Maria Schell was one of the most famous female movie stars of the 1950s. In German post-war filmmaking, she embodied the ideal woman alongside such stars as Dieter Borsche or O.W. Fischer. Her breakthrough on the international stage came in 1954 with Helmut Käutner's The Last Bridge (Die letzte Brücke), for which she received the award for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. In the following years, she worked with a number of famous directors such as Robert Siodmak, Wolfgang Staudte, René Clément and Luchino Visconti.
Maria Schell's life story paradigmatically reflects a chapter of West German media history. Her movies gained her international acclaim; she was often compared with actresses of world fame such as Ingrid Bergman. In the 1970s and later, she acted predominantly in German television movies and series. The career of this great actress ran parallel to another development which saw the waning importance of cinema overshadowed by the rise of television. In presenting the life story of Maria Schell, this exhibition also highlighted a significant era of West German cinematic and cultural history, as well as a historical perspective of the phenomenon of stardom. The special exhibition at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt presented the actress's extensive works and personal memorabilia.
Curators: Hans-Peter Reichmann, Maja Keppler
Participants / artists: Maximilian Schell (A), Oliver Schell, Marie-Theres Kroetz, Veit Relin (A), Maria Furtwängler, Artur Brauner, and contributing writers for the catalogue
Venues and schedule:
Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt am Main, 31 Jan. - 17 Jun. 2007
Schloss Wolfsberg (A), July - October 2007
Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF e.V.
60596 Frankfurt am Main