Herbert Selpin

Herbert Selpin

Regie, Regie-Assistenz, Drehbuch, Schnitt
*29.05.1902 Berlin; †01.08.1942 Berlin

Biography

Herbert Selpin, born May 29, 1902, started to study medicine in Berlin and worked as an antiquary, bookseller, and as a stock broker for a Berlin bank. He became the featherweight boxing champion in Brandenburg, won the German dancing championship in Baden-Baden three times, and worked as a professional dancer in music hall shows.

From the mid-1920s on, Selpin worked for Ufa and participated in the filming of "Faust" by F. W. Murnau and other movies as an intern. Then, Selpin worked in different jobs at Fox-Europa for four years. In 1931, Selpin directed his first movie, the comedy "Chauffeur Antoinette", a film that Selpin remade in London and in Paris in the following year. In 1933, he was responsible for the German-language version of the fascist semi-documenary movie "Camicia Nera" ("Black Shirts").

Selpin proved himself to be a versatile movie director in different genres. He made several euphemistic films about German colonial history ("Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika" - "The Riders of German East Africa"); "Carl Peters"), but also filmed adventure movies in a Western décor with Hans Albers ("Sergeant Berry"; "Wasser für Canitoga"). Furthermore, Selpin did not conceal his knack for paradoxical outsiders such as the manufacturer who is tired of his work in "Ein Mann auf Abwegen", or the charming criminal in "Heiratsschwindler".

On the set of "Titanic", Selpin made several critical remarks about the German military, thus "committing a serious offence against the morale" according to the Reichsfilmintendanz. Denounced by the screenwriter Walter Zerlett-Olfenius, Selpin failed to retract his remarks in a meeting with Goebbels. He was arrested and barred from the Reichskulturkammer. In the night from July 31 to August 1, 1942, Selpin was found hanged in his cell. He might have committed suicide, but the circumstances of his death have never been fully solved.

Filmography

1942/1943 Titanic
Director, Screenplay
 
1941/1942 Geheimakte WB 1
Director, Screenplay
 
1940/1941 Carl Peters
Director, Screenplay
 
1940 Trenck, der Pandur
Director
 
1939/1940 Ein Mann auf Abwegen
Director
 
1938/1939 Wasser für Canitoga
Director
 
1938 Sergeant Berry
Director
 
1938 Ich liebe Dich
Director, Screenplay
 
1937 Heiratsschwindler
Director
 
1937 Alarm in Peking
Director, Screenplay
 
1936 Skandal um die Fledermaus
Director, Screenplay
 
1936 Romanze
Director
 
1936 Spiel an Bord
Director, Screenplay
 
1935 Ein idealer Gatte
Director
 
1935 Le domino vert
Director
 
1935 Der grüne Domino
Director
 
1934 Der Springer von Pontresina
Director
 
1934 Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika
Director
 
1933/1934 Zwischen zwei Herzen
Director
 
1933 Mädels von heute
Director
 
1933 Der Traum vom Rhein
Director
 
1933 Kleiner Mann - was nun?
Assistant director, Screenplay, Editing
 
1932/1933 Der Läufer von Marathon
Assistant director, Editing
 
1931 Chauffeur Antoinette
Director
 
1931 Eine Nacht im Grandhotel
Editing
 
1931 So lang' noch ein Walzer von Strauß erklingt
Editing
 
1931 Der Herr Finanzdirektor
Editing
 
1931 Opernredoute
Editing
 
1931 Der ungetreue Eckehart
Editing
 
1931 Kinder vor Gericht
Editing
 
1930/1931 Ariane
Editing
 
1929 The Way of Lost Soul
Assistant director
 
1926 K 13 513. Die Abenteuer eines Zehnmarkscheines
Assistant director
 

Overview

Literature

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