A film biography - also biopic (from the English biographical and English motion picture ) - describes a film that tells the life of a historically verifiable figure in a fictionalized form. The biopic is one of the oldest film genres. The term originated in 1951 and was first used in the US journal Variety. In a biopic, the life story of a real person from birth to death does not have to be told; rather, it is sufficient that one or more phases of life are dramaturgically linked to form a cinematic whole . A key criterion of biopics is the mention of the name of the real person. Mostly it is assumed in the biopic that the person portrayed has social relevance.
In addition to the classic genres of film studies such as westerns , horror , musicals , comedies , war films , science fiction or thrillers , the biopic category has also established itself. Genres in themselves are of great importance because they arouse certain expectations in the audience. Although there are different genre classifications in different works, most reference works list the biopic as an independent genre, including the largest film database on the Internet, " Internet Movie Database " or the "Handbook of American Film Genres" by WD Gehring.
The biopic describes the life of a historically documented personality. In most cases this person is already dead, in some cases people from the present are also used. Not every person is suitable for a biopic. In his book Bio / Pics, George F. Custen assumes that mostly people are used whose lives are characterized by fame . How exactly fame is to be measured varies from generation to generation and from culture to culture. While numerous biopics were shot about historical figures in the past, people from culture and the media are also suitable for this in the recent past. However, this does not mean that the main character has to be introduced right at the beginning of the film. In the film Mata Hari (1931) the main character is only shown after more than five minutes, even though the film starts in the middle of the story. If a biopic introduces the main character right from the start, it can begin with the person's childhood as well as with adulthood. The stable designator in a biopic is the name: a biopic usually uses the real name of the person. Thus, the following criterion for determining a biopic can be determined: the real name of the main person must be stated.
Many biopics have the first or last name, or the full name of the person in the title . It doesn't matter whether they are people from politics , history or popular culture . Also, the person's nickname is often used, mostly in biopics about people from popular culture. Formulations such as “The Story of […]” or “The […] Story” can be added to the names, but also additions such as “Life”, “Great” or “Young”. These additions can also be included in the additional title. But the main character does not always have to be represented in the title. Some biopics take effect z. B. to known works or entities from the life of the people, e.g. B. in An Angel at my Table (1990). Others use titles that at first glance do not suggest a biopic, such as B. A man like EVA (1984). These titles are mostly based on thematic associations with the main character or on experimental forms.
The film scholar Taylor describes the biopic as a chameleon genre, as it does not follow any style of its own and therefore does not have a distinctive “look”. Despite the biopic's status as a genre in its own right, a second or third category is often used when talking about a biopic, a so-called auxiliary genre. So z. B. Schindler's List (1994) is listed on www.imdb.com as a biopic as well as a drama and war film . According to Taylor, this is due to the genre's weak narrative coding, which requires the use of auxiliary genres. Rather, the auxiliary genre shapes the stylistic design of a biopic. In most cases, biopics contain so-called " title cards " that are displayed either at the beginning or at the end of the film and inform the viewer that the film shown is based on true events. In addition, the "Title Cards" can contain information about the main character's biography or help to put the film into a historical context. Frame narration is also frequently used. The adult protagonist David Helfgott introduces the film Shine (1996). A little later, the film tells of his childhood. In such cases, the viewer receives an orientation aid thanks to the displayed year and location information. This can e.g. B. also happen in the form of newspaper clippings. But also the complete absence of time fade-ins is possible, in such cases time leaps are bridged with the help of photo sequences or " voice overs ".
Forms of representation of death
Should the death of the real person be discussed, unwritten laws also apply in the biopic. On the one hand, it can be said that if the real person is dead at the time the film is made, the biopic often ends with their death. The fact that the biopic ends with death at all is certainly surprising, because Hollywood pays special attention to the " happy ending " in mainstream films . One might argue that death is a central part of many Hollywood films. However, it is seldom the main character who dies - except in tragedies . The portrayal of death occupies a special part in the biopic. The viewer remains z. B. the quick death of the leading actress in Isadora (1969), but also the long, seemingly eternal agony in Molière (1978). The stylistic means used depends on the auxiliary genre (e.g. through the use of music, assembly technology and camera settings, the respective scene is adapted to the auxiliary genre). Death can also take the form of an idea, e.g. B. in the film Tschapajew (1934), in which the viewer can assume the death of the main actor, but whose corpse cannot be seen. Oliver Stone shows in The Doors (1990) that death does not necessarily have to mean the end, not even in the biopic. The main actor appears, based on Christian motifs, after his drug death as a teenager.
