Director F.W. Murnau and scriptwriter Thea von Harbou both took a change of pace from their usual dramas with this satiric farce about Grand Duke Don Ramon XX (Harry Liedtke), whose idyllic country is threatened by revolution. The troublemakers are a trio of conspirators, working with a corrupt financier who intends to convert the landscape into a profitable sulfur mine. Don Ramon comes close to being hanged, but is rescued by Olga (Mady Christians), the Grand Duchess of Russia, who loves him and agrees to pay off all his debts. A compromising love letter from Olga falls into the conspirators’ hands, but she and Don Ramon, with the help of the adventurer Philip Collins (Alfred Abel) are able to set their affairs right. Note who plays one of the conspirators: Max Schreck, who starred as the hideous vampire in Murnau’s horror classic Nosferatu.
Tag Archives: 1920s
Molly Wood arrives in a small western town to be the new schoolmarm. The Virginian, foreman on a local ranch, and Steve, his best fiend, soon become rivals for her affection. Steve falls in with bad guys led by Trampas, and the Virginian catches him cattle rustling. As foreman, he must give the order to hang his friend. Trampas gets away, but returns in time for the obligatory climactic shootout in the streets.
Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924) Fritz Lang, Margarete Schön, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos, Drama, Adventure, Fantasy
After Siegfried’s dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that they kill Hagen, the murderer of Siegfried, but he is protected by her brothers. A fierce battle begins to force her brothers to give Hagen to her.
Coeur fidèle / The Faithful Heart (1923) Jean Epstein, Léon Mathot, Gina Manès, Edmond Van Daële, Drama, Romance
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two occasions, but Paul retains a hold over her. Marie has a baby who falls ill and as time goes on Jean and a crippled neighbor try to help the child. Paul nearly causes the death of the child whilst in a drunken stupor and in a final struggle that occurs, the crippled woman seizes Paul’s gun and shoots him dead.
Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924) Fritz Lang, Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Fantasy, Drama, Adventure
Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to win Krimhild, a mask that makes him invisible proves to be very useful. But because Brunhild is cursing Kriemhild, she tells her what really happened. Now Brunhild wants Siegfried’s head. Is Gunther going to do her that favor?
A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923) Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller, Drama, Romance
Marie St. Clair believes she has been jilted by her artist fiance Jean when he fails to meet her at the railway station. She goes off to Paris alone. A year later, mistress of wealthy Pierre Revel, she meets Jean again. Misinterpreting events she bounces back and forth between apparent security and true love. Also misinterpreting, Jean commits suicide.
Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage / Faust: A German Folk Legend (1926) F.W. Murnau, Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Drama, Fantasy, Horror
God and Satan war over earth; to settle things, they wager on the soul of Faust, a learned and prayerful alchemist. During a plague, Faust despairs and burns his books after failing to stop death; Satan sends Mephisto to tempt Faust, first with insight into treating the plague and then with a day’s return to youth. Mephisto is clever, timing the end of this 24 hours as Faust embraces the beautiful Duchess of Parma. Faust trades his soul for youth. Some time later, he’s bored, and demands on Easter Sunday that Mephisto take him home. Faust promptly sees and falls in love with the beautiful Gretchen, whose liaison with him brings her dishonor. Is there redemption? Who wins the wager?
L’homme du Large / Man of the Sea (1920) Marcel L’Herbier, Jaque Catelain, Roger Karl, Charles Boyer, Drama
Nolff, a tough Breton fisherman is happy: his wife has just given birth to a son, Michel. His only wish is to make him a fisherman like him. But when he becomes a man, Michel becomes a good-for-nothing who spends his time in taverns with his evil genius friend Gwenn la Taupe. The sea will be his judge.
After falling in love with a courtesan, Rikiya is blinded by ash during a fight in a brothel. Believing the blindness permanent and his opponent dead, Rikiya goes back home to his sister. Okiku, desperate to protect her brother who thinks himself a murderer, wants to sacrifice herself for him and become a prostitute to pay for Rikiya’s treatment.
A working-class love story set in and around the London Underground of the 1920s. Two men – gentle Bill and brash Bert – meet and are attracted to the same woman on the same day at the same Underground station. But the lady chooses Bill, and Bert isn’t the type to take rejection lightly…