MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 15,435 this week

Sumurun (1920)

6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 360 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 12 critic

The favorite slave girl of a tyrannical sheik falls in love with a cloth merchant. Meanwhile, a hunchback clown suffers unrequited love for a traveling dancer who wants to join the harem.

Director:

Writers:

(pantomime), (scenario), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 766 titles
created 19 Oct 2012
 
a list of 3 titles
created 03 Feb 2013
 
a list of 8738 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
list image
a list of 25 titles
created 28 Apr 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 27 May 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Sumurun" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sumurun (1920)

Sumurun (1920) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sumurun.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ... See full summary »

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Dennis King, Jeanette MacDonald, O.P. Heggie
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After seeing D. W. Griffith's epic Intolerance, Denmark's greatest director, Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr), was inspired to make his own four-episode historical ... See full summary »

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Helge Nissen, Halvard Hoff, Jacob Texiere
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A cloistered, overprotected Austrian prince falls in love with a down-to-earth barmaid in this "Vienese fairy tale."

Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, John M. Stahl
Stars: Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, Jean Hersholt
Harakiri (1919)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The Buddah priest wants the Daughter of the Daimyo to become a priest at the Forbidden Garden. The Daimyo thinks, if he was in Europe, that his daughter should decide on her own, but he is ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Paul Biensfeldt, Lil Dagover, Georg John
Angel (1937)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
Die Bergkatze (1921)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A charismatic lieutenant newly assigned to a remote fort is captured by a group of mountain bandits, thus setting in motion a madcap farce that is Lubitsch at his most unrestrained.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Pola Negri, Victor Janson, Paul Heidemann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Marcel Vallée
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Ernst Lubitsch, Louise Schenrich, Lanchen Voss
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Emil Jannings
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Ernst Lubitsch, Trude Hesterberg, Ferry Sikla
The Patriot (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Emil Jannings, Lewis Stone, Florence Vidor
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Yeggar - the Hunchback
...
Yannaia - a Dancer
...
Der alte Scheich
Jenny Hasselqvist ...
Sumurun
Aud Egede-Nissen ...
Haidee
...
Nur-Al Din
Carl Clewing ...
Der junge Scheich
Margarete Kupfer ...
Alte Frau
Jakob Tiedtke ...
Head Eunuch
Max Kronert ...
Muffti, 1st Servant of Nur-al-Djin
Paul Biensfeldt ...
Achmed, the Slave Trader
Paul Graetz ...
Pufti, 2nd Servant of Nur-al-Djin
Edit

Storyline

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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

harem | hunchback | dancer | slave | sheik | See All (59) »

Taglines:

Pola Negri As the Wild Desert dancer (1921 One Arabian Night poster) See more »


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One Arabian Night  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Kino Print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Life Is a Dream in Cinema: Pola Negri (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Show us your most beautiful cloth"
22 January 2010 | by (Ruritania) – See all my reviews

Today, in the UK at least, the word "pantomime" means songs, dances, dames, villains to be booed, out of work actors, "He's behind you", and generally a good time to be had by all. It has developed out of longstanding traditions of popular theatre common throughout Europe, known at one point as "low opera". Sumurun, a German pantomime with which renowned theatre producer Max Reinhardt had great success in the mid-1910s, is not a familiar story, but the wild and wonderful tone with which it is played bears some similarities to how we understand the genre today.

Funnily enough, in the US the term pantomime is often used as synonym for "mime", in the Marcel Marceau sense, and indeed highly expressive acting in silent cinema is often referred to as "pantomime". Looking at the film version of Sumurun, it seems this is perhaps not entirely coincidental. Like the majority of Ernst Lubitsch pictures from this period, it takes place in a gloriously hammy world where actors grimace and gesticulate with shameless glee. Thank goodness for Lubitsch's sense of humour. By peppering Sumurun with touches of his absurd genius, he prevents it from being over-earnest and unintentionally funny. The Lubitsch style of comedy is nowhere near as pronounced as it was in all-out farces such as The Oyster Princess or The Wildcat, but it serves to soften the silliness of the melodrama with which it coexists. The comedy and melodrama do not interfere with each other, because the situations in themselves are not funny. Instead there is a line drawn between serious characters, and characters who exist purely to be comical. Incidentally, the occasional moments where the line blurs and the comedy figures get swept into the tragedy are among the most poignant I have seen in all of Lubitsch's work.

You see, Lubitsch was not just a master of screen comedy, he was a real craftsman of screen drama. Integral to Sumurun is his use of movement in depth. From the opening shot of a caravan approaching us from out of the desert, virtually all the motion is towards the camera. Often when characters look at each other, we are shown reverse angles in which they are virtually staring into the lens. It's almost a kind of audience participation (think pantomimes again!), in that we are made to feel we share the space of the film's world rather than that we look in on it. Conversely however Lubitsch sometimes frames the more dramatic events deep in the background, giving us a kind of panicky feel of separation. At this moment we should take time to consider the exquisite and elaborate set design of Kurt Richter, which here establishes contrasting tones for the different environments – a stark and barren outdoors, the squalid clutter of the poor district, and the rich opulence of the palace.

This was the last appearance of Lubitsch himself as an actor, and one of the few examples of his acting that is easily available today. His eccentric performance lies at the hammy heart of Sumurun. It is a very Germanic style of theatrical comic acting, exaggerated to the point of being almost grotesque, but something great fun to watch in the right kind of setting, as those familiar with the best of Emil Jannings or Rudolph Klein-Rogge will know. However Lubitsch is outshone by his opposite number, the old hag played by Margarete Kupfer, who is again very overstated but in a manner that is entertaining, especially in her lurching drunk act. Paul Wegener is marvellous as the old sheikh, treading the line between pomposity and genuine menace, and thus very much in tune with the picture as a whole. Finally an honourable mention goes to the handful of black supporting actors, who appear in a number of Lubitsch pictures and whose names I have never been able to find. None of these guys especially stands out, but they are all clearly adept at the Lubitsch comedy form of sudden reactions and surprise expressions.

Sumurun is not without its detractors. True, the complexity of the interwoven subplots, the fast-paced editing and the lack of intertitles make it a little hard to follow. Also I accept that the acting styles may seem a little inappropriate and jarring to some. But I also feel that those who would demand comprehensibility or naturalism from a picture like this are really missing the point. You need to buy into the sweeping melodramatics and theatrical slapstick, and simply let it all wash over you without taking any of it too seriously. In fact, people who don't like Sumurun are probably the same sort of people who would not enjoy shouting "Oh no it isn't!" at a bunch of out-of-work actors in tights. Pantomime: A distinct art form that must be accepted it for what it is.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Sumurun (1920) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?