E. W. Emo

E. W. Emo (Emerich Walter Emo, born Emerich Josef Wojtek, 11 July 1898; died 2 December 1975) was an Austrian film director.[1][2][3]

E. W. Emo
Emerich Josef Wojtek

11 July 1898
Seebarn, Austria
Died2 December 1975(1975-12-02) (aged 77)
Vienna, Austria
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Spouse(s)Anita Dorris
ChildrenMaria Emo

Emo specialized in comedies, 21 of them with the actor Hans Moser. He also worked outside Austria and wrote screenplays.


Emerich Josef Wojtek, born in Seebarn near Grafenwörth in Austria, was the son of a teacher. He attended the Provincial Secondary School (Landesrealschule) in Krems an der Donau and did military service during World War I. In 1919 he worked at first as a bit-part actor, then as a director's assistant and production manager, and finally as an assistant film director. In that capacity in 1927 he moved to Berlin, where he also worked as a cutter and dramaturgist with a number of different directors.

In 1928 he directed his first film drama, called Flitterwochen ("Honeymoon"). After that he made many light entertainment films, and with the advent of sound films, also filmed several musicals and operettas. As a director Emo contributed much to the popularity of actors such as Paul Hörbiger, Theo Lingen and above all Hans Moser, who appeared in 21 of his films altogether. In 1936 Emo founded in Berlin, with Paul Hörbiger and the Austrian consul Karl Künzel, the Algefa-Film company. In the same year he officially changed his name to his business name, Emerich Walter Emo. He later ran the film company Emo-Film.

During the time of National Socialist government, he was reckoned one the principal directors of Wien-Film, where he continued to make light comedies, often with Hans Moser, to whom he allowed a great deal of latitude for improvisation. In many of his films Emo also criticised the clichés of the Wiener Film (the standard popular, sentimental and nostalgic "Viennese film"), for example in Anton der letzte ("Anton the Last") (1939), where he exaggerated Hans Moser's usual screen persona into petulance and querulence, and in Liebe ist zollfrei ("Love is Duty-free") (1941), where he represented the high society of Vienna not as vulgar, but as snobbish and malicious.

Emo's only expressly propagandist film was Wien 1910 (1943), which was made with the intention, through its distorted representation of the politics of Vienna around the anti-Semitic Karl Lueger and the German nationalist Georg Ritter von Schönerer, of legitimizing the Anschluss of Austria by Germany. The attempt failed, however, as the film was still too "Austrian" for the National Socialists and was forbidden to be shown in the Ostmark, as Austria was known under National Socialist rule; in Germany it attracted little interest.

Emo made a few more films after the end of World War II.

He married the German actress Anita Dorris in 1930; their daughter was the actress Maria Emo (b. 1936).

E. W. Emo died on 2 December 1975 in Vienna of arteriosclerosis.

Selected filmography


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