The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts ...
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Extremely rare work of Robert Wiene. From the director and year of excellent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" this work was eventually overshadowed by the success of Caligari. It has a dreamy atmosphere, like another world or something.
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski,
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The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts writing stories featuring the models, the daughter and himself. In the first, he is a baker, married to the girl, who is a little bit too much flirting with the customers, among them the wezir of sultan Harun Al-Rashid, who has just ordered his execution because the smell from the bakery is drifting to his palce, yet Harun Al-Rashid wants to meet the beautiful girl himself, while an angry baker is trying to get the Sultan's whishing ring to proof he's not a weakling... The second story is about Tzar Ivan the Terrible who likes watching people die together with his court-chemist. When he orders the execution of the chemist, the chemist thinks of a nice revanche, but till the revanche works, a nobleman is murdered, his daughter kidnapped by Ivan and her groom tortured. While writing the third story about... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
A poet is hired by the owner of a wax museum in a circus to write tales about Harun al Raschid, Ivan the Terrible and Jack the Ripper. While writing, the poet and the daughter of the owner, Eva, fantasize the fantastic stories and fall in love with each other.
Director Paul Leni tells three stories, with the great German actors Emil Jannings ("Last Laugh"), Werner Krauss ("Cabinet of Dr. Caligari") and Conrad Veidt ("Caligari") playing their roles. With this cast and director, you should expect greatness. Personally, I did not find it as great as it could have been, but this may be because I was expecting a horror film and because the film's quality was not what it could be.
Kino deserves a lot of credit for releasing this film, especially considering that they had to mix two different sources. The unfortunate part is how pixelated the film is. Even on a medium-sized TV, the squares are evident. Maybe this is unavoidable, but it does make the transfer look cheap. (To be fair, the version I saw in the theater looked no better.)
I am tempted to complain about historical accuracy, but I will not. I hope people know that Ivan the Terrible did not get obsessed with an hour glass and that Jack the Ripper never killed men. But, heck, who knows? I will say this: if you watch the film in a theater (which is quite a treat), the only way to do this is with live organ accompaniment. Please watch it like that, otherwise just rent or buy it. The Kino version comes with a nice Paul Leni short.
And keep in mind how influential this film was. All wax museum films can be traced back to it, and it is widely believed that "Thief of Baghdad" took its inspiration from this film.
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