Willi Forst  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Willi Forst, born Wilhelm Anton Frohs (7 April 1903 in Vienna11 August 1980, also in Vienna) was an Austrian actor, screenwriter, film director, film producer and singer. As an actor he was a darling of the German-speaking public, as a director one of the most significant makers of the light musical comedies of the 1930s known as Wiener Filme ("Viennese films"). From the mid-1930s he also recorded many records, largely of sentimental Viennese songs, for the Odeon Records label owned by Carl Lindström AG.

His first major role was opposite Marlene Dietrich in Café Elektric in 1927. He was best known however for his characters in the light musical Wiener Filme, which rapidly made him a star. As a film producer too he specialised in these through the 1930s and 1940s. He founded his own film company, Willi Forst-Film, in 1937.

He was much courted by the National Socialists but succeeded in avoiding overt political statement, concentrating entirely on the light entertainment for which he was famous and which was much in demand during the war. During the seven year period of National Socialist rule in Austria, he only made four films, none of them political.

He had comparatively little success after the war, with the exception of the film Die Sünderin ("The Sinner") (1950) starring Hildegard Knef, which became a scandal because of the protests of the Roman Catholic church against its nudity, the first in German-speaking cinema, but attracted an audience of seven million people. His last film (Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume) was made in 1957, after which he retired from the film world, acknowledging that his style was no longer in demand.

After the death of his wife in 1973 he lived a reclusive life in the Swiss canton of Tessin. He died of cancer in Vienna in 1980 and is buried in Neustift am Walde.



As actor

  • 1922 Sodom und Gomorrha
  • 1922 Oh, du lieber Augustin
  • 1922 Der verwechselte Filmstar
  • 1923 Lieb' mich und die Welt ist mein
  • 1927 Die elf Teufel
  • 1927 Café Elektric
  • 1927 Die drei Niemandskinder
  • 1928 Amor auf Ski
  • 1928 Ein besserer Herr
  • 1928 Ein Tag Film
  • 1928 Unfug der Liebe
  • 1928 Die blaue Maus
  • 1928 Liebfraumilch
  • 1929 Der Sträfling aus Stambul
  • 1929 Die Lustigen Vagabunden
  • 1929 Fräulein Fähnrich
  • 1929 Atlantik (his first sound film); Poldi, with Fritz Kortner
  • 1929 Die Frau, die jeder liebt, bist du!
  • 1929 Die Weißen Rosen von Ravensberg
  • 1929 Gefahren der Brautzeit
  • 1929 Katharina Knie
  • 1930 Das Lied ist aus
  • 1930 Der Herr auf Bestellung
  • 1930 Ein Burschenlied aus Heidelberg
  • 1930 Ein Tango für Dich
  • 1930 Petit officier… Adieu!
  • 1930 Zwei Herzen im Dreiviertel-Takt
  • 1931 Der Raub der Mona Lisa, Vicenzo Peruggia, with Gustaf Gründgens, Roda Roda
  • 1931 Die Lustigen Weiber von Wien
  • 1932 Der Prinz von Arkadien
  • 1932 Ein blonder Traum
  • 1932 So ein Mädel vergisst man nicht
  • 1932 Peter Voss, der Millionendieb
  • 1933 Ihre Durchlaucht, die Verkäuferin

As director



  • Kirsten Burghardt, Werk, Skandal, Exempel. Munich 1996 (deals with Forst's film "Die Sünderin") ISBN 3-926372-61-3
  • Robert Dachs, Willi Forst. Eine Biographie. Vienna 1986. ISBN 3-218-00437-3
  • Armin Loacker (ed.), Willi Forst - Ein Filmstil aus Wien. 2003. ISBN 3-901932-24-0

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Willi Forst" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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