Hildegard Knef - Rotten Tomatoes

Hildegard Knef

Highest Rated:   86% The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
Lowest Rated:   40% The Lost Continent (1968)
Birthplace:   Ulm, Württemberg, Germany
Hildegard Knef was born in 1925 in the South German city of Ulm. In 1940, she began studying acting. Even before the fall of the Third Reich she appeared in several films, but most of them were only released after the war. To avoid being raped by Soviet soldiers she dressed like a young man and was sent to a camp for prisoners of war. She escaped and returned to war-shattered Berlin where she played her first parts on stage. The first German movie after WW II, Mörder sind unter uns, Die (1946) (The Murderers Are Among Us), made her a star. David O. Selznick invited her to Hollywood and offered her a contract - with two conditions: Hildegard Knef should change her name into Gilda Christian and should pretend to be Austrian instead of German. She refused both and returned to Germany. In 1951 she provoked one of the greatest scandals in German film history when she appeared naked on the screen in the movie Sünderin, Die (1951) . The Catholic Church protested vehemently against that film but Hildegard just commented: "I can't understand all that tumult - five years after Auschwitz!" With the support of her first husband, the American Kurt Hirsch , she tried a second time to launch a Hollywood career, changed her family name from Knef to Neff (because Americans couldn't pronounce Knef), but the only worthwhile part she got was a supporting role in the Hemingway adaptation of The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952). She became a leading lady in German, French and British films. Finally America offered her another chance, this time on the stage. She achieved a kind of stardom as Ninotchka in the very popular Broadway play, "Silk Stockings". In 1963, she began a new career as a singer and surprised the audience with her typical, deep, smoky voice and the fact that many lyrics of her songs were written by herself. In 1970, she wrote the autobiographical bestseller Der Geschenkte Gaul. She got sympathy from all over the world for her fight against cancer, which she defeated several times. After the German reunification, she moved back to Berlin. Date of Death:1 February 2002, Berlin, Germany. (lung infection)

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Nachts auf den Straßen (The Mistress)
  • Actor
No Score Yet Fahrt ins Glück
  • Actor
No Score Yet Es geschehen noch Wunder (Miracles Still Happen)
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Gift Horse (Hilde)
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Jeder stirbt für sich allein (Everyone Dies Alone)
  • Actor
No Score Yet Die Sünderin (Sunderin)
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Future of Emily
  • Actor
71% Fedora
  • Countess Sobryanski
40% The Lost Continent
  • Eva Peters
No Score Yet Mark of the Tortoise (Wartezimmer Zum Jenseits)
  • Actor
No Score Yet A Love Story (Eine Liebesgeschichte)
  • Actor
No Score Yet Svengali
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Man Between
  • Actor
No Score Yet Diplomatic Courier
  • Actor
86% The Snows of Kilimanjaro
  • Countess Liz
No Score Yet Film Without Title (Film Ohne Titel)
  • Actor
80% Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns)
  • Actor

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