Karl Ritter

Karl Ritter

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Bauten, Produzent, Produktionsleitung
*07.11.1888 Würzburg; †07.04.1977 Buenos Aires, Argentinien

Biography

Karl Ritter was born November 7, 1888, in Würzburg. His mother was an opera singer, and his father a professor at a music academy. After finishing high school, he became a regular officer with the Bavarian army. During World War I, he joined the Imperial air force and rose to the rank of major. After the end of the war, he started to study architecture in Munich but then turned towards painting and graphics. Repelled by the conditions in post-war Germany and enthusiastic about National Socialism through the family of his wife, a distant relative of Richard Wagner, he joined the NSDAP in the mid-1920s.

In 1925, Ritter came in contact with the film business for the first time as a graphic designer in advertising for Südfilm AG. He then was in charge of several films as production manager and started to write screen plays. In 1932, he became the head of production of "Reichsliga". In the same year, he finished a short film starring Karl Valentin for the company. In 1933, Ufa hired him as a producer. His first film for Ufa was "Hitlerjunge Quex" ("Hitler Youth Quex", 1933), one of the few Nazi films that openly celebrated the NSDAP. As the director, Ritter chose Hans Steinhoff who besides Ritter and Harlan became one of the most celebrated and involved directors of the Third Reich with films like "Der alte und der junge König" ("The Making of a King"), "Ohm Krüger" ("Uncle Kruger"), or "Robert Koch". In 1936, Ritter started his career as a director with the comedy "Weiberregiment" ("Petticoat Government").

Due to an order by Goebbels to admit actors and directors to the administration of film production companies to improve the quality of German films, Ritter became a member of Ufa"s supervisory board in the next year, together with the actors Eugen Klöpfer, Paul Hartmann, and Mathias Wieman, and the director Carl Froelich. In 1939, he was appointed "professor" on the occasion of Hitler"s 50th birhtday.

Towards the end of the war, Ritter was called up by the air force and was captured as a prisoner of war in Russia but was able to escape from war captivity to Bavaria. During the "denazification" trials, Ritter was classified as a "fellow traveller" and as a result did not get a license to shoot films in the French occupation zone. In May 1949, he went with his family to Argentina where fellow Germans were instructed by the mediation of Winifred Wagner to enable him to set up a film production company. For Eos-Film in Mendoza, he finished the film "El paraiso" with the participation of numerous fellow Germans, including his three sons Gottfried, Heinz, and Hans. However, the film became a huge flop.


Because of the changing political situation, Ritter returned to West Germany in 1953 and directed the film "Staatsanwältin Corda" in Wiesbaden. The film tells the story of a female lawyer who falls in love with the defendant. Paul Klinger starred in the leading role. With his second production "Ball der Nationen" ("Ball of the Nations"), he returned to the genre of "light" musical comedies. For the film, Zsa Zsa Gabor found rather unusual partners in Gustav Fröhlich and Alexander Golling. In 1955, Ritter set up "Karl Ritter Filmproduktion GmbH" and announced his plan, to make a film version of Frank Wedekind"s "Die Büchse der Pandora" ("Pandora’s Box") but was not able to execute his plan.

Despite his faith in "the convalescence of German cinema" and his efforts "to create films whose topics are relevant worldwide", he was not able to establish himself in the German film industry. Ritter eventually returned to Argentina where he died on April 7, 1977.

Filmography

2001/2002 Das Leben geht weiter
Participation
 
1954 Ball der Nationen
Director, Screenplay
 
1952/1953 Staatsanwältin Corda
Director, Screenplay
 
1944/1945 Erzieherin gesucht
Line producer
 
1944/1945 Das Leben geht weiter
Screenplay, Storyboard, Line producer
 
1944/1945 Kamerad Hedwig
Line producer
 
1943/1944 Sommernächte
Director, Line producer
 
1943 Liebesbriefe
Line producer
 
1942/1943 Besatzung Dora
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1941/1942 GPU
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1940/1941 Stukas
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1940/1941 ...Über alles in der Welt
Director, Screenplay, Line producer, Unit production manager
 
1939/1940 Bal paré
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1939-1941 Kadetten
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1939 Legion Condor
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1939 Im Kampf gegen den Weltfeind
Director, Line producer
 
1938/1939 Die Hochzeitsreise
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1938 Pour le Mérite
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1938 Capriccio
Director, Line producer
 
1937/1938 Urlaub auf Ehrenwort
Director, Line producer, Unit production manager
 
1937 Unternehmen Michael
Director, Screenplay, Line producer
 
1937 Patrioten
Director, Co-author, Story, Unit production manager
 
1936 Weiberregiment
Director, Line producer
 
1936 Verräter
Director, Unit production manager
 
1935/1936 Die letzten Vier von Santa Cruz
Line producer
 
1935/1936 Valse royale
Producer
 
1935 Königswalzer
Line producer
 
1935 Ehestreik
Line producer
 
1934/1935 Die törichte Jungfrau
Line producer
 
1934 Liebe, Tod und Teufel
Line producer, Unit production manager
 
1934 Lockvogel
Line producer
 
1934 Die Insel
Line producer
 
1934 Vers l'abîme
Line producer
 
1934 Le diable en bouteille
Line producer
 
1934 Le miroir aux alouettes
Line producer
 
1934 Freut euch des Lebens
Line producer
 
1933 Muß man sich gleich scheiden lassen?
Unit production manager
 
1933 Liebe muß verstanden sein
Line producer, Unit production manager
 
1933 Hitlerjunge Quex. Ein Film vom Opfergeist der deutschen Jugend
Line producer
 
1933 Rivalen der Luft. Ein Segelfliegerfilm
Line producer
 
1932 Im Photoatelier
Director
 
1932 Die verkaufte Braut
Unit production manager
 
1932 Film über Dreharbeiten zu "Die verkaufte Braut"
Participation
 
1932 Melodie der Liebe
Unit production manager
 
1931 Der Zinker
Unit production manager
 
1929 Kehre zurück! Alles vergeben!
Screenplay
 
1929 Fräulein Lausbub
Screenplay
 
1928 Das Spreewaldmädel
Screenplay
 

Overview

Literature

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