A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign... See full summary »
A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign his name to a contract. The student hurriedly signs the contract, but doesn't know what he's in for. Written by
If "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is the father of all horror films (and of German expressionist cinema), this pre-WWI film is the grandfather. The titular student, starving in an empty garret, makes a deal with the Devil-- the Devil gives him a bottomless sack of gold, in exchange for "anything in this room." The Devil chooses the student's reflection in his mirror. He walks off with the student's doppelganger, who commits crimes for which the student is blamed.
The film is marred by some limitations arising out of the technically primitive state of 1913 filmmaking; the plot cries out for chiaroschuro effects, but the film is, of necessity, virtually all shot in shadowless daylight. But the scene where the reflection walks out of the mirror still packs a wallop.
More interesting for the trends it fortells than for its own sake, The Student of Prague is still worthwhile.
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