Oscar Directors: Wicki, Bernhardt (Austrian Born German Filmmaker–The Bridge, Morituri) (Strangers in Paradise)

Bernhard Wicki (October 28, 1919–January 5, 2000) was an Austrian actor and film director, who worked in Germany and Hollywood..

Wicki studied in Breslau art history, history and German literature. In 1938, he transferred to the drama school of the Staatliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin.

In 1939, due to membership in the Bündischen Jugend, he was imprisoned for months in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

After his release, he moved to Vienna, and then in 1944 to Switzerland.

After World War II, he starred in many films, including Die letzte Brücke (1953) and Es geschah am 20. Juli (1955).

His first attempt at directing came three years later with the documentary Warum sind sie gegen uns? (1958).

He became internationally famous with his 1959 anti-war film Die Brücke (The Bridge), which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

In 1961 he won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 11th Berlin International Film Festival for The Miracle of Father Malachia.

Morituri: Directing Brando

His break in Hollywood came when he was chosen to direct Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner in the acclaimed World War II espionage thriller, Morituri in 1965.

Wicki was a patron of the Film Festival in Emden-Norderney, which started in 1990.

Wicki first married Agnes Fink, a fellow actor, and later married Elisabeth Endriss, also a colleague.

In the documentary Verstörung – und eine Art von Poesie (June 2007), Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss portrayed Wucki’s life and work.

In 2001, the Bernhard Wicki Memorial Fund was established in Munich. Since 2002, it has awarded a yearly prize, The Bridge, to films that promote peace.

A further prize of 15,000 euros, endowed in 2006, is presented in his name in the city of Emden.

Selected Filmography: Director

Warum sind sie gegen uns? (1958)
Die Brücke (1959)
The Miracle of Father Malachia (1961)
The Longest Day (with Ken Annakin and Andrew Marton) (1962)
The Visit (1964)
Morituri (1965)
Das falsche Gewicht [de] (1971)
Karpfs Karriere (1971)
The Conquest of the Citadel (1977)
Die Grünstein-Variante [de] (1984)
Sansibar oder Der letzte Grund (1987)
Spider’s Web (1989)

1958: Film Award in Silver (documentary) for Warum sind sie gegen uns? (Why they are against us?)

1960: The Golden Bowl, Film Award (Director), German Film Critics Award, German Youth Film Award, Golden Globe and Oscar nomination (Best Foreign Film) for Die Brücke (The Bridge)

1960: United Nations award for contribution to peace
1961: Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival (Best Director) for The Miracle of Father Malachia
1962: Bambi
1972: Golden Camera (Director) and Film Award (Director) for Das falsche Gewicht (The wrong weight)
1976: Film Award for years of excellence in the German film industry
1977: Film Award in Silver for The Conquest of the Citadel
1979: St. Jakob Prandtauer Prize for Science and Art of the city of St Pölten
1982: Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
1985: Film Award (Director) for Die Grünstein-Variante (The greenstone variant)
1986: Helmut Käutner Award
1986: Critics Award for Die Grünstein-Variante
1988: Adolf Grimme Award for Sansibar oder Der letzte Grund (Zanzibar or The last Reason)
1989: Film Award (Special Film Award 40 years Federal Republic of Germany) for Die Brücke
1989: Bavarian Film Award
1989: Honorary Award of the Abendzeitung (Evening Paper)
1989: Academy Award nomination (Best Foreign Film) and Film Award (Director) for The Spider’s Web
1990: Berlin International Film Festival: Berlinale Camera
1990: Schwabing Art Prize (prize)
1992: Universum Film AG prize
1992: Bavarian Order of Merit
1998: DIVA Award
1999: Medal “Munich shines” in gold
2000: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class