Carl Mayer

Carl Mayer (20 November 1894, Graz, Austria - 1 July 1944, London) was an Austrian screenplay writer who wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), The Haunted Castle (1921), Der Letzte Mann (1924), Tartuffe (1926), Sunrise (1927) and 4 Devils (1928), the last five being films directed by F. W. Murnau. Mayer was the son of a stock speculator who committed suicide, forcing the young Carl to leave school at 15, and go to work as a secretary. Mayer moved from Graz to Innsbruck and then Vienna, where he worked as a dramatist. The events of World War I turned him into a pacifist. In 1917, Mayer went to Berlin, where he worked at the small Residenztheater. He befriended Gilda Langer, a leading actress of the theater and fell in love with her. He wrote the script for Dr. Caligari (1920) with Hans Janowitz, and planned to have Langer star in the movie. However, Langer became engaged to director Paul Czinner, then Langer died unexpectedly early in 1920. (The role went to actress Lil Dagover instead.) Mayer paid for Langer's tombstone and had notes from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde engraved on it.

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