Otto Hunte was born in Hamburg, Germany, on January 9, 1881. He studied architecture and painting and graduated from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg. In 1919, he launched his career as a costume and set designer in Fritz Lang’s adventure series Die Spinnen. He continued working with the director on his major classics, including Dr. Mabuse, Die Niebelungen and Metropolis. Hunte was also the co-designer of the sets for Josef von Sternberg’s Der blaue Engel.
Hunte became known for his striking decors, his expressionist style and his use of light and shadows. Critics praised Hunte as one of the most important production designers and art directors of the golden age of German cinema. He often shared credits with his influential contemporaries, Martin Jacoby-Boy, Erich Kettelhut and Emil Hasler.
Hunte worked as one of the leading set designers during the Nazi era and was involved in many entertainment films by Robert A. Stemmle, Günther Rittau and Paul Verhoeven. He also worked on the sets for propaganda films, including the notorious anti-Semitic film Jud Süß, by Veit Harlan.
After WWII, Hunte was one among many former UFA artists who joined the newly founded DEFA Studio in Babelsberg in 1946. Together with set designer Bruno Monden, he worked on the first German postwar film Die Mörder sind unter uns, by Wolfgang Staudte. Hunte had previously worked with Staudte on the 1944 crime story Der Mann, dem man den Namen stahl, which was banned by the Nazis. The Hunte-Monden team also used the rubble of war-torn Berlin for their intriguing sets. They also worked on the DEFA film Razzia, which is set in the postwar Berlin black market. This was Hunte’s last production before he retired from filmmaking.
Otto Hunte died in Potsdam-Babelsberg on December 28, 1960.
|1947||Razzia (The Police Raid)|
|1946||Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us)|
|1945||Der Scheiterhaufen (Burned at the Stake)|
|1944||Eine alltägliche Geschichte (An Ordinary Story)|
|1944||Der Mann, dem man den Namen stahl (The Man Whose Name Was Stolen)|
|1944||Herr Sanders lebt gefährlich (The Dangerous Life of Mr. Sanders)|
|1943||Ein glücklicher Mensch (A Happy Man)|
|1943||Altes Herz wird wieder jung (An Old Heart Becomes Young Again)|
|1942||Die Entlassung (Bismarck’s Dismissal)|
|1941||…reitet für Deutschland (…Ride for Germany)|
|1940||Jud Süß (Jew Süss)|
|1939||Mann für Mann (Every Man)|
|1938||Am seidenen Faden (Missing Pieces)|
|1938||Frau Sylvelin (Mrs. Sylvelin)|
|1937||Die Kreutzersonate (The Kreutzer Sonata)|
|1934||Liebe, Tod und Teufel (Love, Death, Devil)|
|1933||Der Stern von Valencia (The Star of Valencia)|
|1930||Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel)|
|1929||Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon)|
|1927||Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney (The Love of Jeanne Ney)|
|1924||Die Nieblungen – Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild’s Revenge)|
|1924||Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (Siegfried)|
|1922||Dr. Mabuse – Der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler)|
|1921||Der Tiger von Eschnapur (The Tiger of Eschnapur)|
|1920||Das wandernde Bild (The Moving Image)|
|1920||Die Spinnen – Das Brilliantenschiff (The Spiders: The Ship with Diamonds)|
|1919||Die Spinnen – Der Goldene See (The Spiders: The Golden Lake)|