Julius von Borsody
Julius von Borsody (8 April 1892 in Vienna – 18 January 1960, also in Vienna) was an Austrian film architect and one of the most employed set designers in the Austrian and German cinemas of the late silent and early sound film periods. His younger brother, Eduard von Borsody, was a successful film director in Austria and Germany. He is also the great-uncle of famous German actress Suzanne von Borsody.
Julius von Borsody attended the Munich Art Academy before he started in the film industry in 1917. He began his career with Sascha-Film in Vienna, but up to 1924 also worked with other film production companies. In 1920 he was the set designer for Paul Czinner's highly significant pre-Expressionist work, Inferno. Together with Emil Stepanek and Artur Berger he was also responsible in Vienna, on the epics of Michael Curtiz and Alexander Korda, for the most spectacular sets ever constructed for an Austrian film, in particular the gigantic Temple of Sodom in Sodom und Gomorrha (1922), which because of its sheer size had to be built in the open air, on the Laaer Berg. Other Sascha-Film epics on which he worked were Der junge Medardus (1923) and Harun al-Rashid (1924).
In 1925 Borsody moved to Berlin. There, for films about the history of Prussia, he was able to design even more ambitious structures than in Vienna. Particularly outstanding was his work on Hans Behrendt's Potsdam, das Schicksal einer Residenz (1927) and Phil Jutzi' s Berlin Alexanderplatz (1931), based on Alfred Döblin's book of the same name. Besides impressive buildings he also created the façades and decorations of many other top productions with historical and costumed backgrounds, such as Danton (1931) and the Schubert biography Leise flehen meine Lieder (1933).
Shortly before the National Socialists took power in Germany, Borsody returned to Vienna, where for the next few years he worked on a number of major films in the Wiener Film genre, light romantic musical comedies, the action of which was generally set in the late imperial period of about 1900: Hohe Schule (1934), G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald (1934), Im weißen Rössl (1935) and others.
After the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria to Germany in 1938) Borsody became principal architect of the Nazi-owned Wien-Film, but also occasionally worked on buildings for productions of Bavaria Film in Munich. He was employed on one of the last large-scale productions of the Third Reich - Shiva und die Galgenblume, filmed in early January 1945 with Hans Albers in the Barrandov Studios in Prague – and also on one of the very first post-war Austrian films - Der weite Weg (1946).
From that time on, in the declining Austrian film industry, he only worked on unpretentious romances and comedies. His last set designs were for the otherwise undistinguished Skandal um Dodo (1958), directed by his brother Eduard.
The following is a list of selected films on which Julius von Borsody worked as film architect or set designer (director's name in brackets):
- Inferno (Austria 1920, Paul Czinner)
- Lucifer (Austria 1921, Ernest Juhn)
- Der tote Hochzeitsgast (Austria 1921, Max Neufeld)
- Der Marquis von Bolibar (Austria 1921, Friedrich Porges)
- Sodom und Gomorrha (Austria 1922, Michael Curtiz; film architecture together with Emil Stepanek)
- Die Maske der Schuld (Austria 1922, directed himself)
- Der junge Medardus (Austria 1923, Michael Curtiz)
- Harun al Rashid (Austria 1924, Michael Curtiz)
- Die Stadt ohne Juden (Austria 1924, Hans Karl Breslauer)
- Potsdam, das Schicksal einer Residenz (Germany 1927, Hans Behrendt)
- Erotikon (Czechoslovakia 1929, Gustav Machatý)
- Die kleine Veronika (Germany 1929, Robert Land)
- Der Tanz ins Glück (Germany 1930, Max Nosseck; Borsody's first sound film)
- Danton (Germany 1930, Hans Behrendt)
- Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany 1931, Phil Jutzi)
- Leise flehen meine Lieder (Austria 1933, Willi Forst)
- Csibi, der Fratz / Früchtchen (Austria 1933, Max Neufeld, Richard Eichberg)
- Hohe Schule (film) (Austria 1934, Erich Engel)
- Frasquita (Austria 1934, Carl Lamac)
- G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald (Austria 1934, Georg Jacoby)
- Der Herr ohne Wohnung (Austria 1934, E. W. Emo)
- … nur ein Komödiant (Austria 1935, Erich Engel)
- Die Pompadour (Austria 1935, Willy Schmidt-Gentner)
- Im weißen Rössl (Austria 1935, Carl Lamac)
- Opernring / Im Sonnenschein (Austria 1936, Carmine Gallone)
- Ernte / Die Julika (Austria 1936, Géza von Bolváry)
- Prater / Der Weg des Herzens (Austria 1937, Willy Schmidt-Gentner)
- Unsterblicher Walzer (Germany/Austria 1939, E. W. Emo)
- Brüderlein fein (Germany/Austria 1941, Hans Thimig)
- Frauen sind keine Engel (Germany/Austria 1943, Willi Forst)
- Shiva und die Galgenblume (Germany/Czechoslovakia 1945, Hans Georg Andres, Michaela Krützen)
- Der weite Weg / Schicksal in Ketten (Austria 1946, Eduard Hoesch)
- Der Herr Kanzleirat (Austria 1948, Hubert Marischka)
- Arlberg-Expreß (Austria 1948, Eduard von Borsody)
- Kaisermanöver (Austria 1954, Franz Antel)
- Skandal um Dodo (Austria 1958, Eduard von Borsody; Julius von Borsody's last film)
- Julius von Borsody at the Internet Movie Database
- Julius von Borsody in the Aeiou Encyclopedia (German)