The article considers the 1950s revival of perhaps the best-known and most influential genre of Weimar cinema, namely, what is now termed “horror” (at the time, better known as the Gruselfilm). The article investigates how there are deliberate, often narratively central citations of Weimar horror and violence (e.g., of Nosferatu or M) in several important 1950s films, including Peter Lorre's Der Verlorene, Hans König's Rosen blühen auf dem Heidegrab, and Robert Siodmak's Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam. It is telling that none of these films could be considered an outright horror or Gruselfilm; rather, horror is deployed as a mode within a generic hybrid, reminiscent of what Linda Williams terms the “melodramatic mode” in very dissimilar films. These 1950s generic hybrids deploy this horror mode to deal with violent pasts as their characters face uncertain futures, a telling dilemma for the early postwar years.
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1 November 2015
Jaimey Fisher; In the Horror Mode? Weimar Flashbacks and Generic Hybridity in 1950s West German Cinema. New German Critique 1 November 2015; 42 (3 (126)): 91–114. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-3137021
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