Differentiation from the other genres
As a rule, biopics fall back on the past to tell the life of the main character. Depending on the historical relevance of the person depicted, the biopic also shows events of historical importance. So does the film Nixon (1995), which not only shows the life of the former President of the United States, but also the political events of his time, such as the Watergate scandal . But this is certainly not a rule, because biopics do not have to have any historical connection points. You specifically focus on the main character. The historical facts of one or the other event are of secondary importance.
The docu-drama (documentary play) shows true events with the help of documentary material. This genre is especially popular on television. In contrast to the biopic, documentary material is mixed with fiction in the docudrama . This is how real recordings are assembled with scenes played by actors . It remains uncertain to what extent the broad mass of viewers can differentiate between fiction and reality in the docu-drama (Rosenthal 1999, p. 18).
Fictional biographies or pseudobiographies (see Lopez 1993, p. 25) are based on true life stories, just like biopics, but do not use the name of the real person. This can have different reasons, e.g. B. the fact that the person was still alive when the film was made. For example, the film Scarface (1932) tells the story of the fictional mafioso Tony Camonte, but is based on the life of Al Capone .
Divisions of the biopic
The thematic contents of biographical feature films could not be more numerous. The fascination comes from the demand for authenticity . According to the motto: “Nothing is more exciting than reality”, the fabrics are selected and illustrated. It has been shown that figures of deviance are especially exciting for scriptwriters and producers . These are characters whose lives get off the beaten track and are usually no longer within the moral norm. The legendary character of a figure is updated and reinforced through cinematic repetition. These deviations are interesting and contribute to a cinematic culture of memory.
Film is a medium of collective memory and uses cultural techniques to stop time and bring it to mind. These cinematic memory processes are connected with the requirement of commitment and the conveyance of values, which they cannot or do not always do justice to.
Basically, a distinction is made between two forms of biographical film: the serious type, which requires historical research and claims historicity, and the experimental type, which is more free in terms of its historical accuracy. Furthermore, different concepts of the film biography can be distinguished: open or closed narrative perspective , linear or non-linear structure, figure-centered or figure-decentered forms.
But there are also hybrid forms that combine different modes of presentation. The biographical film stages heroes or anti-heroes : scientists , musicians , composers , painters , visual artists , poets and writers . Every biographical professional group has its own means and modes of expression. Biopics adjust their thematic fields according to the professions or the social or legal status of the main character.
However, the problem of authorship is common to all subgenres . The represented figure functions as a historicizing subject and as a nostalgic medium of memory and is therefore responsible. A legend (of Latin legendum = "to Reading") created a history by repeatedly telling, and by handing down through generations. For something to have value to be passed on, the story must have certain concepts. In other words, the material to be filmed must have the potential to become a legend.
Teleological approach - heroization
The figure strives for a goal, it tries to fulfill a life task. This task literally means giving up your life for a higher goal and sacrificing yourself for your goal. Central in artist films is the work of the artist portrayed as an inner expression of the self. Both the achievement of the goal and the failure are part of the narrative fundus . From this follows the superiority of the artist over his environment and the creation of a myth .
Psychopathological approach - psychologization
The tendency to the artist depicted pathologizing and mostly post mortem to diagnose , one of the main narrative categories. Genius and madness is a concept that was established in antiquity and has remained a popular topos to this day . This concept serves, among other things, to give the viewer an opportunity to identify and to provide a measure of their own normalcy.
The narrative means for the topos of artistry and psychopathology are numerous, but the image of homelessness , wandering and aimless wandering, the problematic love relationships of the characters and the difficult personal constitution of the person portrayed can be found again and again . An existence is designed that moves outside the norm and brings the dark side of a personality to the fore, which is what makes the biopic genre so fascinating.
History of the biopic
From biography to biopic
The biography is considered to be the oldest genre of literature . The generic term comes from the Greek and is made up of the words bios = life and graphein = write. This means something like description of life or description of life. The English expression “biography” and the term “biography” used in German were used for the first time from 1683.
