Hunte, Otto


Otto Hunte was born in Hamburg, Germany, on January 9, 1881. He studied architecture and painting and graduated from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg. In 1919, he launched his career as a costume and set designer in Fritz Lang’s adventure series Die Spinnen. He continued working with the director on his major classics, including Dr. Mabuse, Die Niebelungen and Metropolis. Hunte was also the co-designer of the sets for Josef von Sternberg’s Der blaue Engel.


Hunte became known for his striking decors, his expressionist style and his use of light and shadows. Critics praised Hunte as one of the most important production designers and art directors of the golden age of German cinema. He often shared credits with his influential contemporaries, Martin Jacoby-Boy, Erich Kettelhut and Emil Hasler.


Hunte worked as one of the leading set designers during the Nazi era and was involved in many entertainment films by Robert A. Stemmle, Günther Rittau and Paul Verhoeven. He also worked on the sets for propaganda films, including the notorious anti-Semitic film Jud Süß, by Veit Harlan.


After WWII, Hunte was one among many former UFA artists who joined the newly founded DEFA Studio in Babelsberg in 1946. Together with set designer Bruno Monden, he worked on the first German postwar film Die Mörder sind unter uns, by Wolfgang Staudte. Hunte had previously worked with Staudte on the 1944 crime story Der Mann, dem man den Namen stahl, which was banned by the Nazis. The Hunte-Monden team also used the rubble of war-torn Berlin for their intriguing sets. They also worked on the DEFA film Razzia, which is set in the postwar Berlin black market. This was Hunte’s last production before he retired from filmmaking.


Otto Hunte died in Potsdam-Babelsberg on December 28, 1960.


1947 Razzia (The Police Raid)
1946 Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us)
1945 Der Scheiterhaufen (Burned at the Stake)
1944 Eine alltägliche Geschichte (An Ordinary Story)
1944 Der Mann, dem man den Namen stahl (The Man Whose Name Was Stolen)
1944 Herr Sanders lebt gefährlich (The Dangerous Life of Mr. Sanders)
1943 Ein glücklicher Mensch (A Happy Man)
1943 Altes Herz wird wieder jung (An Old Heart Becomes Young Again)
1942 Die Entlassung (Bismarck’s Dismissal)
1941 …reitet für Deutschland (…Ride for Germany)
1940 Jud Süß (Jew Süss)
1939 Mann für Mann (Every Man)
1938 Am seidenen Faden (Missing Pieces)
1938 Frau Sylvelin (Mrs. Sylvelin)
1937 Die Kreutzersonate (The Kreutzer Sonata)
1934 Liebe, Tod und Teufel (Love, Death, Devil)
1933 Der Stern von Valencia (The Star of Valencia)
1930 Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel)
1929 Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon)
1928 Spione (Spies)
1927 Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney (The Love of Jeanne Ney)
1927 Metropolis
1924 Die Nieblungen – Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild’s Revenge)
1924 Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (Siegfried)
1922 Dr. Mabuse – Der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler)
1921 Der Tiger von Eschnapur (The Tiger of Eschnapur)
1920 Das wandernde Bild (The Moving Image)
1920 Die Spinnen – Das Brilliantenschiff (The Spiders: The Ship with Diamonds)
1919 Die Spinnen – Der Goldene See (The Spiders: The Golden Lake)


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