- “Ah, Emmanuelle... I'd like you to meet the greatest actor in the world... Emil Jannings.”
- ―Frederick Zoller
Emil Jannings was a Swiss-born German/Austrian actor. He was the first person to be presented with an Oscar when he was honored with the first Academy Award for Best Actor, at the 1929 ceremony.
In Inglourious Basterds[edit | edit source]
Emil Jannings attended the Stolz der Nation premiere in Paris, where he talked to Goebbels, Zoller, Shosanna, Göring and Bormann. He is seen joking with Göring in the lobby, and it's likely they knew each other. When the crowd took their seats, Jannings is seen in the other opera box, with Göring and Bormann.
Near the end of the film, Marcel ignites the nitrate film stash, but before Jannings can react, Donny and Omar burst into Hitler's opera box and gun them down, and at the same time, they accidentally also shoot Jannings, Göring and Bormann, as their opera box was in the direction of the Basterds line of fire. Even if they didn't die from the bullets, the cinema's explosion killed them all for good.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- When Omar and Donny kill Hitler and Goebbels, Jannings, Göring and Bormann are also seen getting shot. It's possible that they were shot accidentally, as they were in the Basterds' line of fire, and we're not shown the Basterds doing it on purpose via the usual film tricks (camera angle/tracking, zooming in, etc.).
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
He was played by the German actor Hilmar Eichhorn.
Emil Jannings was a German-born star of silent movies. During the 1920's, he starred in several silent classics of German cinema directed by F.W. Murnau, including The Last Laugh and Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage. In 1927, Jannings moved to Hollywood to star in American movies. In 1928, he became the very first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor (and the first person to ever receive an Academy Award) for his work in The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. But his Hollywood career ended when talkies came in, as Jannings' thick German accent made him difficult to understand. Jannings returned to Germany, where he co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. During the Third Reich era, Jannings starred in numerous films intended to promote Nazism, including Der Herrscher, Ohm Krüger, and Die Entlassung. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels named Jannings as "Artist of the State." (In "Inglourious Basterds," Goebbels has Jannings show Zoller the ring given for this award, which Goebbels calls "the highest artistic honor that I give.") After the war, Jannings' film career was ended due to his association with the Nazis. He retired to a farm in Austria, where he died in 1950.