A rich fellow goes to Egypt for some sightseeing and ends up with a bride, a tomb curse broken and a deranged stalker. How was your last vacation? Pola Negri and Emil Jannings play some Svengali-meets-Dracula by way of an Egyptian tomb.
“So, you go behind my back with a bullfighter?”
That’s not strictly true, Don Jose. Carmen goes with the bullfighter in front of your face as well. So there.
Continue reading “You could have cheated on me with a plumber, a cheese-monger, a politician but a BULL-FIGHTER? Animated GIF”
One of Pola Negri’s earliest collaborations with Ernst Lubitsch and a major critical and commercial hit for them both, this film tells the famous tale of Carmen and her doomed romance. How will our dynamic duo make this story their own? Negri’s signature combination of sexiness, warmth and humor is on full display at this early date but the Lubitsch touch is still in its infancy.
Continue reading “Gypsy Blood (1918) A Silent Film Review”
It has happened to all of us. We are going along, minding our own business when we accidentally step in it. What “it” is depends on who you are talking to. Maybe you expressed admiration for Chaplin in front of fans of that other comedian.* Maybe you accidentally said that their favorite movie was stupid. Whatever it was, the fight is on.
This is from The Merry Jail, which features Kitty Dewall and the ever-dapper Harry Liedtke and is directed by Ernst Lubitsch. If you think German films are all dour and humorless, this might change your mind. (You can read my review here.)
*For the record, I do love Buster Keaton but I find that a vocal 5% of his fans are incredibly obnoxious, bashing Chaplin whenever they get the chance. The Keaton vs. Chaplin thing, like cats vs. dogs and Kirk vs. Picard, is horribly tedious to those of us who prefer less emotion in our discussions. Inside voices, people, inside voices. If it gets bad enough, less combative folks may finally lose it and emulate Clara Bow in Parisian Love:
Forgive me for bringing up this topic again. I just saw someone pull the “Keaton was better and I’m right and you’re wrong!” thing– in response to someone else saying that one’s preferred comedian is a matter of taste! Point missed, I think.
What do you get when you mix a partying husband, a wily wife, a sassy maid and a night in jail? Well, when Ernst Lubitsch directs, you get a zany comedy of marriage and romance. Much wilder and broad than his later work, this early film has plenty to offer.
Continue reading “The Merry Jail (1917) A Silent Film Review”
The plot in one sentence: Daddy, buy me a prince right now!
Ossi Oswalda is a nouveau riche American girl who is determined to marry into German nobility. Harry Liedtke is a penniless prince hounded by creditors. It should be simple but director Ernst Lubitsch has other plans! Slightly naughty but mostly nice, this clever romantic comedy is one of the gems of German cinema.
If it were a dessert it would be:
Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. Cute confection improved immeasurably by the addition of booze.
Read my full-length review here.
Ossi’s father is the Oyster King of America and she has decided that she deserves nothing less than a European prince. Nucki is the penniless prince in question but a few cases of mistaken identity later, all plans are in shambles. Hidden amongst the the wacky hijinks is some pointed social commentary courtesy of director Ernst Lubitsch.
Poor Prince Nucki (Harry Liedtke) comes to in a strange room and is confronted by something that is most definitely not his. Where are his pants anyway? Zany romantic comedy from Ernst Lubitsch. This is one of the funniest intertitles, in my opinion. Enjoy!