving and immensely likeable as the affable German officer in the landmark Powell and Pressburger satire, "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943) and was equally impressive as the temperamental gay impresario in their memorable romantic melodrama "The Red Shoes" (1948). As incisive military types, Walbrook, often sporting a trim mustache and an icy stare, had no peer at challenging another man to a duel or intoning phrases like "You insolent young puppy!."

A fine villain, Walbrook is fondly remembered for his chilling performance in the first screen version "Gaslight" (1940) as a man trying to drive his wife insane. And yet the grace and skill of his work invariably left audiences feeling some core of sympathy for the dashing figure he cut, as in his powerful performance as a man desperate to learn an aging countess' magical secret in Thorold Dickinson's stylish "The Queen of Spades" (1948). Later in his highly distinguished career, Walbrook turned in graceful, sophisticated performances in two splendid and swank Max Ophuls features, "La Ronde" (1950, as the ineffable narrator) and "Lola Montes" (1955, very touching as the aging King of Bavaria).

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Red Shoes, The (1948) -- (Movie Clip) Maybe Next Year Permitted to dance Swan Lake, at a local matinee, Victoria (Moira Shearer), candidate for the Lermontov ballet, is shocked when the master (Anton Walbrook) attends, later selecting her for his European tour, in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Red Shoes, The (1948) -- (Movie Clip) The Red Shoes Dance On Ballet master Lermontov (Anton Walbrook), angry that his principal is quitting to get married, briefs composer Crasker (Marius Goring) on a new project, then expresses disgust to Ljubov (Leonide Massine) and Victoria (Moira Shearer), in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Red Shoes, The (1948) -- (Movie Clip) Patron Of The Arts Student Julian (Marius Goring) realizing his work has been stolen by Professor Palmer (Austin Trevor), who is then invited by Lady Nelson (Irene Browne), her niece Victoria (Moira Shearer) in waiting, early in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, 1948.
Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) -- (Movie Clip) Opening, Total War, Isn't It? A variation on the usual "Archers" open (with no arrow!), then a clever embroidery theme for the credits, then the roaring military-musical motorcycling sequence, opening Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's celebrated The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, 1943.
Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) -- (Movie Clip) Fighting Positions Candy (Roger Livesey) is obliged to duel a German officer (Anton Walbrook) drawn by lot, advised by Colonel Borg (Theodor Zichy), memorably staged by director Michael Powell, in the Boer War segment of The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp, 1943.
Le Plaisir (a.k.a. House Of Pleasure) -- (Movie Clip) A Kind Of Aristocracy From the beginning of the second and longest segment of the film, introducing Rosa (Danielle Darrieux) and colleagues at the brothel, in Marcel Ophuls' Le Plaisir, (a.k.a. House Of Pleasure) 1952.
Le Plaisir (a.k.a. House Of Pleasure) -- (Movie Clip) Youth And Sardines From the narrating voice of the original author Guy de Maupassant, the introduction of the painter Jean (Daniel Gelin) and model Josephine (Simone Simon), in the third segment of director Max Ophuls' Le Plaisir, (a.k.a. House Of Pleasure) 1952.
La Ronde (1950) -- (Movie Clip) Lads Like You Streetwalker Leocadie (Simone Signoret) waylays soldier Franz (Serge Reggiani), in the first dramatic scene from director Max Ophuls' La Ronde, 1950, from a play by Arthur Schnitzler.
La Ronde (1950) -- (Movie Clip) Anyone Among You Opening scene, in one shot, from director Max Ophuls' celebrated La Ronde, 1950, in which Anton Walbrook (as "the raconteur") introduces himself, the carousel, and briefly Simone Signoret as "Leocadie."
Gaslight (1940) -- (Movie Clip) Dreadful Murder Smashing opening from English director and film scholar Thorold Dickinson, Marie Wright as the victim, camera by early Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Knowles, from the original British National production of Gaslight, 1940.
Gaslight (1940) -- (Movie Clip) You Imagine Things Just getting to know suave Paul (Anton Walbrook) and skittish Bella (Diana Wynyard), just moved into the London house where her aunt was murdered, with their frisky maid Nancy (Cathleen Cordell) from the original Gaslight, 1940.
Thelma Schoonmaker on Michael Powell -- (TCM Original) The Red Shoes Academy Award-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker on her late husband Michael Powell's film The Red Shoes, 1948.

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Bibliography