Frank Clifford

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Frank Clifford , as Hans Heinrich Tillgner (born July 13, 1898 in Puppen , East Prussia ; † April 25, 1976 in Mindelheim ) was a German sound film pioneer ( director ) and film production manager for German, French and West German films and, for a short time, a scriptwriter for DEFA .


Tillgner had initially served as an officer and was deployed in the border guard in 1919. He later began studying literary and art history. After that he temporarily ran his own publishing house in Berlin. Born in East Prussia, he joined the film industry in 1926. He initially ran a movie theater and worked as an authorized signatory for production companies before moving to production management. In this function he worked for companies in Berlin , Vienna and Paris . During a stay in the USA , he adopted the name "Frank Clifford", which is easier to pronounce for American tongues.

Clifford went down in the annals of cinema history at an early stage: On January 17, 1929, his for the Tobis under the direction of producer Dr. Guido Bagier directed film The Last Song premiered as the first German short sound film in history. Clifford's most important creative period followed a little later, when the German was sent by Tobis to Paris in 1929 to produce several ambitious films for its subsidiary (Societé des films sonores Tobis), including some early masterpieces by the director René Clair ( Unter den Dächern von Paris , The Million , Long Live Freedom ).

Back in Germany, Clifford continued his work as production manager in 1932 and was finally hired in this role by the small company Lloyd-Film. After the Second World War, he initially participated in several scripts for DEFA , but returned to production management in 1948, partly for the Berlin-based Cordial-Film GmbH, of which he was temporarily co-owner.

In 1965 Clifford left Berlin and chose Bad Wörishofen as his retirement home.


as production manager, unless otherwise stated:

  • 1928: The Last Song (short film, only direction, screenplay)
  • 1928: Your is my heart (short film, only directing, script collaboration)
  • 1928: Paganini in Venice (short film, only direction)
  • 1929: Le Requin
  • 1930: Under the roofs of Paris ( Sous les Toits de Paris )
  • 1931: The Million ( Le Million )
  • 1931: Long live freedom ( A nous la Liberté )
  • 1931: Allô, Berlin? Ici Paris! (also German verse: Hello! Hello! This is Berlin speaking)
  • 1932: La Femme nue
  • 1933: The runner of Marathon
  • 1933: girls of today
  • 1934: A seventeen year old (also production manager)
  • 1934: What am I without you
  • 1934: Pappi
  • 1934: a child, a dog, a vagabond
  • 1934: My life for Maria Isabell
  • 1935: Artist's love
  • 1935: Martha (only artistic management)
  • 1936: White slaves
  • 1947: Chemistry and Love (only scriptwriting)
  • 1948: The girl Christine (only screenplay)
  • 1948: Don't dream, Annette (scriptwriting only)
  • 1948: Anonymous letters
  • 1949: Nights on the Nile
  • 1950: When men cheat
  • 1950: wedding in the hay
  • 1951: Eva in tails
  • 1952: We dance on the rainbow
  • 1954: Viktoria and her hussar
  • 1954: Marianne
  • 1955: Star of Rio


  • Kay Less : The film's great personal dictionary . The actors, directors, cameramen, producers, composers, screenwriters, film architects, outfitters, costume designers, editors, sound engineers, make-up artists and special effects designers of the 20th century. Volume 2: C - F. John Paddy Carstairs - Peter Fritz. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-340-3 , p. 96.

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