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137 12 Adultery A second wave of emigration took place following the seemingly relaxed atmosphere of the Olympic Games in 1936. Film directors Detlef Sierck, Frank Wysbar, Reinhold Schünzel, and Richard Eichberg left; so did actorwriter -director Curt Goetz, the German equivalent to Noel Coward, as well as stars Marta Eggerth, Jan Kiepura, Wera Engels, Lilian Harvey, Käthe von Nagy, and Pola Negri. Near the end of 1938, Lída Baarová was deported in a night-and-fog procedure; as a Czech patriot, she had felt uneasy throughout the year, and the end of the Goebbels affair was in many ways a blessing. But when her homeland was overrun by the Germans, she had to escape once more, this time to Italy. The year 1938 also saw the deterioration of U.S.–German film relations. Hollywood films continued to be imported, but they were mostly B pictures. The visit of such Hollywood luminaries as Mary Pickford and Robert Taylor to Berlin or Wallace Beery to Munich were only casually mentioned. Gary Cooper did not mind being photographed in the company of Karl Ritter, Mathias Wieman, Wolfgang Liebeneiner, and Zarah Leander when he visited the Babelsberg studios on November 23, yet the German press made little of this visit. The most secret visitor was Josef von Sternberg, who in early 1939 came to Berlin to help relatives emigrate. For Harlan, it was easier than ever to ignore politics, being overburdened with his most expensive film yet as well as with legal troubles. Hilde Körber had won custody of Thomas, Maria, and Susanne and with the help of Goebbels’s best lawyer ruined Harlan financially. Or so Harlan wrote in his autobiography, and Söderbaum’s autobiography, Nichts bleibt immer so (Nothing ever remains the same), even contains such headings as“MyPredecessorwithHarlanOrdersMySurveillance”and“Humiliations at Hilde Körber’s.” According to Maria, who was closer in spirit to her father and who grew to like Kristina, it is unlikely that her mother had veit harlan 138 deliberately hurt her ex-husband and his new wife.1 Hilde Körber might have looked resentful in her roles, but this impression came chiefly because of her short-sightedness. And if Harlan had to pay her hefty sums, he also earned enough to keep for himself. More troubling to him perhaps was that Kristina was insulted behind her back, and he again suffered heart problems. How fitting, then, that the film Der Titan—retitled Das unsterbliche Herz (The immortal heart)—would deal with a creative man’s race against time, having to complete his work before a bullet that hit him in the chest reaches his heart. Budgeted at 1.75 million RM, this late-medieval epic provided Harlan with ever more difficult technical problems because it would open with a shipwreck scene. In collaboration with Walter Eplinius, he wrote a screenplay that gave more weight to the character of Ev, who inevitably would be played by Kristina. The supporting cast was stronger than ever: Heinrich George as the inventor Peter Henlein, silent film legend Paul Wegener as his doctor, and opera singer Michael Bohnen as Martin Behaim, the cosmographer and astronomer who designs maps, charts, and the Nuremberg Globe. When production started in late July 1938, Gustav Fröhlich was announced as Henlein’s young apprentice who falls in love with Ev, but he would have been too self-confident for the part. Raimund Schelcher could convey the quality of shyness Harlan wanted; he had it onscreen at least. In real life, Schelcher was a notorious troublemaker, convicted of two thefts, malicious injury, maltreatment, and libel in the past. When he became a soldier after the outbreak of World War II, he repeatedly deserted and would normally have been executed. As the apprentice Konrad, he seems merely wooden and incompetent, which fits the part. For dialogue, Harlan insisted on naturalism, but the music was to be more operatic than usual. No less a genius than Johann Sebastian Bach would provide the score. Because Harlan had liked Alois Melichar’s musical arrangements for Abschiedswalzer and Stradivari, he asked Melichar to adapt Bach for the screen. Publicity for the film began rather late but then was all the more spectacular. In October, some thirty Berlin journalists were invited to Nuremberg to watch Harlan directing Peter Henlein’s funeral. Inhabitants of Nuremberg, dressed in historical costumes, filled the streets. Photographs caught Harlan standing on a tower, high above the extras, examining them with his...


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