Luis Trenker

Actor, Director, Screenwriter
An important and talented director, actor and screenwriter, Luis Trenker is a sadly neglected figure in film history. An Austro-Italian, Trenker began in German "mountain films" in the 1920s and was a popular lead by ... Read more »
Born: 10/04/1892 in Italy

Filmography

Actor (3)

Emperor of California 2010 (Movie)

(Actor)

Der Grosse Sprung 1927 (Movie)

(Actor)

Der Heilige Berg 1926 (Movie)

(Actor)
Director (1)

Emperor of California 2010 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (1)

Emperor of California 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

An important and talented director, actor and screenwriter, Luis Trenker is a sadly neglected figure in film history. An Austro-Italian, Trenker began in German "mountain films" in the 1920s and was a popular lead by the end of the decade. He directed some splendid films in the 30s, but the general neglect or misunderstanding of the films he made during the pre-Nazi and Nazi eras consigned his career to obscurity. And yet, to quote film historian William K. Everson: "The mountain film was to Germany what the Western was to America, and Trenker, as its leading practitioner, was in a sense Germany's John Wayne and John Ford rolled into one."

Relationships

Parent
Austrian

Son
one other survived him

Leni Riefenstahl Actor

Companion
co-starred with Trenker in a number of mountain films in the 1920s the two had an affair for a time, but did not part as friends in her autobiography, published after Trenker's death, she made a number of unflattering allegations against Trenker

Hilda Trenker

Wife
survived him

Barbara Trenker

Daughter
survived him

Ferdinand Trenker

Son
survived him

Florian Trenker

Son
survived him

Joseph Trenker

Son
survived him

Milestones

1962

Last film, "Sein bester Freund"

1940

Last German film for many years, "Der Feuerteufel/The Fire Devil"; prevented by Goebbels from working in Germany

1937

Last English-language film, "The Challenge", co-directed by Milton Rosmer; a remake of the German-language film "Der Berg Ruft" made by Trenker earlier that same year

1934

Made first film to encounter trouble from the Nazis, "Der Verlorene Sohn/The Lost Son", which included an extensive middle section set in New York City and shot on location

1932

Last of his German-made film to be released by Universal Studios in America, "Der Rebell/The Rebel"; several later films received limited releases in the US more on the art house circuit

1931

Directed first film, "Berge in Flammen/The Doomed Battalion"; co-directed by Karl Hartl; Trenker also starred in the film; film was also made in a French-language version, and an English-language version as well, directed by Cyril Gardner

1929

Produced the film, "Der Ruf des Nordens/Call of the North", in which he also starred

1925

Achieved leading man status; co-starred opposite Leni Riefenstahl in two mountain films directed by Fanck, "Der Heilige Berg/Peaks of Destiny" and "Der Grosse Sprung/The Big Jump"

1924

Cast by Fanck in a key supporting role in another mountain film, the fictional drama, "Der Berg des Schicksals/Peak of Fate"

1921

Hired as a guide for a film production unit led by director Arnold Fanck, making the Alpine documentary "Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs/Marvels of Ski"; Trenker eventually played a small role in the film as well

Returned to making mountain films in Germany, Austria, and Italy after WWII

Declined offer made by Joseph Goebbels to make films for the Nazi Party

Worked as a mountain guide after the war

Served in WWI as a pilot flying missions over the Dolomites; later served as a commander of a troop of mountain guides

Returned to Italy for the duration of WWII; worked sporadically on films; made a documentary on the Pope

SIMILAR ARTICLES