Karl Freund

The Life and Films


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About the Book

Karl Freund is the most important film pioneer you’ve never heard of. From the silent film era to the rise of the American sitcom, Freund was there at every turn. Countless camera techniques can be traced back to his “unchained camera.” His lighting setup for filming I Love Lucy live remains standard to this day. He was the man behind the lens for many influential and award-winning films, from Metropolis to The Good Earth to Key Largo.

This biography is the first book-length look at one of the world’s greatest cameramen. It details the events of his early life, his entrance into the world of film, his work in both Germany and America, and his legacy, while also putting his life and films into the historical context of the 20th century. The author gives particular attention to Freund’s role in the early horror films Der Golem, Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mummy, and Mad Love.

About the Author(s)

Gavin Schmitt is a local historian working in northeast Wisconsin. He has previously written on Milwaukee organized crime, the Menominee tribe, as well as various film topics for Horrorhound magazine.

Bibliographic Details

Gavin Schmitt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7889-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4402-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

One. Early Life 5
Two. German Cinema I: 1914–1918
Three. German Cinema II: 1920s
Four. Metropolis 56
Five. Sound 69
Six. America and Universal (1929–1934) 75
Seven. Mad Love (1935)
Eight. MGM (1935–1947)
Nine. Warner Brothers (1947–1950)
Ten. Photo Research
Eleven. Desilu
Twelve. Posthumous Controversy
Thirteen. Legacy
Chapter Notes
Bibliography 207