Henny Porten

Henny Porten

Additional Names: Henny Frieda Ulrike Porten (Geburtsname)
Darstellerin, Drehbuch, Bauten, Produzent
*07.01.1890 Magdeburg; †15.10.1960 Berlin

Biography

Henny Porten – Actress, Producer

Henny Frieda Ulrike Porten was born in Magdeburg on January 7th, 1890, the second daughter of the opera baritone, Franz Porten, and his wife Wincenzia, whose maiden name was Wybiral. After playing a number of children"s roles on her father"s stage, the family moves to Berlin in 1895. In January 1906, Franz Porten is engaged by Oskar Messter to direct six "Biophon-Sound Pictures" – and so with "Meissner Porzellan" the siblings enter the world of film.

After finishing school (around 1907), Henny Porten performs in numerous "sound pictures" predominantly for the Deutsche Mutoskop- und Biograph GmbH, which at the same time includes her work in their "Mutoskop"-peepboxes. Her work involves singing in any one of three different languages by moving her lips in a synchronized fashion to a gramophone record. Despite having no training whatsoever in acting, this work allows Porten to become a highly experienced and much sought-after actress.

In January 1911, Messter concludes a one month contract with her, which is repeatedly extended. In 1913/14 with the success of "Eva", an "Autorenfilm", there follows the first of the "Henny Porten film star series", beginning with "Der Feind im Land". Following the exodus in the film industry at the beginning of the First World War, Henny Porten initiates, as if personally, the recommencing of cinematographic work in 1915 ("Das Ende vom Liede"). Rudolf Biebrach, who in earlier films often played her father, now takes on the work of film director. Porten films are at the peak of success with German film audiences.

The filming of the theater play "Rose Bernd" in 1919 is a big success, which greatly adds to the prestige of cinematography among German educated classes as well as critics. This is followed with "Monica Vogelsang" and "Anna Boleyn", two of the most expensive projects up till then of the Ufa studios. In March 1921, Porten establishes the company Henny Porten Films GmbH. After the box office hit "Die Geier-Wally" (Wally of the Vultures), Porten produces the highly ambitious studio play "Hintertreppe" (Backstairs). While highly praised by critics, the film is financially unsuccessful. After three further years of rather unsuccessful films, the company goes bankrupt in 1923.

In the light of the "Ruhrkampf", a boycott is called against Henny Porten, reproaching her for doing films for the French company Gaumont ("Die Liebe einer Königin") and accusing her earlier works were being anti-German ("Der Feind im Land"; "Bergnacht"). During 1923/24 she is seen as "box office poison", and can only find work with difficulty. She achieves a renewed comeback aided by the melodrama "Mutter und Kind" ("Mother and Child"), produced and directed by Carl Froelich. On the 26th of September, 1924, the company Henny Porten-Froelich Produktion GmbH is founded in Berlin, in which Porten, Froelich and Wilhelm von Kaufmann are associates. In total, fifteen films are made by 1929, all very well crafted for the general public.

With G. W. Pabst as film director, Porten ventures to do her first sound film in 1930, "Skandal um Eva", completing it with ease. The following year she achieves her long planned for project, the film "Luise, Königin von Preußen", which ultimately bankrupts her company in the summer of 1932. After this project, Porten is considered to be a risk within the film industry. With no film engagements coming, she seeks refuge on stage. She achieves renewed film success in the autumn of 1933, with the sound film remake of "Mutter und Kind", directed by Hans Steinhoff. Porten’s refusal to divorce her Jewish husband increasingly narrows her film options. She has only six small roles by 1943. In 1937 she is taken on by the Tobis company on a work for money basis, but is never offered any work.

After the war, Porten lives in Ratzeburg. Performing in Lübeck and the Hamburg Theater in 1947, she is given a small supporting role in "Absender unbekannt" by the Hamburg company Real-Film in 1949. Other than this, no other acceptable West German film offers are made. Following an invitation made by DEFA, she travels to the GDR on the 17th of June, 1953 ("Carola Lamberti"; "Das Fräulein von Scuderi"). In the Western press her step is branded as that of a "deserter". Returning to Ratzeburg in 1955, the couple is evicted by their landlord. Her husband loses his practice. Through the press, Porten unsuccessfully asks for work in film. They move to Berlin in 1957, where Wilhelm von Kaufmann dies on the 21st of October, 1959. Awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz in May 1960, Henny Porten dies in Berlin after suffering a severe illness on the 15th of October, 1960.

