The favorite slave girl of a tyrannical sheik falls in love with a cloth merchant, which puts her life in terrible danger. Luckily, she is beloved of the rest of the harem, which conspires to bring the true lovers together, while distracting the prying eyes of the eunuchs who serve as palace guards. Meanwhile, a traveling dancer is eager to become part of the harem, much to the despair of the hunchback clown who is in love with her. Written by
SUMURUN proves that German films during the post-WWI era were as beautiful as American films. This film features tons of elaborate sets, lots and lots of costumed extras and a large scope. You can certainly see that this was a high-cost production. In that sense, the film really looks nice.
However, when it came to the story, I was curiously bored by the whole thing, as the film was, at times, stagy. I just didn't find the characters that interesting and unlike later films by director Ernst Lubitsch, this one lacked that "Lubitsch touch"--the artistry and brilliance in the interactions of the cast.
I also was left a bit cold by many of the performances. Lubitsch himself starred in the film in the male lead and he was practically lost under all the fake hair and costuming. It was not one of his best or sympathetic parts--and you can't see much of his comedic prowess. Ultra-famous Pola Negri plays a part that is pretty dull as well--she plays an alluring dancer. This is the type of role in which she excelled in the 1920s, but today you can't understand the sort of sex appeal she was supposed to have. She dances, gyrates and acts coy--but that's about all.
Overall, it's a nice film to look at but that's really about all.
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