Fun Size Review: Variety (1925)

Jealousy, madness, murder, trapeze acts. Welcome to E.A. Dupont’s stylish melodrama, famous for unchaining its camera and allowing the audience to leap and spin with the acrobats.

Okay, so the plot is thin and cliched and some of the casting is odd. What really matters to this picture is its style, which it has in abundance. Emil Jannings does wonderful work as a jilted man driven to jealous madness. He is less believable as an athlete. Lya De Putti plays the object of his obsession with enthusiasm. It all ends in murder, of course. Could we have expected anything else?

variety-towel

Read my full-length review here.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.

Jannings stabs De Putti’s lover to death and then turns himself in to the police. He is eventually released from prison. Hey, I never promised a happy ending.

If it were a dessert it would be: Pop Rocks. Not the most complicated but plenty of action.

Availability: The version of Variety to get is the gorgeous new restoration. It’s beautiful to look at and restores the film’s prologue, cut by censors decades before. Alas, it’s not yet available in region 1/A but you are a good nerd and have a region free player, right? I should also warn you that the musical score is… controversial and not in the usual nitpicky way. Here’s a clip. You’ll see what I mean.

11 Replies to “Fun Size Review: Variety (1925)”

  1. This restoration will be released through Kino with a wonderful orchestral score composed as a group project at the Berkelee School of Music. It’s worth waiting. IMHO the current score by Tiger Lillies is a terrible alternative to getting tattooed.

  2. Nothing like the emo Elmo accompaniment. Cause if you thought Chaplin’s 1942 narration of The Gold Rush was grating, then you ain’t heard nothing yet! Wow.

  3. Emil always seems to be playing something like this but I bet if he was an athlete..nope I can’t say that without giggling. he likes his porkhocks and Bratwurst too much. I’d love to see this film even with this score

    1. Yeah, his murder scenes are so good we forgive him but it really was a bit of miscasting. Fortunately, we’re getting a new score for the film. Yipee!

  4. Amazon US, from here in Oz anyway, are listing Blu Ray version as regions B/2 & A/1 and shipping from Europe.

    They are also titling it “Jealousy.”

    I’ve ordered it.

  5. I actually think I’d be sort of interested in hearing the rest of that soundtrack – but not for my FIRST viewing of the film. It would be too distracting.

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