Hocus Pocus (1930)

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Original title Hocus-pocus (Ger.)
The Temporary Widow (Eng.)
Country of production Germany
original language German , English
Publishing year 1930
length 83 minutes
Director Gustav Ucicky
script Karl Hartl ,
Walter Reisch
production Erich Pommer
music Willy Schmidt-Gentner ,
Robert Stolz
camera Carl Hoffmann

German version

English version

Hocus-pocus (also The Kitty Kellermann Trial ) was the first film adaptation of Curt Goetz 's play of the same name . An English-language version was filmed at the same time as The Temporary Widow with partly different actors.


Slender Kitty Kellermann ( Agda Kjerulf in the set ) is accused of murdering her husband, the unsuccessful painter Paul ( Hilmar Kjerulf in the set ) on a boat trip together. Then the mysterious Peter Bille (in the stage act Peer Bille ) reports, who admits the murder, but then escapes from police custody. Ultimately, the entire process turns out to be a farce, since there can be no perpetrator without a victim.


Director Gustav Ucicky shot two different versions of the film at the same time, one for the German and one for the English-speaking market. He engaged Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch, a film couple that has been extremely popular since the film Liebeswalzer, which has been made that same year for the main roles .

Since sound film was still in its infancy in 1930 and the film synchronization system, which had been known since 1929, was not yet fully developed, the same production staff often shot the same scenes in parallel with different actors in different languages ​​instead. This was also the case with Uckicys second version , which was released in England under the title The Temporary Widow . In addition to the entire production staff, the bilingual leading actress Lilian Harvey as well as Fritz Schmuck (District Judge Hartmann), Erich Kestin (young bailiff) and Adolf Schröder (legal soldier) took part again. The remaining roles were reassigned to include English actors, including Laurence Olivier for the part of Willy Fritsch. In addition, Uckicy had a third version produced as a silent film version with subtitles.

In 1953 the play was filmed a second time under the direction of Kurt Hoffmann , this time with Curt Goetz himself in the lead role and the wife of Curt Goetz, Valérie von Martens as Agda. In 1965/66 Hoffmann directed a third version of the film - in color - under the title Hocus-Pocus or: How do I make my husband disappear ...? with Heinz Rühmann and Liselotte Pulver in the leading roles.


“What Goetz and wife were in the stage satire are now Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey on the speaking screen. Fritsch of that refreshing sympathy as always, one of the dearest people who move around on the movie screen, the Harvey delightful in appearance, free, relaxed and delightful in the game. So here we have the first German play that was filmed to music. "

- Oskar Kalbus (On the Becoming of German Film Art - The Sound Film)

“A very entertaining crime comedy. The staging is stiff and looks more like a theatrical performance, but it is pointed in the dialogue that is elegantly served by the actors with an ironic undertone. "


  • Curt Goetz : Hokuspokus , in des .: Hokuspokus and Die tote Aante and other incidents . Stage Works, Volume 2. Droemer-Knaur, Munich and Zurich 1964, (156 pages)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hocus pocus. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed December 7, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used