Carl Wilhelm

Carl Wilhelm (born 1885 in Germany;[1] died in London 1936), was a prolific German-Jewish[2] film director, film producer and screenwriter of the silent film era, at the end of which his career apparently entirely faded away and he vanished into obscurity.


After his first work, the short documentary film Ein vergnügter Wintertag im Berliner Grunewald, made for the producer Oskar Messter in 1909, Wilhelm worked for many other Berlin production companies. For example, in the years before World War I, he filmed for Deutsche Mutoskop- und Biograph GmbH in Lankwitz and BB-Film-Fabrikation Bolten-Baeckers in Steglitz a series of comedies starring the silent film star Leo Peukert.

The two comedies he shot in 1913 and 1914 with Ernst Lubitsch - Die Firma heiratet and Der Stolz der Firma - were very successful. As late as 1919 a critic could write: "Die Firma heiratet and Meyer aus Berlin are still our best films."[3]

In 1915, with his company Cewe-Films, and in 1920/21, with Carl-Wilhelm-Film GmbH, he also operated as his own producer. In 1917 and 1918 he made a number of films in Hungarian. Carl Wilhelm remained a sought-after director until the end of the silent film period. He then ceased to work almost entirely - he is last heard of as a production assistant in 1935. He left Germany for Vienna after the coming to power of the Nazi party in 1933 and, already ill, joined his son Wolfgang in London where he died in 1936.


As director


  • 1910: Hexenlied (with Henny Porten; directed by Franz Porten) – actor
  • 1910: Die Vernunft des Herzens (directed by Charles Decroix) – actor
  • 1910: Pro patria. Ein Unterseebootsfilm (with Leo Peukert; directed by Charles Decroix) – director's assistant
  • 1910/11: Vater und Sohn (directed by Walter Schmidthässler) – actor
  • 1911: Das Herz einer Gattin (directed by Charles Decroix) – actor
  • 1913/14: Eine venezianische Nacht (directed by Max Reinhardt) – director's assistant
  • 1932: Spell of the Looking Glass (directed by Frank Wisbar) – "collective direction", together with Herbert Ephraim
  • 1935: J'aime toutes les femmes (directed by Carl Lamač) – production assistant



  1. Walter Fritz, 1996, p. 302
  2. Siegbert Salomon Prawer, Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933, Berghahn Books (2007), p. 211
  3. Bobby E. Lüthge im Film-Kurier, Nr. 15, 22 June 1919


  • Fritz, Walter, 1996. Im Kino erlebe ich die Welt – 100 Jahre Kino und Film in Österreich. Verlag Christian Brandstätter: Vienna. ISBN 3-85447-661-2
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