Maximilian Schell

Maximilian Schell

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Produzent, Produktionsleitung
*08.12.1930 Wien, Österreich; †01.02.2014 Innsbruck, Österreich

Biography

Maximilian Schell was born December 8, 1930, in Vienna. The son of the Swiss author Hermann Ferdinand Schell and the Austrian actress Margarethe Noé von Nordberg had three siblings – Carl, Immatriculata (later known as Immy), and Maria – who likewise took up acting careers as grown-ups. In 1938, the family emigrated to Switzerland, where Schell finished secondary school and served in the Swiss Army.

By 1953, he was working as an actor, director and dramatic adviser at the Basel Theater, followed by engagements in Essen, Bonn, Munich, and Berlin. In 1958, he performed on Broadway. The following year, Gustaf Gründgens convinced him to come to the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Germany, where he played Hamlet under the direction of Gründgens in 1963. During the following decades, Schell continued to act in and direct stage productions at several German and international theaters.

Schell's movie career started in 1955, when he played the role of a desperate deserter in "Kinder, Mütter und ein General" ("Children, Mother, and the General"). His performance in Helmut Käutner's war drama "Ein Mädchen aus Flandern" ("The Girl from Flanders") attracted international attention, and in 1958 he made his Hollywood debut as a Nazi officer in Edward Dmytryk's "The Young Lions". In 1961, Schell won an Oscar for his portrayal of the defense attorney in Stanley Kramer's "Judgment at Nuremberg", also starring Marlene Dietrich. In 1962, Schell, who was by now an internationally acclaimed movie actor, starred alongside Sophia Loren in Vittorio De Sica"s "I Sequestrati Di Altona" ("The Condemned of Altona").

In 1968, Schell produced and starred in the adaptation of Kafka's novel "The Castle". Two years later, "Erste Liebe" ("First Love") - written, directed, produced, and starred in by Schell - was hailed by the critics. In 1973, "Der Fußgänger" ("The Pedestrian") won the German Film Award for Best Feature Film. Both movies earned Oscar nominations and won multiple international awards. In 1975, Schell turned Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novel "Der Richter und sein Henker" ("End of the Game") into a movie, a few years later he adapted Horváth's "Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald" ("Tales from the Vienna Woods").

Besides his own projects, Schell continued to act in international movie productions such as "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), "Avalanche Express" (1979), "The Black Hole" (1979), and "The Chosen" (1981). In 1984, Schell received a German Film Award as Best Actor for "Morgen in Alabama" ("Man Under Suspicion").

Schell's documentary "Marlene" (1983) is based on the audio tape recordings of his 17-hours-long interview session with Marlene Dietrich. Using original footage, documentary material and interview passages, Schell managed to present an intimate portrait of the screen legend. In 1989, Schell played the leading role in "The Rose Garden", a court drama dealing with unatoned crimes committed by the Nazis. In 1993, he starred alongside Anna Thalbach in Hans W. Geissendörfer's Dürrenmatt adaptation "Justiz". In 2002, Maximilian Schell presented "Meine Schwester Maria" ("My Sister Maria"), a documentary about Maria Schell (1925-2005) who suffered from severe physical and mental problems after her international acting career had ended.

On February 1, 2014 Maximilian Schell died in Innsbruck following a short, severe illness.

Filmography

2012-2014 Die Räuber
Cast
 
2006/2007 Verstörung - und eine Art von Poesie. Die Filmlegende Bernhard Wicki
Participation
 
2006 Haus der schlafenden Schönen
Cast
 
2003/2004 Die Rückkehr des Tanzlehrers
Cast
 
2001/2002 Meine Schwester Maria
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1998/1999 Wer liebt, dem wachsen Flügel...
Cast
 
1998/1999 Fisimatenten
Cast
 
1998/1999 Mein liebster Feind
Participation
 
1998/1999 I Love You Baby
Cast
 
1996/1997 Through Roses
Cast
 
1994 Ein Freund, ein guter Freund. Heinz Rühmann 1902-1994
Participation
 
1993 Abraham
Cast
 
1993 Justiz
Cast
 
1990/1991 Die junge Katharina
Cast
 
1990-1994 Labyrinth
Cast
 
1990 Glaube, Liebe, Hoffnung in Moskau
Cast
 
1989 Der Rosengarten
Cast
 
1989 Showgeschichten
Cast
 
1988 Showgeschichten
Cast
 
1986 Kronen, Könner, Kavaliere: Die Schells
Participation
 
1984/1985 Die Föhnforscher
Co-Producer
 
1983/1984 Morgen in Alabama
Cast
 
1983/1984 Marlene
Participation, Director, Screenplay
 
1982/1983 Les îles
Cast, Producer
 
1978/1979 Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1976/1977 Steiner - Das Eiserne Kreuz
Cast
 
1975 Ansichten eines Clowns
Producer
 
1975 Der Richter und sein Henker
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1974/1975 Die Akte Odessa
Cast
 
1972/1973 Der Fußgänger
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1972 Paulina 1880
Cast
 
1971 Trotta
Screenplay
 
1969/1970 First Love
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Unit production manager
 
1968 Das Schloß
Cast, Co-Producer
 
1967/1968 Heidi kehrt heim
Cast
 
1964/1965 Der seidene Schuh
Cast
 
1964 Letters of Mozart - Briefe Mozarts
Cast, Screenplay
 
1962 I Sequestrati di Altona
Cast
 
1961 Judgment at Nuremberg
Cast
 
1960/1961 Hamlet
Cast
 
1959 Eine Dummheit macht auch der Gescheiteste
Cast
 
1958 Die sechste Frau
Cast
 
1957 Der Meisterdieb
Cast
 
1957 Taxichauffeur Bänz
Cast
 
1956/1957 Die Letzten werden die Ersten sein
Cast
 
1956 Ein Herz kehrt heim
Cast
 
1956 Die Ehe des Dr. med. Danwitz
Cast
 
1955/1956 Ein Mädchen aus Flandern
Cast
 
1955 Reifende Jugend
Cast
 
1955 Der 20. Juli
Cast
 
1954/1955 Kinder, Mütter und ein General
Cast