BiographySt. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Kurt Früh (1915-1979) was most probably Switzerland's most popular film director ever. Früh was born in 1915 in St. Gallen (Switzerland). When he was a child, his family moved to Zurich, where Früh studied linguistics and music at the university. Already from 1933, he was head, author and director at the Zurich Volksbühne which stood under Brecht's influence. In 1936, Früh inaugurated a few political cabarets for which Switzerland got famous during World War II and which stood in the service of "mental defense of the state". Read more... in his films. Also in 1936, Früh started his career as a director for Central Film in Zurich, he put plays on stage and also directed musical works. Between 1949 and 1953, he was assistant director of Leopold Lindtberg, who also made a few of the most famous classical Swiss movies. In 1955, Früh saw his break-trough with "Polizischt Wäckerli", in the main role was Schaggi Streuli, one of Switzerland's most beloved actors. In his 1957 film "Bäckerei Zürrer" which plays in the Zurich Langstrasse neighborhood, Früh portrayed bums, boozers, small criminals and whores for which he showed also in his other movies much sympathy. Up to the eighties, the Swiss TV broadcast approximately each month Früh's most popular movies, such as "Oberstadtgass" (1956), "Hinter den sieben Gleisen" (1959), Cafe Odeon (1959), "Der Teufel hat gut lachen/Il diavolo ride" (1960), and the wonderfully said movie "Dällebach Kari" (1970), one of Früh's last works with the unforgettable score by Mani Matter (1936-1972). From 1964-1967, Früh was head of the ressort theatre at the Swiss TV and professor for film at the Museum of Art in Zurich, where he helped develop the New Swiss Film, the Swiss adaptation of Nouvelle Vague. Kurt Früh died nearly forgotten in 1979 in Boswil (Canton of Berne, Switzerland).