PFARRERS TÖCHTERLEIN, DES (Adolf Gärtner, 1913, Germany, BW)
The Minister's Daughter
Des Pfarrers Töchterlein (1913)
Duration: 37 minutes
Director: Adolf Gärtner
Produktion: Oskar Messter
Cinematography: Carl Froelich
There is great harmony between Klara and her father, a priest, especially since both have been left alone, since the death of their mother. Klara grew up in close friendship with Hans, the son of the Privy Councilor Langer, who resided immediately next to the vicarage. The close contact only breaks when the growing Hans goes to the military academy. But now he has returned in the uniform of a respectable naval lieutenant. Having barely said hello to his parents, he runs over to the parsonage and calls for his "Klärchen" from the children's days. But, of course, she too has outgrown the children's shoes and now she is a young, pretty woman. For a couple of seconds, the two are alien to each other, but for the first time they see themselves as adults. However, the ice is quickly broken, and the reawakening, common memories of the little parish house clash with Clara and Hans as if they had never parted. In the spinning room, where they had been particularly fond of, there was a first tender kiss. Hans takes his ring from the finger and hands it over to Klara as a kind of love deposit. After he has touched it over her finger, Klara kisses the ring with fervor.
For a long time they cannot conceal their blossoming love from others. Klara's father sees the two holding hands and then makes his daughter reproach. Hope of a common future becomes impossible. Hans would never be married to her for the sake of difference in status. With tears in her eyes, Clare takes note of the kind words of her father, but hopes in her deepest heart that "her" Hans may be quite different. Mr. and Mrs. Geheimrat are anything but enthusiastic about the fresh and newly inflamed love of their child. Hans's mother then writes to her niece and invites her to visit the Langer family for a while, hoping to take the memories of Klara out of Hans's head with this pretty girl, who is mainly from a "good house".
Klara has already forgone the idea of Hans, when her tram is standing in the parish garden late in the evening, calling for her. She asks him to go, but Hans is swinging on her window-sill and stands in front of her in a moment. It does not take long before both assure themselves of their love and kiss again. A few days later the invited niece at Langers arrives, Hans is subsequently intensively taken over, for he is ordered to look after his pretty and lively cousin. One evening Klara, on behalf of her father, is to deliver a letter to the Privy Councilor, and she sees through the window how Hans and his cousins are kissing. Klara falls unconscious and gets sick. This turns into a feverish delusion. It is only after weeks of intensive care that Klara is once again herself. Meanwhile, Hans and his new flame have become engaged to each other, and the Privy Councilor asks Clara's father to undertake the upcoming marriage.
Although this course is incredibly difficult for him, as he knows how much this will hurt his daughter, the priest takes care of his office. Klara, still weak and sickly, still wants to attend the ceremony. She wants to take a safe hiding-place as a last glance at her lover and see the woman who took her Hans. She walks over trembling into the chapel. Close behind the choir she hides and looks at the ceremony. When her father confirms the marriage, this is too much for her weak body, and Clare breaks down screaming. The couple turn around, and the wedding guests also look up at the choir and the organ. Klara's father can hardly finish the wedding, and Hans looks down on the ground with guilt. As soon as the ceremony is over, the priest rushes into the gallery and holds his dying daughter firmly in his arms.
Frieda Ulricke "Henny" Porten (7 January 1890 – 15 October 1960) was a German actress and film producer of the silent era, and Germany's first major film star. She appeared in more than 170 films between 1906 and 1955. She was one of the few German actress of the era to enter film without having stage experience. Many of her earlier films were directed by her husband Curt A. Stark, who died during World War I in Transylvania on the Eastern Front in 1916. Her father, Franz Porten, was also an actor and film director.
In 1921, she remarried, to Wilhelm von Kaufmann. When the Nazis took power and she refused to divorce her Jewish husband, she found that her career, while doing twelve films a year, dissolved immediately. When she resolved on emigration, she was denied an exit visa to prevent a negative impression. She made ten films during the Nazi era. Her placid and reassuring persona helped calm audiences confronted with Allied bombardment. In 1944, after an aerial mine destroyed her home, she and her husband were out on the streets, as it was forbidden to shelter a full Jew. She starred in the 1924 film Gräfin Donelli, which was directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.
She had one of the longest careers of any German actress and was highly sought after because of her wonderful thespian skills. Henny's career would stretch over six decades, from 1906 to 1955. Her first film was in Apachentanz (1906), making her one of the earliest film actresses anywhere in the world. At the age of 65, Henny filmed her last production entitled Die Schätze des Teufels (Das Fräulein von Scuderi (1955).
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