Pabst, Georg Wilhelm

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pabst, Georg Wilhelm


Born Aug. 27, 1885, in Raudnitz; died May 30, 1967, in Vienna. German film director.

Pabst began working in dramatic theaters in 1905. Beginning in 1921 he worked in films, becoming a director in 1923. He became known for his film of social criticism The Joyless Street (1925), which realistically portrayed the tragic poverty and speculation prevalent in Austria after World War I. The films Secrets of the Soul (1926) and Pandora’s Box (1928, based on F. Wedekind’s expressionist play) are evidence of Pabst’s attraction to the theory of psychoanalysis.

In the years preceding the fascist dictatorship, Pabst was associated with international circles of progressive cinematographers. He joined the German Film Union, organized in 1928, which promoted revolutionary cinematography. His sound film Western Front 1918 (1930) opposed the reactionary trend predominating in German cinema at that time. In 1931, Pabst filmed The Threepenny Opera, based on B. Brecht’s work of the same name, and Comradeship, about proletarian brotherhood among French and German miners. In 1933 he fled from Germany and Nazi persecution. He worked in France and in the USA, and in 1939 he went to Austria. Later films directed by Pabst included The Comedians (1941), Paracelsus (1943), The Trial (1948), and The Voice of Silence (1952).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.