Monday, October 6, 2014

Remembering Harold G. Petersson

Harald-Giertz Petersson was born on October 16, 1904 in Weimar, Thuringia, Germany. The son of a Swede and a German, he began his career as a writer and was in the 1930s, the press officer of the production company Tobis . When his novella Herz ist Trumpf was filmed in 1934, he began to working on writing screenplays, initially in collaboration with other authors. He soon proved his extraordinary flair for creating tension. He was a specialist in dramatic stories of espionage and military markets.
In 1940 he married his second wife, the actress Sybille Schmitz , who at that time was a famous Ufa was star. The marriage ended in divorce in 1945. Then Petersson continued to live together with her for some time, until he finally they separated because she was suffering from alcohol problems. Sybille Schmitz eventually took her own life in 1955.
Because of these personal problems Petersson returned to the cinema in 1958 after a ten-year hiatus. His screenplays played a major role in the tremendous success of the Horst Wendlandt produced Edgar Wallace and Karl May movies. He wrote his screenplays based more in favor of a striking dramatization than a strong respective of the novels themselves, which was however strongly criticized by experts of these works.
Petersson wrote screenplays for four Winnetou films: “Apache Gold” (1963), “Frontier Hellcat” (dialogue) and “Last of the Renegades” (both 1964) and “Thunder at the Border” (1966).
Harald died in West Berlin, Germany on July 8, 1977.
Today we remember screenwriter Harald G. Petersson on what would have been his 110th birthday.

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