Since the beginning of cinema history, films have dealt with the past and with historical branches. The legendary film project of the Lumière brothers was recorded in Paris in 1895 as the beginning of the cinema as a commercial institution . In 1899, Georges Méliès reconstructed historical events from 1894 in his ten tableaus about the still unfinished Dreyfus affair (L'affaire Dreyfus). In this early example one can already see the beginnings of a filmed life story.
Not only primarily historical early forms of biopics were important around the turn of the century, but also productions with religious representations. In 1897 M. Lear made a series of tableaus about the life and passion of Jesus Christ (Musser 1999, p. 209ff). After the early years of cinema in 1909, Abel Gance produced the French film Molière , which, thanks to its narrative form and longer film time, can be viewed as the first biopic in Europe.
Classic phase of the biopic in Europe
The development of the genus of the biopic can be described in two tendencies. The first, classic phase extends into the 1940s and describes the great narratives of progress, emancipation, individuals, stories about enlightenment, humanization and heroic tales. The following European biopics belong to this phase:
The film by Carl Froelich Richard Wagner (1913), Dimitri Buchowetski's Danton (1920) and Peter the Great (1922), Ernst Lubitsch's Madame Dubarry (1919) and Anna Boleyn (1920) are among the early film biographies.
Alexander Korda's films such as The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and Rembrandt (1936), both with Charles Laughton in the lead role, set the first climax of biographical films through the establishment of talkies.
Biographies of heroism and virtue and striving for progress are the main hallmarks of the 1930s in the Soviet Union . Here there were no lone fighters in the foreground as in American films , but heroes who were integrated in the collective. Mainly military leaders and ceremonial appointments were filmed, which cinematographically reflected socialist realism . Examples of this are films such as Chapayev (1934), Alexandr Newskij (1938) and the first part by Ivan Groznyj (1944).
Germany during the Second World War
Adoration of leaders, idealized representations of national figures and patriotic myths have been the big themes in biopics since the beginning of the Third Reich. The numerous portraits of “great Germans” include films such as Robert Koch, The Fighter of Death (1939), Bismarck (1940) and Friedemann Bach (1941). Production under National Socialism was not only determined by biographies of historical material from the prevailing ideology , but also by numerous musicians and costume films. Worth mentioning here are Carl Froelich 's Tchaikovsky portrait It was a glittering ball night (1939) and Karl Hartl's Mozart film Who the Gods Love (1942).
Italy during the Second World War
After the end of the Second World War, the trend of musicians and costume films continued. Mention should be made of Walter Kolm-Velteé with his film about Beethoven Eroica (1949) and the Mozart biography Reich my hand, my life (1955). A high point of the trend was reached with Ernst Marischka's three-part film adaptation Sissi (1955), Sissi, the young Empress (1956) and Sissi - Fateful Years of an Empress (1957).
Modern phase of the biopic in Europe
The second, modern phase of the genre begins after World War II and extends from the 1960s to postmodernism . The further development of the first phase of the biopic is clearly evident in the subjects of the biographies. Instead of heroic stories, deviant characters are now increasingly appearing . The result is a counter-image to the classical phase, in which central figures were neither canonized nor harmoniously integrated. Death came increasingly to the fore, as did fear and pessimism . Furthermore, the genre of the second phase describes increasingly intimate aspects of the characters shown, such as love affairs , sexuality and personal problems such as alcoholism and drugs . In the 1950s, the artist film reached a high point in the history of the biopic. The following European biographies belong to this phase:
John Huston produced a colorful artist film with his Toulouse Lautrec portrait Moulin Rouge (1952). In the 1970s, Ken Russell was seen as a pioneer of the new biopic in the form of artist portraits such as The Music Lovers (1970), Mahler (1974) and Valentino (1977). His voyeuristic films often cross the line to become kitsch .
Italy / France
In the 1960s, the biopic was renewed in terms of form and content by various new movements. Francesco Rosi's biopics still show traces of Italian neorealism , but create clear references to the complex socio-political situation in Italy. His biopics include Salvatore Giuliano (1961), Il caso Mattei (1972) and Lucky Luciano (1973). In France, portraits of dubious and notorious characters subsequently appeared in films by Alain Resnais .
Andrej Tarkowskij showed in his film Andrej Rublev (1968), as did the director Sergej Paradzhanov with his unconventional poet chronicle Sajat Nowa / Zwet Granaty (1969), the subliminal Soviet criticism of the system.
