by Paul Czinner
Country: Germany
Year: 1929
Duration: 90'

During the immediate post-war period, Else, the daughter of an
Austrian lawyer, is on vacation in the Dolomites. One evening, she
receives a letter from her mother announcing that financial catastrophe
looms over their family because of the father’s gambling habit.
Else’s mother tells her to ask rich Mr Dorsday, who is staying at their
same hotel, for a loan. Else overcomes her pride and asks him for
money: the man agrees on the condition that he be allowed to see
her naked for a few minutes. Indignant but oppressed by her mother’s
request, Else undresses in front of all the hotel guests gathered in the
lobby. Beside herself, she faints and when she regains consciousness
she commits suicide.

The film was restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and ZDF in
collaboration with ARTE, starting with a positive nitrate print with
Danish captions that is conserved at the Danish Film Institute.
The original captions were reconstructed using neutral characters that
were based on the censor’s certification conserved at the Bundesarchiv-
Filmarchiv in Berlin. Restoration was conducted at the L’Immagine
Ritrovata laboratory in Bologna between March and July, 2004.


film director

Paul Czinner

Paul Czinner (Budapest, Hungary, 1890-London, United Kingdom, 1972) moved to Vienna, where he first approached the theatre and then cinema. His films were influenced by the narrative trends dominating Freudian Vienna of the first post-war period. Indeed, psychological themes, even rather daring and risqué ones, were at the center of films such as Der Geiger von Florenz and Fräulein Else, that caused many problems to the director and his wife Elisabeth Bergner, the protagonist of
Fräulein Else. With the rise of Nazism they moved to England where Czinner directed As You Like It (1936) and The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934).
At the end of his career he made The Bolshoi Ballet (1957), Der Rosenkavalier (1962) and Romeo and Juliet (1966). He died in 1972.


filmografia essenziale/
essential filmography
Der Geiger von Florenz (1926), Fräulein Else (1928), The Rise of Catherine the Great (La grande Caterina, 1934), As You Like It (Come vi piace, 1936), Escape Me Never (Non mi sfuggirai, 1935), The Bolshoi Ballet (Il Bolshoi Ballet, 1957), Der Rosenkavalier (1962), Romeo and Juliet (1966).


& Credits

regia, sceneggiatura/
director, screenplay
Paul Czinner
dall’omonimo romanzo di/
from the novel of the same
title by Arthur Schnitzler
Karl Freund
production design
Erich Kettelhut,
Hermann Warm
interpreti e personaggi/
cast and characters
Albert Bassermann
(il dottor/Dr Alfred
Thalhof), Else Heller
(la moglie/Wife),
Elisabeth Bergner (Else),
Albert Steinrück (signor/
Mr von Dorsday),
Grit Hegesa (Cissy Mohr),
Adele Sandrock (zia/
Aunt Emma),
Jack Trevor (Paul),
Irmgard Bern,
Antonie Jaeckel,
Gertrud de Lalsky,
Ellen Plessow,
Tony Tetzlaff, Carl Goetz,
Jaro Fürth,
Paul Morgan,
Alexander Murski