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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
During the silent film history, there were famous and important pairs who worked together in varying degrees in their film careers: Herr Stiller and Dame Garbo, Herr Pabst and Dame Brooks, Herr Griffith and Dame Gish or Herr Ego and Dame Swanson. One of these remarkable silent open marriages was Herr Ernst Lubitsch and Dame Pola Negri, who worked together in many important silent productions, especially during the German period of the Teutonic director.
"Sumurun" (1920) was one of those early lavish UFA productions, based on a Herr Max Reinhard's 1910 stage pantomime, which gave prestige to Germany's greatest film company and provided the chance to decisively open the world film markets to the German productions, specially in Amerika, a distant and perilous country where afterwards, as many longhaired youngsters know, Herr Lubitsch will continue his successful career, becoming one of the most important directors in film history. In this same country Dame Pola will also make some films but with uneven results; for her, it was a short lapse in her career that she will afterwards resume in old Europe.
This German count mentioned that "Sumurun" was a lavish, opulent major budget film production as can be seen in the superb and astonishing décors and art direction due to the pair of hands, two for each one, of Herr Ernö Metzner und Kurt Richter. Such Teutonic magnificence and exuberance is just what the story demands; a tale involving a tangled love triangle set in an archetypical and fascinating East.
This German count also must mention that in addition to Dame Negri the film also features Herr Paul Wegener, Dame Aud Agede Nissen and Herr Lubitsch himself. Pola has a role that's perfect for her: sensual, adventuresome, defiant and full of untameable spirit. The film's parallel stories sometimes are confusing or digressive although it makes for a comprehensible mess since the various love conflicts in the film include unrequited passion, Eastern vengeance and unrestrained desires, all transpiring in an exotic landscape and making for a delicious extravagant film fantasy where the talent of the German director shines more that the Eastern sun.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count has an exotic appointment in East Germany.
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