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Encyclopedia > Universum Film AG
UFA logo
UFA logo

Universum Film AG, better known as Ufa or UFA, was the principal film studio in Germany, home of the German film industry during the Weimar Republic and through World War II, and a major force in world cinema during its brief existence from 1917 to 1945. Image File history File links Logo of German film company UFA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Logo of German film company UFA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen The Länder of Germany during the Weimar Republic, with the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen) as the largest Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1919-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann  - 1933 Adolf Hitler... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...


UFA was created on December 18, 1917 in Berlin as a government-owned producer of World War I propaganda and public service films. It was created through the consolidation of most of Germany's commercial film companies, including Nordisk and Decla. Decla's former owner, Erich Pommer, served as producer for the 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which proved the best example of German Expressionism, a commercial success, and an enormously influential film. In the same year, UFA opened the UFA-Palast am Zoo theatre in Berlin. In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year. ... Year 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert Henry Asquith Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow... The Why We Fight Series depicts the Nazi propaganda machine. ... Erich Pommer (July 20, 1889 – May 8, 1966) was one of the most influential producers of the silent film era, having been one of the most influential creators being the German Expressionism movement as the head of production at Ufa from 1924 to 1926. ... Dr. Caligari, Caligari, and Doctor Caligari all redirect here. ... F.W. Murnaus Nosferatu German Expressionism, also referred to as expressionism in filmmaking, developed in Germany (especially Berlin) during the 1920s. ... Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ...


In 1921 UFA was privatized. It became the leading production company in an industry that produced around 600 films each year and attracted a million customers every day. In the silent movie years, when films were easier to adapt for foreign markets, UFA began developing an international reputation and posed serious competition to Hollywood. Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for full calendar). ... Privatization (alternately denationalization or disinvestment) is the transfer of property or responsibility from the public sector (government) to the private sector (business). ... ...


In the Weimar years the studio produced and exported an enormous, accomplished, and inventive body of work. Only an estimated 10% of the studio's output still exists. Famous directors based at Ufa included Fritz Lang and F.W. Murnau, producing landmark films such as Dr. Mabuse (1922), Metropolis (1927), and Marlene Dietrich's first talkie, The Blue Angel (1930). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with 1920s Berlin. ... Friedrich Anton Christian Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of expressionism. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... Dr. Mabuse is a fictional character, a villain, created by author Norbert Jacques but made most famous by the three films German director Fritz Lang made about him over a period of almost forty years. ... Metropolis Metropolis is a science fiction film produced in Germany set in a futuristic urban dystopia. ... Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born actress, entertainer and singer. ... Der Blaue Engel (English: The Blue Angel) is a film directed by Josef von Sternberg in 1930, and is one of the most famous films made by Marlene Dietrich. ...


In addition to avant-garde experiments and lurid films of Weimar street life, UFA was also the studio of the bergfilm, a uniquely German genre that glorified and romanticized mountain climbing, downhill skiing, and avalanche-dodging. The bergfilm genre was primarily the creation of director Arnold Fanck, and examples like The Holy Mountain (1926) and White Ecstasy (1931) are notable for the appearance of Austrian skiing legend Hannes Schneider and a young Leni Riefenstahl. A mountain film is a film genre that focusses on mountaineering and especially the battle of man against nature. ... Arnold Fanck (born 6 March 1889 in Frankenthal, Germany; died 28 September 1974 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) was a pioneer of the German mountain film. ... The Holy Mountain, Mount Athos is an autonomous monastic republic in Greece. ... Johannes Schneider (1890-April 25, 1955) or Hannes Schneider was an Austrian Ski instructor of the first half of the twentieth century. ... Riefenstahl, 1931 Helene Bertha Amalie Leni Riefenstahl (August 22, 1902 – September 8, 2003) was a German film director, dancer and actress, and widely noted for her aesthetics and advances in film technique. ...


The studio over-extended itself financially in the late 1920s, partly as a result of the expensive production of Metropolis, and was taken over by Alfred Hugenberg in March 1927. Hugenberg was connected to Krupp, sympathetic to the Nazis and the company became a producer of Nazi propaganda films after Hitler took power in 1933. Joseph Goebbels' ministry of propaganda essentially controlled the content of UFA films through political pressure and threat. Because of this climate, Lang, like many of his UFA colleagues, would soon leave Germany and work in Hollywood. Alfred Hugenberg (June 19, 1865 - March 12, 1951) was an influential German businessman and politician. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... For the U.S. town, see Krupp, Washington. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... Year 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels (29 October 1897–1 May 1945), Nazi German politician, was Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda throughout the regime of Adolf Hitler from 1933 to 1945. ...

During the 1930s UFA produced both lighthearted musicals and odious examples of anti-Semitic propaganda. In 1937 the Nazi Party bought up 72% of Ufa's shares, and in 1942 UFA was totally nationalized by the Third Reich as the monopoly parent company of the German state's film industry, under which were absorbed all other production and distribution companies and studio facilities active at that time. The studio's design was also an inspiration to the newly constructed Manchukuo Film Association. Image File history File links DieUFAStarsImDrittenReich. ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Nazi swastika The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Manchukuo Film Association Ltd. ...


After the end of the Second World War UFA ceased activity, and initially was so associated with the Third Reich that even reissues of its non-political product were accomplished only by removing all reference to the company from the credits. Furthermore, the UFA studios were located in the Soviet Zone of Germany and were subsequently incorporated into the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The new studio, DEFA (Deutsche Film AG), carried on the UFA tradition with many directors returning from exile, while actors and technicians were recruited from the old company. DEFA went out of business soon after German reunification in 1990, but the UFA studios in Babelsberg now house a number of independent production companies as well as a theme park and museum devoted to the history of German film. Attempts were made in West Germany to resurrect UFA as a production company, but failed to produce more than a handful of films. During the 1960s, the UFA name and logo were coopted by a West German chain of movie theaters. In 1991, UFA was re-established as a major producer of television programs. Today it is part of the transnational Bertelsmann corporation. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... GDR redirects here. ... Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft, better known as DEFA, was the national film company in the German Democratic Republic (GDR/DDR). ... The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, in English commonly called East Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, in... Bertelsmann AG is a transnational media corporation founded in 1835, based in Gütersloh, Germany. ...


See also

Filmstudio Babelsberg Logo showing a scene from Metropolis The Babelsberg Studios is a film studio located in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany. ... Detail from the memorial plaque on the Marlene Dietrich house in the Rote Insel area of Schöneberg This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... The careers of most of the movie actors and actresses below spanned more than just the one period in which they are listed, which is when they began their film careers. ...

External links

  • Ufa and German film chronology
  • "Dream Factory and State Enterprise: the history of UFA"
  • Filmmuseum Potsdam
  • Studio Babelsberg
  • DEFA Film Library and Online Shop
  • Konrad Wolf College of Film and Television

 
 

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