This charming film is practically unknown, but it is one of Klein-Rogge's best performances, as he plays a romantic lead with a dash of villainy. Klein-Rogge is the feared Master who lives in a bleak castle on top of a mountain, and the villagers in the valley below dread his ill-omened arrival at every wedding. The story concerns one couple who marries despite the master's baleful influence, only to have him crash their wedding party and bring about the death of the bride. The bride's sister, seeking revenge, tries to kill the Master but instead they fall in love, as she realizes that he is not really evil, but blighted by a loveless existence. Their love is ill-starred, however, as the Master kills an insolent guest at their wedding who takes liberties with his bride, and this is followed by a peasants' revolt, where the castle is stormed and the Master captured. In the end, the lovers escape, but their love is finally doomed. The year before this film, Klein-Rogge had his great triumph as the evil Dr. Mabuse in Fritz Lang's 'Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler', and his most memorable roles have been as villains. This movie demonstrates what a really wide range he had as an actor - he starts off with his very characteristic glowering villain, but once the girl enters his life he demonstrates both joy and tenderness, as well as grief and pain when he thinks he has lost everything. I don't know if such an obscure film could be a candidate for restoration, but it would be a worthy project, as the sets, costumes and many of the performances are as classic examples of expressionism as one could hope to see.
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