Filmography

1957/1958 Das gab's nur einmal
Participation
 
1955 Das Fräulein von Scuderi
Cast
 
1954 Carola Lamberti - Eine vom Zirkus
Cast
 
1949/1950 Absender unbekannt
Cast
 
1943/1944 Neigungsehe
Cast
 
1943/1944 Familie Buchholz
Cast
 
1942/1943 Wenn der junge Wein blüht
Cast
 
1942 Symphonie eines Lebens
Cast
 
1940/1941 Komödianten
Cast
 
1938/1939 War es der im 3. Stock?
Cast
 
1938 Der Optimist
Cast
 
1935 Krach im Hinterhaus
Cast
 
1933/1934 Mutter und Kind
Cast
 
1933 Alle machen mit
Cast
 
1931 24 Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau
Cast, Producer
 
1931 Luise, Königin von Preußen
Cast, Producer
 
1931 Henny Porten zur Premiere von ''Luise, Königin von Preußen" in Düsseldorf
Participation
 
1930 Kohlhiesels Töchter
Cast, Producer
 
1930 Skandal um Eva
Cast, Producer
 
1929 Mutterliebe
Cast, Story, Producer
 
1929 Die Herrin und ihr Knecht
Cast, Producer
 
1928/1929 Rund um die Liebe
Participation
 
1928/1929 Die Frau, die jeder liebt, bist Du
Cast, Producer
 
1928/1929 Liebfraumilch
Cast, Producer
 
1928 Liebe im Kuhstall
Cast, Producer
 
1928 Henny Porten. Leben und Laufbahn einer Filmkünstlerin
Cast
 
1928 Zuflucht
Cast, Producer
 
1928 Lotte
Cast, Producer
 
1927/1928 Liebe und Diebe
Cast, Producer
 
1927 Die große Pause
Cast, Producer
 
1926/1927 Meine Tante - Deine Tante
Cast, Producer
 
1926/1927 Violantha
Cast, Producer
 
1926 Wehe, wenn sie losgelassen
Cast, Producer
 
1926 Die Flammen lügen
Cast, Producer
 
1925/1926 Rosen aus dem Süden
Cast, Producer
 
1925 Tragödie
Cast, Producer
 
1925 Das Abenteuer der Sibylle Brant
Cast, Producer
 
1924/1925 Kammermusik
Cast, Producer
 
1924 Mutter und Kind
Cast
 
1924 Prater. Die Erlebnisse zweier Nähmädchen
Cast
 
1924 Gräfin Donelli
Cast
 
1924 Das goldene Kalb
Cast
 
1923/1924 Der Film im Film
Participation
 
1923 I.N.R.I.
Cast
 
1923 Der Kaufmann von Venedig
Cast
 
1923 Die Liebe einer Königin
Cast
 
1923 Das alte Gesetz
Cast
 
1923 Das Geheimnis von Brinkenhof
Cast
 
1922/1923 Inge Larsen
Cast, Producer
 
1922 Sie und die Drei
Cast, Producer
 
1921/1922 Der Bobsport
Cast
 
1921/1922 Frauenopfer
Cast, Producer
 
1921 Die Hintertreppe
Cast, Producer
 
1921 Die Geier-Wally
Cast, Producer
 
1920 Anna Boleyn
Cast
 
1920 Die goldene Krone
Cast
 
1919/1920 Kohlhiesels Töchter
Cast
 
1919 Die beiden Gatten der Frau Ruth
Cast
 
1919 Monica Vogelsang
Cast
 
1919 Rose Bernd
Cast
 
1919 Die lebende Tote
Cast
 
1919 Die Fahrt ins Blaue
Cast
 
1919 Die Schuld
Cast
 
1919 Ihr Sport
Cast
 
1918/1919 Irrungen
Cast
 
1918 Die blaue Laterne
Cast
 
1918 Das Maskenfest des Lebens
Cast
 
1918 Auf Probe gestellt
Cast
 
1918 Die Dame, der Teufel und die Probiermamsell
Cast
 
1918 Der Trompeter von Säckingen
Cast
 
1918 Die Sieger
Cast
 
1918 Das Geschlecht derer von Ringwall
Cast
 
1918 Die Heimkehr des Odysseus
Cast
 
1918 Agnes Arnau und ihre drei Freier
Cast
 
1917/1918 Edelsteine
Cast
 
1917 Hann, Hein und Henny
Cast
 
1917 Gefangene Seele
Cast
 
1917 Die Faust des Riesen. 1. Teil
Cast
 
1917 Die Faust des Riesen. 2. Teil
Cast
 
1917 Höhenluft
Cast
 
1917 Christa Hartungen
Cast
 
1917 Gräfin Küchenfee
Cast
 
1917 Die Prinzessin von Neutralien
Cast
 
1917 Die Claudi vom Geiserhof
Cast
 
1916/1917 Die Ehe der Luise Rohrbach
Cast
 
1916/1917 Der Liebesbrief der Königin
Cast
 
1916 Der wandernde Blumentopf
Cast
 
1916 Die Räuberbraut
Cast
 
1916 Das wandernde Licht
Cast
 
1916 Der Ruf der Liebe
Cast
 
1916 Gelöste Ketten
Cast
 
1916 Feenhände
Cast
 
1916 Abseits vom Glück
Cast
 
1915/1916 Der Schirm mit dem Schwan
