Berlinale: Programme


Film File

Retrospective

Der Himmel auf Erden

Heaven on Earth

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Local representative Traugott Bellmann is a vocal critic of society’s moral decline in general and the notorious nightclub “Heaven on Earth” in particular. Just his luck that he inherits the place – along with half a million marks – and furthermore, on the day, of all days, that he is appointed president of the Moral Decency League! And just his luck that the terms of the inheritance from his deceased brother stipulate that Bellmann has to spend every night from ten to three in the morning in his newly-acquired “den of iniquity”. Adding to the just his luck scenario is the fact that it all happens on Bellmann’s wedding day, with the daughter of a respectable champagne bottler waiting for her bridegroom in the bedroom … Shimmy, jazz, and Ziegfeld-style girl revues. With risqué innuendo and effervescent humour, the film turns elements of urbane entertainment into an attack on the 1926 obscenity law. At the same time, it celebrates cinema as a circus medium by elevating small artistes to large presences. Doors slam in the style of Ernst Lubitsch, while star Reinhold Schünzel, who would later direct Viktor and Viktoria, gives us a chic female impersonator as a jazz age gender bend.

by
Reinhold Schünzel
Alfred Schirokauer

Germany 1927

German intertitles

113 min · Black/White · 35 mm

Restored Version 2013

With

Reinhold Schünzel
Charlotte Ander
Adele Sandrock
Otto Wallburg
Erich Kaiser-Titz
Paul Morgan
Szöke Szakall
Ellen Plessow
Ida Perry
Maria Kamradek

Crew

Directors
Reinhold Schünzel, Alfred Schirokauer
Screenplay
Reinhold Schünzel, Alfred Schirokauer, based on the play “Der Doppelmensch” (1909) by Wilhelm Jacoby, Arthur Lippschitz
Director of Photography
Edgar S. Ziesemer
Set Construction
Oskar Friedrich Werndorff
Producer
Reinhold Schünzel

Produced by

Reinhold-Schünzel-Film GmbH

Film Print: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin