Percy Adlon

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Percy Adlon
Born Paul Rudolf Parsifal Adlon
(1935-06-01) 1 June 1935 (age 82)
Munich, Germany
Occupation Director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1975–present

Paul Rudolf Parsifal "Percy" Adlon[1] (German: [ˈpɛɐ̯si ˈaːdlɔn]; born 1 June 1935) is a German director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his film Bagdad Café. He is associated with the New German Cinema movement, whose "members" also include Werner Herzog and the illustrious Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Early life[edit]

Adlon was born in Munich. He grew up in Ammerland/Starnberger See. He studied art, theater history, and German literature at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University; took acting and singing classes; and was a member of the student theater group.


Percy's films are shown and compete regularly at international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and others.

He started his professional career as an actor, became interested in radio work, was a narrator and editor of literature series and a presenter and voice-over actor in television for 10 years.

In 1970, he made his first short film for Bavarian television, followed by more than 150 documentary films about art and the human condition. His first one-hour portrait Tomi Ungerer's Landleben started a very successful co-operation with Benigna von Keyserlingk who became the Adlon's television producer of documentaries and feature films.

Their first feature film Céleste, drew international attention at Cannes in 1981. Bagdad Cafe (1987) started their co-operation with Dietrich v. Watzdorf (Bayerischer Rundfunk). The story of Jasmin Münchgstettner and the Café owner Brenda was an international hit. Marianne Sägebrecht whom Percy Adlon discovered in 1979 became a cult figure, and he developed songs with Tony, Oscar, and Grammy award nominated Bob Telson on such songs as "Calling You" a classic.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon have won numerous awards, including top honors in Rio de Janeiro for Bagdad Cafe, and in Montreal for Salmonberries, two Césars, the Ernst-Lubitsch-Award, the Swedish and the Danish Academy awards, the Prix Humanum, Belgium, prizes in Venice, Chicago, Valladolid, Brussels, Tokyo as well as Bavarian and German Federal Film Awards, among others.

Percy Adlon is the recipient of the Officer's Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, and a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Currently he is working on his new film, "Thank You, Thank You" (2017). This is the first time that Percy directs a film he did not write himself.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Percy is the great-grandson of Lorenz Adlon the founder of the Hotel Adlon. He grew up in the Bavarian countryside with his mother and attributes the strong, often unconventional, women's roles in his films to his being brought up in this manner. His son, Felix, an accomplished director in his own right, is the former husband of Pamela Adlon.


  • Adolf Grimme Awards, Germany 1979

• Won, Adolf Grimme Award in Gold 
Fiction/Entertainment for The Guardian and His Poet (1978).  Shared With: Rolf Illig (lead actor)

  • Amanda Awards, Norway 

1989 • Won, Amanda 
Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). 

  • Bavarian Film Awards 

1988 • Won, Bavarian Film Award 
Best Screenplay (Drehbuchpreis) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).  Shared With: Eleonore Adlon 1983 • Won, Bavarian Film Award 
Best Direction (Regiepreis) for Fünf letzte Tage (1982). 

  • Bavarian TV Awards 

1997 • Won, Bavarian TV Award 
Directing for The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel (1996). 

  • Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF) 

1994 • Won, Silver Raven 
for Younger and Younger (1993). 

  • Cannes Film Festival 

1989 • Nominated, Palme d'Or 
for Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989). 

  • Chicago International Film Festival 

1984 • Nominated, Gold Hugo 
Best Feature for Die Schaukel (1983).  1983 • Nominated, Gold Hugo 
Best Feature for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).  1980 • Nominated, Gold Hugo 
Best Feature for Céleste (1980). 

  • César Awards, France 

1989 • Won, César 
Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).  • Won, César 
Best Film of the European Community (Meilleur film de l'Europe communautaire) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). 

  • Ernst Lubitsch Award 

1988 • Won, Ernst Lubitsch Award 
for Bagdad Cafe (1987). 

  • Film Independent Spirit Awards 

1989 • Nominated, Independent Spirit Award 
Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987).  • West Germany.

  • French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 

1989 • Won, Critics Award 
Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987).  • West Germany. • Tied with The Dead.

  • Guild of German Art House Cinemas 

1989 • Won, Guild Film Award - Gold 
German Film (Deutscher Film) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).  1984 • Won, Guild Film Award - Silver 
German Film (Deutscher Film) for Céleste (1980). 

  • Manhattan Film Festival 

2012 • Won, Buzz Award 
for Céleste (1980). 

  • Medias Central European Film Festival 7+1 

2011 • Won, Audience Award 
Best Picture for Mahler on the Couch (2010).  Shared With: Felix O. Adlon

  • Montréal World Film Festival 

1991 • Won, Grand Prix des Amériques 
for Salmonberries (1991). 

  • Robert Festival 

1989 • Won, Robert 
Best Foreign Film (Årets udenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). 

  • Tokyo International Film Festival 

1993 • Nominated, Tokyo Grand Prix 
for Younger and Younger (1993). 

  • Valladolid International Film Festival 

1985 • Won, Silver Spike 
for Zuckerbaby (1985). 

  • Venice Film Festival 

1982 • Won, OCIC Award for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).  • Nominated, Golden Lion for Fünf letzte Tage (1982). 


Other work[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hans-Michael Bock (Ed.): The Concise CineGraph. Encyclopedia of German Cinema. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books 2009, p. 3-4.


External links[edit]