England from the 1970s
In biopics, sensitive issues such as homosexuality have been treated fairly openly since the 1970s, mostly by actors who briefly made headlines in the rainbow press. Director Jack Gold made it possible in his film The Naked Civil Servant - The Autobiography of Quentin Crisp (1975) to put a gay man at the center of the narrative. In the 1990s, British cinema celebrated great international success with numerous biopics, among other things. One example of this is the wave of numerous Shakespeare adaptations that have met with great approval from the film audience since Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989) and Shekhar Kapur Elizabeth (1998). Shakespeare himself is portrayed in the romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love (1998). Other artist films from the 1990s with topics such as eccentric love affairs and sexuality were z. B. Carrington (1995), Love is the Devil (1997), Hilary and Jackie (1998), Caravaggio (1986) and Wilde (1997).
In Germany, the focus was on individuals. Minorities, neglected figures, rediscovered fates and portraits of women were portrayed. In Colossal Love (1981) the question of biographical identity is brought to the fore. In Michael Verhoeven's film The White Rose (1982), the siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl resisted the Nazi regime as individuals during National Socialism . The film From a German Life (1977) also shows the individuality of the main character. Stories about murderers can also be found in a number of German films. So also the fictional biopic The Lost (1951) or the story of a mass murderer in the Third Reich At Night When the Devil Came (1957). In addition, vampire films and portraits of abnormal figures and "monsters" were made, as told by Ulli Lommel in Die Zärtlichkeit der Wolfe (1973), Peter Sehr in Kaspar Hauser (1993) and Werner Herzog in Everyone for himself and God against all (1974) becomes.
"In France, too, an old tradition of national epics, prestigious literary films and heroic historical film characters flourished again." Bruno Nuytten with his directorial debut Camille Claudel (1988), which is elaborately designed in terms of equipment and costume, tells the story of the French artist who was overshadowed by her lover Auguste Rodin all her life . In the 1990s, two historical biographies appeared, on the one hand Alain Corneau's Tous les matins du monde (1991), on the other hand Jacques Rivette's Jeanne la Pucelle (1994). The complex, mythical subject of Joan of Arc prompted director Luc Besson to make another film adaptation in Jeanne d'Arc (1999) with an international cast.
Classic phase of the biopic in Hollywood
The biopic has been a well-known product in the US since the beginning of the film. It played and continues to play a major role in the formation and reception of history in the United States. Hollywood and especially the big studios in Hollywood had their very own construction of the biopic: in it, the lives of famous people were repurposed in such a way that they fit into certain contours created by the producers and studio bosses. This presented a worldview that puts certain ways of life and values above other ways of life. The history of the biopic in the US can be broadly divided into two parts. The classic phase from the beginnings of film at the beginning of the 20th century to the 1960s and the modern phase, from the 1960s to today. There are of course many smaller, thematic currents within these two phases. At the beginning of the classic phase in the USA, the focus of the biopic was heavily on the narration of royal lives. This was a big issue until the 1930s. The first commercial success of the Warner production studio was a biopic about an American ambassador to Germany entitled My Four Years in Germany (1918). The high phase of the biopic began in the mid-1930s. A total of 291 biopics were produced in Hollywood between 1927 and 1960. While biographies of traditional elites, such as the nobility or political leaders, dominated from 1927 to 1940, the self-reflexivity of the genre became evident after 1940 , which focused on portraying entertainers , artists and film stars . Because the biopic producers also recognized the public's desire for entertainment and light material. Two thirds of all biopics between 1927 and 1960 are set in the United States and / or portray Americans. Authenticity and culture became the hallmarks of the genre.
The first successful biopic production of the sound film era was the Warner film Disraeli (1929). From this first popular success, it was not until the mid-1930s that the big studios, especially Warner and Fox , recognized the potential for success of biopics.
In a process lasting several years, "through which the genre as such distilled out", genre-typical features for the biopics of the prewar period were formed. Non-Americans like Voltaire or Pasteur , free thinkers and visionaries like Paul Reuter or human rights campaigners like Benito Juárez became the subject of a group of biopics from the 1930s that are known as Dieterle / Warner Brothers Biopics and that had a lasting impact on the genre. A typical feature of the Dieterle Biopic, which can still be found in film biographies today, is the conflict between the title character and his / her ideas, visions or inventions in order to gain recognition from society. Warner Brother's Dieterle films include Edison the Man (1940), The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939), Victoria the Great (1937), and Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). Biopics about tall women were still significantly underrepresented between 1927 and 1960. Only 31% of all biographies had one or more women in the title role. For example Queen Christina (1933).
