Blue Angel, Brown Culture: The Politics of Film Reception in Göttingen

Part of the Studies in European Culture and History book series (SECH)


The Blue Angel opened in the town of Göttingen to a sold-out crowd on June 17, 1930. Like most viewers, Heinz Koch, the leading cultural critic at Göttingen’s largest newspaper, could hardly contain his excitement. His review made clear that advertisements, which promoted the film as “Germany’s greatest sound film” and “the greatest artistic achievement of the season,” were not hyperbole. Koch wrote that the film served as nothing less than “an eternal mirror” on the human condition, one that showed “ecce homo.”1 Overall in 1930, cinema’s role in German society reflected a great deal about a nation in turmoil. Reichstag battles over films on the Great War, the spread of sound technology, intensified scrutiny of film by censorship bodies, and greater anxiety about the role of American culture made movies front-page news in Germany. That year, too, violent political agitation and elections across the nation marked a major watershed in the politics of the Weimar Republic.


Mass Culture Social Democratic Ticket Price Weimar Republic Movie Star 
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© John Alexander Williams 2011

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