Skip to main content

Galeen, Henrik

GALEEN, Henrik



Writer. Nationality: Danish (or Belgian, Czech, or Dutch). Born: Denmark (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands are also given in various sources), 1882; given name also spelled Henryk and Heinrich. Career: Journalist (?), then actor; 1906—assistant to Max Reinhardt at Deutsches Theater, Berlin; later acted in Switzerland, England, and France; film actor as early as 1910; 1914—first film as writer and codirector, Der Golem; 1933—emigrated to the United States, then disappeared from view. Died: In 1949.


Films as Writer:

1914

Der Golem (The Golem) (+ co-d, ro—short)

1919

Die beiden Gatten der Frau Ruth (Biebrach—short); Die rollende Kugel (Biebrach); Peter Schlemihl (Rye) (+ ro)

1920

Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (The Golem) (Wegener); Der verbotene Weg (+ d); Judith Trachtenberg (+ d)

1921

Die geliebte Roswolskys (Basch); Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu the Vampire) (Murnau)

1923

Stadt in Sicht (+ d)

1924

Die Liebesbriefe der Baronin von S. (+ d); Auf gefährlichen Spuren (Verwehte Spuren) (Piel) (+ ro); Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (Waxworks) (Leni)

1925

Das Fräulein vom Amt (Liebe und Telephon) (Schwarz); Zigano, der Brigant vom Monte Diavolo (Zigano) (Piel) (+ ro)

1926

Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague); The Man Who Cheated Life (+ d); Achtung Harry! Augen auf! (Sechs Wochen unter den Apachen) (Piel)

1927

Alraune (Mandrake; Unholy Love; A Daughter of Destiny) (+ d); Sein grösster Bluff (Er oder ich) (Piel)

1928

Die Dame mit der Maske (Thiele)

1931

Schatten der Unterwelt (Piel)

Other Films:

1913

Der Student von Prag (Rye) (asst d)

1923

Das Haus ohne Lachen (ro)

1929

After the Verdict (d)

1933

Salon Dora Green (Die Falle) (d)

Publications


By GALEEN: books—

The Golem and Nosferatu (screenplays) in Films of Tyranny, edited by Richard B. Byrne, Madison, Wisconsin, 1966.

Nosferatu (screenplay) in Masterworks of the German Cinema, edited by Roger Manvell, London, 1973.

Nosferatu (screenplay) in Murnau, by Lotte Eisner, Berkeley, California, 1973.

Das Wachsfigurenkabinett: Drehbuch von Henrik Galeen zu Paul Lenis Film von 1923, Munchen, 1994.


On GALEEN: article—


Filmkultura, no. 12, January 1993.


* * *

Henrik Galeen, who was possibly of Danish, Dutch or Czech origin, became an actor in the early German theatre and (from 1910) in the German cinema. He was very soon to widen his career in film and establish himself both as a screenwriter and director of some importance, especially in the development of the Expressionist movement during the 1920s. As Lotte Eisner, in her invaluable book on the German Expressionist film, The Haunted Screen, has pointed out, Expressionist stylization in the art direction for fantasy and horror subjects actually preceded by some years its notable popularization in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari of 1919; it appeared for example in the earliest version of The Student of Prague, directed by Stellan Rye in 1913, in which the actor-director Paul Wegener starred. The following year Wegener made his early version of the mythological film, The Golem, also employing a pioneer form of the Expressionist style in order to establish the medieval form of magic of this strange Jewish legend. He was assisted by Galeen as both scriptwriter and director, and Galeen also acted in the film.

After this Galeen either directed, codirected, or wrote a number of silent films (Peter Schlemihl, Judith Trachtenberg), including coscripting another (1920) version of The Golem, directed by Wegener, who also played the title role. Among Galeen's greatest contributions to German cinema was the script for Nosferatu the Vampire, directed by one of Germany's most distinguished filmmakers, F.W. Murnau. Murnau's working script survives, and is the subject of detailed comment and generous quotation by Lotte Eisner in her book Murnau. Galeen's script was written in the Expressionist style much resembling blank verse established by Carl Mayer, who was in process of becoming Germany's outstanding scriptwriter for silent film; and the talents of Galeen and Murnau fused in this, still one of the most effective of the period's German "haunted" films. Galeen went on to write and direct more routine films (Stadt in Sicht, Die Liebesbriefe der Baronin von S.) before scripting another influential film in the Expressionist style, Waxworks, which Paul Leni directed, and which Siegfried Kracauer points out in his book From Caligari to Hitler as developing further the theme of tyranny in all its varied forms which Galeen had originated in Nosferatu. The film is a three-part feature fantasizing the power-crazed "tyrants" Harun-al-Raschid, Ivan the Terrible, and Jack the Ripper. In 1926 he directed and coscripted a later version of The Student of Prague starring Conrad Veidt and Werner Krauss, again one of the most effective of Germany's silent "haunted" films, with emphasis on the psychology of Baldwin (Veidt) in his struggle with his doppelgäner, or alter ego, revealed as a hidden aspect of his own, individual psyche, and displaying Galeen's special skill in handling both fantasy and horror. Alraune (which Galeen coscripted and directed) followed, a study of a destructive femme fatale (Brigitte Helm), a woman created by artificial insemination as the child of a prostitute and a criminal who had been hanged.

Galeen bridged the silent and early sound film periods with less interesting work, coming to Britain for a short while, where he directed After the Verdict in 1929, a film scripted by Alma Reville, made during the difficult changeover from silent to sound film technique. He left Germany for the U.S. in 1933, when Hitler came to power, but made no films there. There are several references to his collaboration with Siegfried Kracauer on From Caligari to Hitler, but following this there appears to be no record of his activities.

—Roger Manvell

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Galeen, Henrik." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Galeen, Henrik." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/galeen-henrik

"Galeen, Henrik." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved October 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/galeen-henrik

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.