In the 1940s came the heyday of the entertainer biopic. The film Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) is still one of the most popular classic Hollywood musicals to this day. The films Night and Day (1946), The Dolly Sisters (1945) and The Jolson Story (1945) are very fictionalized examples of the musical biopics. These films show that in the war years patriotism was given a higher priority than in the 1930s. With the realization that the stars from film, variety and show business are ideally suited for film biographies, the studios also ventured into biopics for athletes . The shift from elitist to popular characters can be seen in this reorientation of the studios. Pride of the Yankees (1942) tells the life of baseball star Lou Gehrig and formulated another biopic characteristic with guest appearances by Lou Gehrig's real teammates: If the stars themselves, their friends or relatives appear in the biopic, this gives the film a special credibility .
The entire film and thus also biopic production increases in the USA in the 1940s. With the Second World War and the resulting lull in the European film industry, Hollywood reached the peak of its power in 1946. The people of post-war Europe are also willing buyers of American entertainment films.
The biographical film reached its preliminary climax but also the turning point, at least in terms of the number of biopics produced in the USA, in the 1950s, during the last days of the studio era. Clearly recognizable, the filmmakers are increasingly turning to tragic characters or addressing the protagonists' problems. The title characters of the early biographies were able to overcome their obstacles, in the biopics of the 1950s they struggle and fail. For example in the film Love me or Leave me (1955).
In 1960 the studio era came to an end, in which many classic films, including a great many biopics, were produced. The classical era biopic presented the viewer to a world in which minorities were largely ignored or shown in subordinate roles. Almost every major change in the post-war period, such as B. the black, gay or lesbian movement was ignored by the biopics of the American studios. It took at least two generations for the biopic to open up to such topics. Until well into the 1960s, American studios were still producing films like Funny Girl (1968) with clear references to old American culture before World War II.
Modern phase of the biopic in Hollywood from the 1960s
The development of biopics in cinema in the 1960s and 1970s can only be traced by taking into account the structural shift from cinema to television. Since the everyday of the cinema gave way to the everyday of the television, films had to attract viewers with new ideas. As a result, the genre boundaries became more and more blurred, as the films were intended to appeal to the broadest possible audience. The classic biopic played a subordinate role in this new cinema world. It was a relic of a bygone studio system because of its often moralizing and instructive content. The biopic was also unable to follow the trend towards blockbusters , which dominated the box office especially from the 1970s. You couldn't tell a biography with a focus on special effects , aliens, and natural disasters . The directors of Biopics had to continue to focus on the story and the development of their characters, but tried to give the films new impulses through tragic characters and ambivalent characters.
In the early 1960s, the Lawrence of Arabia (1962) biopic production was a huge success. The film follows the tradition of the "Great Men" films of the 1930s and 1940s. He shows the hero, but not as admirable and heroic, but as a man who, because of his complacency and arrogance, meets with rejection in his environment. One of the most popular and influential biopics of the 1960s was the film Bonnie and Clyde (1967).
Biopics could not keep up with the blockbusters of the 1970s and increasingly lost their importance. Biopic productions such as Lady sings the Blues and The Buddy Holly Story again made use of entertainer characters.
In the 1980s there was a slight upward trend in biopics. Between 1982 and 1985 the Oscar for best film went to a biographical feature film three times: in 1983 to Gandhi , 1984 to Amadeus and 1985 to Out of Africa . For the first time since the 1930s, a clear turning away from American characters can be seen in popular biopic productions.
1990s until today
The 1990s marked the beginning of computer-animated films in the cinema . The biopics from 1990 to 2008 continued all trends of the previous decades. Melodramatic film biographies about past greats such as The Babe (1992) or In Love and War (1996) follow the tradition of classic biopic productions of the studio era. Films like Ed Wood (1994) by Tim Burton set new visual accents with black and white images, even in biopics. Broken and tragic figures like the mathematician John Forbes Nash in A Beautiful Mind - Genie und Wahnsinn (2001), Valerie Solanas in I shot Andy Warhol (1996), get their place in the biopic just like Ludwig van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved (1994) or Frida Kahlo in Frida (2002). And the successful director Steven Spielberg also produced Schindler's List in 1993, a highly regarded and award-winning biopic.
