Eugen Klagemann was born in Berlin on February 1, 1902. Before he started as an apprentice at the film production company Bioskop from 1917 to 1920, he interned at the Foto Kunst Atelier (Studio for Photography) in Berlin. In the 1920s, he began his professional life working as an assistant cameraman and still photographer. His film stills cover more than forty titles, including Leontine Sagan’s Weimar-era drama about a girls’ boarding school romance, Mädchen in Uniform (1931).
In 1942, Klagemann debuted as a cameraman for the Tobis-Studiofilm short Zweiklang. Because this was a success, he continued to work as a still photographer for Tobis while also training under his mentor, cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner (M, 1931, dir. Fritz Lang). Wagner was one of the most acclaimed German directors of photography and a key player in the Expressionist film movement during the Weimar period. In 1943, Klagemann and Wagner worked together on two feature films: Robert A. Stemmle’s Herr Sanders lebt gefährlich and Kurt Hoffmann’s Ich werde dich auf Händen tragen. That same year, Klagemann filmed his first production as head cameraman for Paul Verhoeven’s comedy Das Konzert.
Immediately following WWII, Klagemann was co-cameraman with Friedl Behn-Grund, as well as the still photographer for Germany’s first postwar film, Die Mörder sind unter uns (dir. Wolfgang Staudte), made at the DEFA Studio in Potsdam-Babelsberg. The Klagemann/Behn-Grund camera team collaborated several more times: on Werner Klinger’s Razzia, a story about the postwar black market; on Ehe im Schatten, Kurt Maetzig’s classic about a “mixed marriage” between two actors during the Nazi period; and, over twenty years later, on the Austrian opera adaptation, Hochzeitsnacht im Paradies.
Klagemann became one of the most important directors of photography at the East German DEFA Studio for Feature Films in the second half of the 1940s and 1950s. After the building of the Wall in 1961, Klagemann, who lived in Charlottenburg, West Berlin, faced the ultimatum that DEFA employees had to reside in the east. Klagemann left the DEFA Studio in spring 1962. He added only one more film, Hochzeitsnacht im Paradies, to his filmography before ending his career.
Eugen Klagemann died in Berlin on November 5, 1980.
|1962||Hochzeitsnacht im Paradies (Wedding Night in Paradise)|
|1961||Die letzte Nacht (The Last Night, TV)|
|1960||Seilergasse 8 (8 Seiler Alley)|
|1958||Ware für Katalonien (Goods for Catalonia)|
|1958||Meine Frau macht Musik (My Wife Makes Music)|
|1955||Das Fräulein von Scudéri (Mademoiselle de Scudéri)|
|1952||Geheimakten Solvay (Secret Files: Solvay)|
|1950||Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor)|
|1950||Semmelweiss – Retter der Mütter (Semmelweiss: The Mothers’ Savior)|
|1950||Johann Sebastian Bach (Documentary)|
|1949||Figaros Hochzeit (The Marriage of Figaro)|
|1948||Arche Noah (Noah’s Ark)|
|1947||Ehe im Schatten (Marriage in the Shadows)|
|1947||Razzia (Police Raid)|
|1946||Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us)|
|1944||Der Mann im Sattel (The Man in the Saddle)|
|1943||Das Konzert (The Concert)|
|1943||Herr Sanders lebt gefährlich (Herr Sanders Lives Dangerously)|
|1943||Ich werde dich auf Händen tragen (I’ll Fulfill Your Every Wish)|
|1942||Zweiklang (Two-Tone, short)|