The girl from Ackerstrasse. 1st chapter

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Original title The girl from Ackerstrasse. 1st chapter. A drama from the big city
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1920
length 6 acts, 2224 m, at 20 fps 87 minutes
Director Reinhold Schünzel
script Arzén by Cserépy and Bobby E. Lüthge based on the novel by Ernst Friedrich
production Arzén von Cserépy, Cserépy-Film Co. GmbH (Berlin)
camera Curt Courant

The girl from Ackerstrasse. The first part is the title of a silent “drama from the big city” that Reinhold Schünzel staged in 1920 for Arzén from Cserépy's company Cserépy-Film Co. GmbH (Berlin). The screenplay was written by Bobby E. Lüthge and Arzén von Cserépy based on a literary model, the novel of the same name by Ernst Friedrich, published in 1919. The title role was played by the dancer and soubrette Lilly Flohr , who played the unfortunate young professor before he became the “old Fritz” of German cinema, Otto Fee . Director Schünzel himself was seen in the role of the devious servant Franz.


The underage daughter of a decrepit couple who lived on Ackerstrasse in Berlin escapes from her parents' apartment because she is subjected to continued abuse. The woman who had collapsed on the street is taken to his apartment by a young university professor and kept there for a long period of time until one day her benefactor, with whom the girl from Ackerstrasse fell in love, enters into illicit relationships with her. This happens immediately after he celebrated his engagement and after his servant also took possession of the girl due to a fictitious attack.

The girl's parents file charges against the scholar with extortionate intent for seducing a minor. The desperate scholar shoots himself after handing the girl over to a friend for care.

(Summary from the Minutes No. 177 of the Berlin Oberprüfstelle)


Curt Courant was in charge of the camera, Fritz Seyffert erected the film structures . Heinz Schall was responsible for the artistic advice .

In the film, Erwin Geschonneck stood for the first time in front of the camera as a 14-year-old boy during outdoor shots in courtyard number 9 amid a horde of children.

Since Ackerstrasse was not a point of reference for viewers outside of Berlin , the film title was adapted to local or regional circumstances at the respective venues; so the film was called in Hamburg and northern Germany Das Mädchen vom Jungfernstieg , in Frankfurt am Main and southern Germany Das Mädchen von der Zeil , in Munich and Bavaria Das Mädchen vom Stachus , in Breslau and Silesia Das Mädchen von der Schweidnitzer Strasse , in Leipzig and Saxony Das Girls from Peterstrasse and in Cologne and in the Rhineland The girl from Hohestrasse .

The girl from Ackerstrasse had its world premiere on May 3, 1920 in Berlin in the Decla-Lichtspiele, after a press screening had already taken place in April 1920 in the Berlin cinema “Lichtspielhaus”.

The film was one of the first productions to be banned due to the new Reichslichtspielgesetz of May 12, 1920.

The girl from Ackerstrasse was presented to the Berlin Film Inspectorate on August 4, 1920 with a length of 6 files = 2,224 m (2,250 m before censorship) and was banned from young people under No. B.89 April 1921 and April 25, 1921 respectively. The Oberprüfstelle spoke on November 22, 1923 and November 23, 1923 under the number OA99, approving the requests for revocation by the interior ministries of the Baden and Bavarian state governments. a ban on public performance.

On March 27, 1924, after cuts, the film was again available to the Berlin Film Inspectorate in a length of 6 files, now only 2,121 m, whereupon it was re-admitted under no. B.8251 while maintaining the youth ban. The decision was immediately appealed, so that the Berlin supervisory authority confirmed the ban on April 9, 1924 under No. O.177. The reason given was that the performance was "expected to have a demoralizing effect within the meaning of Section 1 (2) of the Reichslichtspielgesetz". It was recognized that “a serious social problem in the big city was being discussed”, but this was done in “such a humid atmosphere of sensuality and sensation” that “an educational effect was excluded”.


Shortly after the First World War , isolated "milieu films" were made that attempted to depict everyday life in the big city in an unadorned way. One of the first was Reinhold Schünzel's girl from Ackerstrasse in 1920 .

The film was reviewed in

  • Photo stage No. 33/34, 1919.
  • Photo stage No. 19, 1920.
  • Photo stage No. 18, 1920.
  • The film No. 14, 1920.
  • The film No. 19, 1920.
  • The film No. 43, 1920.
  • The film No. 44, 1920.
  • Film Courier No. 91, 1920.
  • First International Cinematographers Magazine No. 11, 1920.
  • First International Cinematographers Magazine No. 20/21, 1920.
  • First International Film Newspaper (Berlin), No. 20–21, 1920.

and is recorded at

  • Lamprecht Volume 19 No. 67
  • GECD # 29036

Contemporary Reviews:

  • Frank [= Paul Frank?] Wrote in Film-Kurier , no. 91 of May 1st, 1920 about The Girl from Ackerstrasse :

“Neither the title nor the choice of the novel of the same name for filming seems particularly happy given the prevailing conditions and the prevailing taste. One is gradually fed up with these so-called moral images from the big city, which are almost never typical and therefore largely smell of that evil cinematic romance that should and could actually be overcome today. An abundance of improbabilities spoils such 'dramas' for the tasteful viewer and also robs them of the last bit of ethical justification, since only what the viewer perceives as credible and taken from real life can have a deterrent and ameliorating effect.