The boundaries between biographical documentary and biographical feature film blurred since the early 1990s, more and more. The year 2004 set a new record with an enormous number of biopics in the cinema: For the 2004 Oscar, the biopics Ray , The Aviator and Finding Neverland were nominated in the category of best film.
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Individual analyzes / essays
- Roland Barthes: The death of the author (translated by Matias Martinez). In: Fotis Jannidis, Gerhard Lauer , Matias Martinez and Simone Winko (eds.): Texts on the theory of authorship . Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-018058-9 , pp. 185-193.
- Hans Erich Bödeker: Approaches to the current state of research and discussion. In: Hans Erich Bödeker (Ed.): Writing a biography. Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-665-2 ( Göttingen Discussions on History . Volume 18), pp. 9–63.
- Beatrix Borchardt: Write gaps. Or: Montage as a biographical process. In: Hans Erich Bödeker (Ed.): Writing a biography. Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2003, ISBN 3-89244-665-2 ( Göttingen Discussions on History . Volume 18), pp. 211–241.
- Pierre Bourdieu: The Illusion of Biography. About the production of life stories (from the French by Friedrich Balke). In: New Rundschau. 102/3 (1991), pp. 109-115.
- Tom Kindt, Hans Harald Müller: What was biographism actually - and what has become of it? In: Heinrich Detering (Ed.): Authorship. Positions and Revisions . (= German symposia. Report volumes XXIV). Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01850-4 , pp. 355-375.
- Siegfried Kracauer: Biography as a new bourgeois art form. In: Siegfried Kracauer: The ornament of the mass: Essays . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1977, ISBN 3-518-06871-7 , pp. 75-80.
- Jean Peneff: Myths in life stories. In: Raphael Samuel, Paul Thompson (Eds.): The Myths We Live By . (= History workshop series). Routledge, London / New York 1990, ISBN 0-415-03609-7 , pp. 36-48.
- Ulrich Raulff: If I were a writer and dead ... Preliminary thoughts on biographism and existence. In: Hartmut Böhme, Klaus R. Scherpe (Hrsg.): Literature and cultural studies. Positions, theories, models . Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-499-55575-1 , pp. 187-204.
- Paul Ricoeur: Life in Quest of Narrative. In: David Wood (Ed.): On Paul Ricoeur. Narrative and Interpretation. (= Warwick studies in philosophy and literature). Routledge, London 1991, ISBN 0-415-07407-X , pp. 20-33.
- Harro Segeberg: The great Germans. On the renaissance of propaganda film around 1940. In: Jan Distelmeyer (Ed.): Tonfilmfrieden / Tonfilmkrieg. The story of Tobis from technology syndicate to state company . (= A CineGraph book). Ed. Text and criticism, München 2003, ISBN 3-88377-749-8 , pp. 159–166.
- Lois D. Vines: From Film to Reading and Writing: L´Histoire d´Adèle H. In: The French Review. 73/3 (2000), pp. 539-548.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 20.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , pp. 20-21.
- cf. George Frederick Custen: Bio / Pics. How Hollywood Constructed Public History. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick (NJ) 1992, ISBN 0-8135-1755-9 .
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 255.
- Sigrid Nieberle: Literaturhistorische Filmbiographien. Literary history and authorship in the cinema. de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4 , p. 318.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , pp. 296-298.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 298.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 21.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 248.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 263.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , pp. 264-266.
- cf. Sigrid Nieberle: literary historical film biographies. Literary history and authorship in the cinema. de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4 , p. 2.
- Sigrid Nieberle: Literaturhistorische Filmbiographien. Literary history and authorship in the cinema. de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4 , p. 321.
- Sigrid Nieberle: Literaturhistorische Filmbiographien. Literary history and authorship in the cinema. de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4 , p. 229.
- Sigrid Nieberle: Literaturhistorische Filmbiographien. Literary history and authorship in the cinema. de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-020074-4 , p. 269.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 46.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 30.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 32.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 36.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 41.
- Henry M. Taylor: Role of Life. The film biography as a narrative system. (= Zurich Film Studies ). Schüren, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89472-508-7 , p. 29.