During a dinner, given by a wealthy baron and his wive, attended by four of her suitors in a 19th century German manor, a shadow-player rescues the marriage by giving all the guests a ... See full summary »
The likeable and carefree Grand Duke of Abacco is in dire straits. There is no money left to service the State's debt; the main creditor is looking forward to expropriating the entire Duchy... See full summary »
Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »
A Cashier in a bank in a small German town is alerted to the power of money by the visit of a rich Italian lady. He embezzles 60, 000 Marks and leaves for the capital city, where he ... See full summary »
Lorenz Lubota is a city clerk with no direction in life. One day on his way to work he is run over by a woman driving a chariot and he is immediately infatuated with her. His life begins to spiral out of control as he searches for this girl and tries to win her heart. Written by
Hot off his formidable achievement with "Nosferatu", F.W. Murnau made another expressionistic film, "Phantom". This one depicts Lorenz (Alfred Abel), a clerk who becomes obsessed with a woman (Lya De Putti) who accidentally struck him with a carriage. The movie contains some neat effects to highlight Lorenz's descent into madness. There are of course the buildings, but even more impressive is the ghostly carriage that emerges from a black void. A short documentary about the production makes note of how Murnau accomplished these interesting tricks.
One might call "Phantom" a precursor to "The Blue Angel" and "Lolita", but I wouldn't call that totally accurate. The latter two are more straightforward about their subject matter, while this one is deliberately surreal and dreamlike. But no matter how you interpret "Phantom", you can't deny that it is a very good representation of inter-war German cinema. The movie is a little slow at times, but definitely worth seeing.
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