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Carlo Wieth

Danish postcard. Photographer and distributor unknown.


Carlo Wieth (1885-1943) was a Danish actor, who starred in Danish and Swedish silent cinema of the 1910s and early 1920s, often paired with his then wife Clara (Pontoppidan) Wieth.


Carlo Wieth, born in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 December 1885, started out as theatre actor and was active at the Danish Royal Theater for over 20 years. From 1906 to 1917 he was married to Clara Pontoppidan, then Clara Wieth. They divorced in 1917, after which Wieth married Agnes Thorberg. Wieth and his wife Clara started their career as film actors in 1910 with the Danish company Kinografen. In 1911 they shifted to Nordisk, where both had a prolific career, often paired together, as in Ekspeditricen (August Blom, 1911), Mormonens Offer (A Victim of the Mormons, August Blom 1911) and Vennerne fra Officersskolen (Eduard Schnedler-Sørensen, 1913). The scene in Ekspeditricen, in which Pontoppidan, playing a salesgirl selling gloves, is putting him on tightfitting 'glacé' gloves, is considered one of the first examples of eroticism in Danish cinema. Despite protests of the Mormon's Church (it is still forbidden in Utah), Mormonens Offer was a worldwide success, combining Nordisk's thematic focus on the white slave trade with Nordisk's star Valdemar Psilander as an evil and lustful American priest, abducting poor Clara Wieth, whose fiancee (Carlo Wieth) has neglected her, leading her into the claws of the American. In Danserindens Kærlighedsdrøm (1913) Wieth played an unjustly sentenced man, who escapes from prison with the help of a dancer (Ebba Thomsen), who then avenges herself when the man neglects her for the daughter of the prison warden. Just in time he is saved from the electric chair.


From 1913 Wieth also worked in Sweden, in Viktor Sjöström's films Miraklet (The Miracle, 1913), Prästen (The Clergyman, 1914), Hjärtan som mötas (Hearts That Meet, 1914), Sonad skuld (Guilt Redeemed, 1915), and Mauritz Stiller films Pa livets ödesvägar (On the Fateful Roads of Life, 1913), Det röda tornet (The Red Tower, 1914) and Bröderna (Brothers, 1914). Wieth alternated this with Danish films like Dr. X (The Master Physician, Robert Dinesen, 1915) in which Gunnar Tolnaes's devil, in the disguise of a scientist, beats a talented doctor, Maharadjahens yndlingshustru I (The Maharaja's Favourite Wife, Robert Dinesen 1917) with Lilly Jacobson and again Tolnaes, and the pacifist film Pax aeterna (Holger Madsen, 1917), starring Zanny Petersen. In 1917, at the time of his divorce from Pontoppidan, Wieth's film career came to a slow down, after having played in some 43 films. In 1920, Wieth's career went up again with the leading role of captain Vanderdecken in the serial Den flyvende Hollaender (Emmanuel Gregers, 1920), a role in Blade af Satans bog (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1921) opposite his ex-wife Clara Pontoppidan and newcomer Karina Bell, and the lead in the serial Jafet, der søger sig en Fader (1922).


For years, Wieth quitted film then, only returning long after sound had set in. His first sound film was the melodrama Det gyldne smil (1935), directed by the prolific Hungarian director Pal (Paul) Fejös, who after a career in Hungary, Austria and Hollywood had settled down then at Nordisk in Denmark. By now Wieth's parts were small in film, even if he did three films in 1939 and three more in 1942. His last role though was a leading part in Vi kunde ha' det saa rart (1942), directed by Christen Jul and Mogens Skot-Hansen. In this Palladium comedy, Wieth is a doctor with three lively children in need of a nanny. The doctor has an affair with another woman, but in the end he realizes nanny Lene (Bodil Kjer) is the girl (sounds a bit like the Sound of Music?). Carlo Wieth died in Nødebo on 30 June 1943 and was buried in Copenhagen. His son is the actor Mogens Wieth.


(Source: Danish Film Institute/ IMDB)



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Taken on July 16, 2008