Karl Freund

Karl Freund ( born January 16, 1890 in Koniginhof ( Dvur Králové ), Bohemia, † May 3, 1969 in Santa Monica, California ) was in the time of silent films one of the greatest cinematographers. Later, he also worked as a film director.


The son of Julius Glaser's friend and his wife Marie moved in 1901 with his parents to Berlin. He began in 1906 as a projectionist and was then as a cameraman in the meantime in Belgrade and Vienna, and from 1913 in Neubabelsberg active. He turned in the time of the First World War, particularly with Asta Nielsen and Henny Porten.

1919 made ​​friend with the founding of the Karl Freund -Film GmbH independently. It developed in the sequel to the style defining the cinematographer of the German Chamber of film and henceforth worked with all sizes of the German silent cinema. A particularly close collaboration resulted with Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. Friend the method of " off-camera" camera is attributed to it The Last Man (1924 ) by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau began in the film. He was not the first person who used the camera without a tripod, but his recordings are the last man in a mobility that was hardly seen before.

Another high point in his work formed the recordings to the epic film Metropolis (1926 ), directed by Fritz Lang. From 1929 Karl Freund was due to the great success of the last man in Hollywood, where he later worked as a director. His film The Mummy from 1932 with Boris Karloff in the lead role is his most famous work as a director, a year earlier resulting Dracula with Bela Lugosi 's probably the best American camera work. For The Good Earth (1937 ), he won an Oscar. He was also cinematographer Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross (1944).

In 1960 he moved friend back to his farm in the San Fernando Valley. Until recently, he was appreciated as a capacity in the field of film technology. In 1965 he received the Film Award for many years of excellent work in the German film.

Karl Freund was married his first wife, from 1915 to 1918 with the daughter of music antiquarian Leo Liepmannssohn ( Susette, 1890-1942 ) and was father of a daughter. The actress Gertrude Hoffmann was in 1920 his second wife, known as Trude friend.

Filmography (selection)