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The Case studies

Der Vampyr
France 1931/32
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Produced by Carl Theodor Dreyer Film Production, Paris
Dubbing by Tobis-Melofilm, Berlin
Austrian Distributor: Ifuk-KG
German Distributor: Vereinigte Star-Film G.m.b.H., Berlin

Overview of the censorship case VAMPYR

Austria Czechoslovakia Germany

?? 1932: n.s.
banned for young people?
2270 m, 9 reels


02.05.1932: B.31508
banned for young people
2271m, 9 reels

VAMPYR was rated only for adults on 2nd May 1932 by the Censorship Office in Berlin.

The shortening of the film (before and after) its prmière was subject of press articles. According to a not identified source all references to the cloister were forbidden in Germany. In addition the scene in which the doctor is buried alive under flour, the cemetery-scene showing how the vampire is impaled as well as the sequence showing Allan playing the piano at the beginning of the third act were cut out. VAMPYR was first to be seen at the Ufa-Theater Kurfürstendamm in Berlin on 6th May 1932.

The “Film-Kurier” indicated an original length of 2,350 metres and stressed that Dreyer himself permitted a “more skilfully cut version” to be shown at the premiere in Berlin [press article]. The audience’s reactions varied very much: either tumultuous approval or fierce protests [press article]. This ambivalence is found in positive [press article] and negative reviews [press article] of the film.

VAMPYR was censored in Austria for sure, but there’s no registration card available. According to PFL from the 3rd June 1932 the film was rated for adults only. Riots took place after the opening in Vienna.

by Laura Bezerra, Karin Moser and Tomáš Lachman


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