Reinhold Schünzel

Active - 1919 - 1953  |   Born - Nov 7, 1886 in Hamburg, Germany  |   Died - Sep 11, 1954 in Munich, Germany  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance, War

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German-born Reinhold Schunzel had been a businessman and journalist before turning to acting and directing in the World War I years. In 1919, Schunzel directed his first film, Mary Magdalena. Specializing in light comedies, Schunzel helmed the classic 1933 "drag" farce Viktor und Viktoria (as well as the simultaneously film French-language version George et Georgette), which of course was resuscitated by Blake Edwards in 1981 as a vehicle for his wife Julie Andrews. Even when he was at his busiest as a director, Schunzel found time to act in other men's films, notably G.W. Pabst's Threepenny Opera (1931), in which he played crooked constable Tiger Brown. Though he tried to make the best of things after Hitler's ascent to power, Schunzel finally fled Germany in 1936. He resettled in Hollywood, playing character roles. Amidst the requisite Nazis and Professorial types, Schunzel enjoyed one of his best-ever screen roles in Paramount's The Man in Half-Moon Street (1942), playing the conscience-stricken associate of murderous "eternal-life" experimenter Nils Asther. In 1952, Schunzel returned to Germany, where after making two additional film appearances he died at the age of 68. A 1989 biography, Reinhold Schunzel: Schaupieler und Regisseur, was written by Hans-Michael Bock, Wolfgang Jacobson, and Joerg Schoening.

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