Cast
 
1915/1916 Ihr bester Schuß
Cast
 
1915 Die Wellen schweigen
Cast
 
1915 Nur nicht heiraten
Cast
 
1915 Märtyrerin der Liebe
Cast
 
1915 Das große Schweigen
Cast
 
1915 Der Sieg des Herzens
Cast
 
1915 Das Schicksal der Gabriele Stark
Cast
 
1915 Auf der Alm, da gibt's ka Sünd
Cast
 
1914/1915 Alexandra
Cast
 
1914/1915 Das Ende vom Liede
Cast, Screenplay, Production design
 
1914 Ein Überfall im Feindesland
Cast
 
1914 Gretchen Wendland
Cast, Screenplay
 
1914 Durchs Ziel
Cast
 
1914 Die große Sünderin
Cast
 
1914 Nordlandrose
Cast
 
1914 Das Ende vom Lied
Cast
 
1913/1914 Das Tal des Traumes
Cast
 
1913/1914 Bergnacht
Cast
 
1913 Der Weg des Lebens
Cast
 
1913 Der wankende Glaube
Cast
 
1913 Ihre Hoheit
Cast
 
1913 Eva
Cast
 
1913 Um das Glück betrogen
Cast
 
1913 Komtesse Ursel
Cast
 
1913 Der Feind im Land
Cast
 
1912/1913 Das Opfer
Cast
 
1912/1913 Ihr guter Ruf
Cast
 
1912 Um Haaresbreite
Cast
 
1912 Teuer erkauftes Glück
Cast
 
1912 Henny Portens Reise nach Köln zur Eröffnung des »Modernen Theaters«
Cast
 
1912 Die Toten schweigen
Cast
 
1912 Der Schatten des Meeres
Cast
 
1912 Jung und Alt
Cast
 
1912 Kämpfende Herzen
Cast
 
1912 Maskenscherz
Cast
 
1912 Schatten des Lebens
Cast
 
1912 Die Königin der Nacht
Cast
 
1912 Ein Ehrenwort
Cast
 
1912 Einer Mutter Opfer
Cast
 
1912 Erloschenes Licht
Cast
 
1912 Des Pfarrers Töchterlein
Cast
 
1912 Der Kuß des Fürsten
Cast
 
1911/1912 Geächtet
Cast
 
1911/1912 Adressatin verstorben
Cast
 
1911/1912 Des Lebens Würfelspiel. Rosen und Dornen vom Weg des Lebens
Cast
 
1911/1912 Ein Leben
Cast
 
1911 Des Meeres und der Liebe Wellen
Cast
 
1911 Tragödie eines Streiks
Cast
 
1911 Zu späte Reue
Cast
 
1911 Liebe und Leidenschaft
Cast
 
1911 Im Glück vergessen
Cast
 
1911 Ein Spiel um das Lebensglück zweier Menschen
Cast
 
1911 Des Künstlers Untergang
Cast
 
1911 Ein Fehltritt. Die Tragödie einer Geächteten
Cast
 
1911 Das Gespenst der Vergangenheit
Cast
 
1911 Ein Duell ohne Zeugen
Cast
 
1911 Der Müller und sein Kind
Cast
 
1911 Das Glöckchen des Glücks
Cast
 
1911 Gefährlicher Liebeskampf zweier Frauen
Cast
 
1911 Künstlerliebe
Cast
 
1911 Mütter, verzaget nicht
Cast
 
1911 Papa, warum hast du mich nicht lieb?
Cast
 
1911 Perlen bedeuten Tränen
Cast
 
1911 Das angenommene Kind
Cast
 
1910/1911 Das verzauberte Café
Cast
 
1910/1911 Friedel, der Geiger
Cast
 
1910 Verkannt
Cast
 
1910 Weh, daß wir scheiden müssen
Cast
 
1910 Das Liebesglück der Blinden
Cast
 
1910 Das Geheimnis der Toten
Cast
 
1910 Schuld und Sühne
Cast
 
1910 Lohengrin
Cast
 
1910 Linda von Chamonix
Cast
 
1910 Die kitzlige Jungfrau
Cast
 
1909/1910 ? Spinnlied
Cast
 
1909/1910 ? Zu Mantua in Banden
Cast
 
1909/1910 ? Hexenlied
Cast
 
1909 ? Der Rastelbinder (?)
Cast
 
1909 ? Weihnachts-Tonbild: Der Brief an den lieben Gott
Cast
 
1909 ? Othello
Cast
 
1909 ? Othello der Mohr von Venedig
Cast
 
1909 Stolzenfels am Rhein
Cast
 
1909 Sehnsucht
Cast
 
1909 Zauberflöte
Cast
 
1909 Herbstmanöver: Kußlied
Cast
 
1908 ? Im Fasching
Cast
 
1908 ? Die kleine Baronesse (?)
Cast
 
1908 ? Der Freischütz (?)
Cast
 
1908 ? Der Tannhäuser (?)
Cast
 
1908 ? Daß nur für mich dein Herz erbebt
Cast
 
1908 Funiculi - Funicula
Cast
 
1908 Lohengrin: Nun sei bedankt mein lieber Schwan
Cast
 
1908 Schaukellied
Cast
 
1908 Der Bettelstudent, Große Szene I. Akt: Auftritt des Oberst Ollendorf: Ach ich hab sie ja nur
Cast
 
1908 Tief im Böhmerwald
Cast
 
1907 Der Trompeter von Säckingen: Behüt' dich Gott
Cast
 
1906 Meißner Porzellan
Cast
 
1905 Apachentanz
Cast