Artur Brauner  

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"While his dramas won awards, it was sex and sensationalism that often paid the bills." --Hollywood Reporter[1], 7/7/2019

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Artur "Atze" Brauner (born Abraham Brauner; 1 August 1918 − 7 July 2019) was a German film producer and entrepreneur of Polish origin. He produced over 300 films since 1946. He is known for such dramas as The Plot to Assassinate Hitler, Angry Harvest, Europa Europa, as well as lighter fare such as The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, The Good Soldier Schweik, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Vampyros Lesbos.

Life and career

He was born the oldest son of a Jewish family in Łódź, Poland. His father was a timber wholesaler. Brauner attended a general education liceum in Łódź, where he took the matura final exam, and then studied at a local polytechnic technical school until the German attack on Poland in September 1939. With his parents and four siblings, he fled to the Soviet Union and survived the Holocaust. Following the war, he and his brother, Wolf Brauner emigrated to Berlin; his parents and three of his siblings emigrated to Israel. Twelve of his relatives were killed at Babi Yar, just a portion of the 49 who perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Artur Brauner was married to Theresa Albert, called Maria, since 1947. They had four children.

As a young man, he saw Fritz Lang's film The Testament of Dr. Mabuse that affected him greatly, making him interested in film. In September 1946, he founded the Central Cinema Company or CCC Films in the American sector of Berlin. He produced Sag' die Wahrheit, one of the first films produced in Germany after the war, followed by Morituri, which was a commercial failure and threw him into debt. Brauner realised that to produce critically successful films he had to make up their losses by producing critically derided films that were appreciated by the public. He lured back many Germans who had experience in Hollywood such as Robert Siodmak and later Fritz Lang who started a revival of Dr. Mabuse.

In 2009, Yad Vashem received a donation of 21 of Brauner's productions having to do with the Holocaust, including Die Weiße Rose, The Plot to Assassinate Hitler (Der 20. Juli) and Man and Beast (Mensch und Bestie). In 2010, Yad Vashem opened a media center in Brauner's name. Brauner called it the "crowning achievement of my film career".

Artur Brauner was a prominent member of the Jewish community of Berlin and a recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz. At the 2003 Berlinale, he was awarded the Berlinale Kamera honouring his lifetime achievement. His many other awards (see below) included two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award for his co-production of the film The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Vittorio De Sica. Artur Brauner lived and worked in Berlin.

Brauner died on 7 July 2019 in Berlin.

Selected filmography

Year Title Director Notes
1948 Morituri Eugen York
1950 The Orplid Mystery Helmut Käutner
1952 All Clues Lead to Berlin František Čáp
1953 The Empress of China Steve Sekely
1955 The Star of Rio Kurt Neumann
1955 The Plot to Assassinate Hitler Falk Harnack German Federal Film Award
1955 Die Ratten Robert Siodmak Golden Bear
1955 The Captain and His Hero Max Nosseck
1956 Before Sundown Gottfried Reinhardt Golden Bear (Audience award)
1957 The Last Ones Shall Be First Rolf Hansen
1957 Kindermädchen für Papa gesucht Hans Quest
1957 Just Once a Great Lady Erik Ode
1958 Confess, Doctor Corda Josef von Báky
1958 It Happened in Broad Daylight Ladislao Vajda
1958 Münchhausen in Afrika Werner Jacobs
1958 Mädchen in Uniform Géza von Radványi
1958 Der Stern von Santa Clara Werner Jacobs
1959 Here I Am, Here I Stay Werner Jacobs
1959 Der Tiger von Eschnapur Fritz Lang
1959 Das indische Grabmal Fritz Lang
1959 And That on Monday Morning Luigi Comencini
1959 Menschen im Hotel Gottfried Reinhardt
1959 The Black Chapel Ralph Habib
1959 Abschied von den Wolken Gottfried Reinhardt
1959 The Day the Rains Came Gerd Oswald
1959 Old Heidelberg Ernst Marischka
1960 Sweetheart of the Gods Gottfried Reinhardt
1960 Mistress of the World William Dieterle 2 films
1960 The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse Fritz Lang
1960 Stefanie in Rio Curtis Bernhardt
1960 The Good Soldier Schweik Axel von Ambesser Nominated for a Golden Globe
1960 Template:Interlanguage link multi Wilhelm Thiele
1961 World in My Pocket Alvin Rakoff
1961 The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi Kurt Hoffmann
1961 Via Mala Paul May
1961 The Shadows Grow Longer Ladislao Vajda
1961 Das Riesenrad Géza von Radványi
1961 Robert and Bertram Hans Deppe
1961 The Return of Doctor Mabuse Harald Reinl
1961 Template:Interlanguage link multi Géza von Radványi 2 films
1962 The Brain Freddie Francis
1962 The Devil's Agent John Paddy Carstairs
1962 Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace Terence Fisher
1963 Station Six-Sahara Seth Holt
1963 Man and Beast Edwin Zbonek
1963 Scotland Yard vs. Dr. Mabuse Paul May
1962 Doctor Sibelius Rudolf Jugert
1964 Old Shatterhand Hugo Fregonese
1964 Template:Interlanguage link multi Robert Siodmak
1964 Fanny Hill Russ Meyer
1965 Der Schatz der Azteken Robert Siodmak
1965 Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes Robert Siodmak
1966 Long Legs, Long Fingers Alfred Vohrer
1966 Template:Interlanguage link multi Žika Mitrović
1966/67 Die Nibelungen Harald Reinl 2 films
1967 The Peking Medallion James Hill
1968 Tevye and His Seven Daughters Menahem Golan
1968/69 Kampf um Rom Robert Siodmak 2 films
1970 The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Dario Argento
1970 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Vittorio De Sica Academy Award
1971 Black Beauty James Hill
1971 Vampyros Lesbos Jess Franco
1972 The Dead Are Alive Armando Crispino
1975 Template:Interlanguage link multi Aleksander Ford
1977 Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein Thomas Engel TV miniseries
1981 Charlotte Frans Weisz
1981 Template:Interlanguage link multi Wolf Gremm
1982 The Passerby Jacques Rouffio
1982 Die Weiße Rose Michael Verhoeven
1983 S.A.S. à San Salvador Raoul Coutard
1983 A Love in Germany Andrzej Wajda
1984 Template:Interlanguage link multi Jerzy Hoffman
1985 Angry Harvest Agnieszka Holland Nominated Academy Award
1987 Der Stein des Todes Franz Josef Gottlieb
1988 Hanussen István Szabó Nominated Academy Award
1989 The Rose Garden Fons Rademakers
1990 Europa Europa Agnieszka Holland Golden Globe
1992 Warsaw – Year 5703 Template:Interlanguage link multi
1996 From Hell to Hell Dmitri Astrakhan
2003 Babiy Yar Jeff Kanew
2006 The Last Train Joseph Vilsmaier and Dana Vávrová
2011 Template:Interlanguage link multi Template:Interlanguage link multi


  • Mich gibt's nur einmal (autobiography). Munich, Berlin: Herbig (1976)

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