Lecture: ERNST LUBITSCH: Jewish Comedy from Berlin to Hollywood

  • December 08, 2011
  • 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Shir TikvahSanctuary
The Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota presents

ERNST LUBITSCH: Jewish Comedy from Berlin to Hollywood

When Ernst Lubitsch left Berlin for Hollywood at the end of 1922 to direct a film with Mary Pickford, he was the most successful German film director.

He became famous in America in the 1920s for suggestive, “sophisticated” comedy that got past the censors.

During the mid-1930s, strict enforcement of film censorship guidelines made it difficult for Lubitsch.

By the late 1930s, he was making comedies set in Europe that were more overtly political. His most famous comedy, To Be or Not to Be, was an anti-Nazi comedy that was controversial in 1942 but has since inspired many filmmakers, including Mel Brooks.

Rick McCormick, a professor of German at the University of Minnesota, is a scholar of German film and culture whose work focuses on the intersection of art, culture, and politics, with a special emphasis

on gender, sexuality, and ethnic/national identity. His work has explored how postwar German film has represented the legacy of the Holocaust and Nazism as well as the complex political and cultural dynamics of Germany’sWeimar Republic (1918–1933). He is working on a book on Lubitsch.

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