That is why this story remains a scholar dripping with generosity and good-naturedness, decency and solidity, who takes care of a poor, unhappy girl from the depths of the big city, brings her up in his house and then suddenly, on the night after his engagement party with someone else who seduces underage girls without any deeper impression. In addition, there is an evil rabble of criminals growing up around this scholar, whom the scholar tolerates around him in a completely unmotivated manner, by whom he allows himself to be exploited and blackmailed, although he has only done good and noble things up to the seduction - which is also completely unfounded psychologically.

If one has to decisively reject the choice of the material and its dramatic adaptation, then the direction, which was in the hands of Reinhold Schünzel, the representation and the photography deserve unreserved praise. Apart from the usual concessions to the supposed public taste (artist party, Kaschemmen gear, engagement party and the like), the direction has made sure that unnecessary ballast is kept away and the plot is built up with straightforward clarity and tightness. The pictures are well placed and their effect is artistically calculated.

Schünzel is developing more and more into a great director without his mastery as an actor suffering. Because even as such he delivers a brilliant performance in this Cserépy film, which, through no fault of his own, is perhaps only impaired by the fact that this type of cynical, brutal theatrical villain, which has become his specialty, has been seen a little too often. At his side is Otto Fee, who works his way up to one of our best film actors, who excels through the simplicity and surprising naturalness of his game, his confident mastery of every situation and his expressive facial expression. Lili Flor, who plays the title role, also shows a positive development upwards, even if she is still lacking in many things as a first-rate film diva and there are still considerable deficiencies in the pantomime gesture. Albert Steinrück and Rosa Valetti presented brilliant episode characters as extortionate parents on the screen. Curt Courant's photograph was careful and tasteful. "

  • HB wrote in the Lichtbild-Bühne , No. 18 on May 1st, 1920 about The Girl from Ackerstrasse :

“After all, the film delivers more than its title promises. One can even assume that the title was chosen on purpose. Subject: tear film par excellence. One of the organ grinder's motifs. - But the execution! Schünzel's direction is almost entirely mature and skilled. However, a man like Schünzel could have saved himself the slight delay in tempo in the first act and the not entirely convincing extra series. Schünzel's directorial note in this film is the fight against and equalization of the maudlin material. A difficult task. But it can be called resolved. This director is a master of realistic art, and his noteworthy, honest efforts in this direction easily elevate the work to a higher level. Furthermore, a good parallelization of the images is to be assessed as an artistic element. The final scene even trembles to a certain perfectly appropriate and effective symbolism. "

The film was so successful that there were two sequels.

Werner Funck shot a second part in the same year; A third part with the main title How the girl from Ackerstrasse found her home was followed by Martin Hartwig in 1921 , who together with Walter Wassermann also wrote the manuscript. Lilly Flohr was cast in the title role in all parts .

Ackerstrasse in Berlin also played a role in literature. In his multi-award-winning trilogy turning points , which consists of the volumes The Red Sailors or A Forgotten Winter (1984), With the Back to the Wall (1990) and The First Spring (1993), the writer Klaus Kordon describes the fate of the Gebhart family, who lives at Ackerstrasse No. 37 through the years after the First World War. In the foreword to the first volume, the author characterizes Wedding as the poorest part of Berlin and Ackerstraße as the poorest street in Wedding.

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. Pseudonym for Hermann Fleischack (* 1889, VIAF ID: 22932908: Permalink ); the author, who had also written titles such as Allerlei von der Liebe , Das Kuckucksei , Das Judenmädel von Sosnowice (filmed by Ferdinand Walden in 1921 ) and Section 173 of the Reich Criminal Code , got on the “list of harmful and undesirable literature” in the Third Reich, cf. Berlin under National Socialism - Exiled Books.
  2. A more detailed table of contents according to: Erste Internationale Filmzeitung (Berlin), No. 20–21 of May 22, 1920, cf.
  3. Jens Rübner: "Snot noses". Film children - from days long gone. Engelsdorfer Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-86901-181-3 , chapter “A very big one in his guild”; also: Michael Hanisch: A face, almost angular, almost wooden. The actor Erwin Geschonneck. In: film service. 26/2001. (PDF online)
  4. See
  5. Opened in 1911 as a shop cinema called “Spandauer Lichtspiele”, new cinema name between 1920 and 1924: Decla-Lichtspiele, cf.
  6. Formerly UT Unter den Linden, cf. : In December 1919, the reopening of the cinema is mentioned in the Lichtbildbühne under the name "Lichtspielpalast": "On Saturday, December 6th, the former UT theater that had been taken over by the Bioscop Group was reopened."
  7. See , accessed on October 10, 2016.
  8. So Göge 12 May 2005 Germany radio.
  9. a b c Source: Reichsfilmprüfung / Doc. B. 8251
  10. See notification A.99 on
  11. See notification B.08251 on
  12. So turned z. B. Max Mack in 1921 three parts of the four-part milieu series The Secrets of Berlin , advertised as a “moral film” , the title of which was probably based on Eugène Sue's Les Mystères de Paris ; the first part Berlin N. The Dark City was directed by Arthur Teuber , cf. ( Memento from October 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  13. See
  14. See
  15. See
  16. “How the girl from Ackerstrasse found her home. (The girl from Ackerstrasse, 3rd part) ”, cf. ( Memento from October 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  17. See Lilly Flohr on and Thomas Staedteli on