Last night in the aristocratic theatre was shown an obscure ( there is not a lot of information about this silent film outside the thick Schloss walls ) German film in which is depicted the well-known legend of a Swiss hero whose name was Herr Wilhelm Tell. The legend says that he was a very skillful marksman who successfully shot an apple ( thanks Gott it wasn't a grape ) from his son's head, a difficult task ordered by a local tyrant who forced Herr Tell to do it in exchange for his freedom and by extension the liberation of his countrymen.
In spite of the well-known and compelling story, the joint direction by Herr Rudolf Dworsky und Rudolf Walter-Fein, is primitive and schematic.
Both Rudolfs don't make good use of the story which in other hands would be interesting; you know, oppression, injustice and all those kind of things that usually the coarse people are raving about. They misuse those ancient facts about peasants dominated by the Kaiser and in need of a hero to set them free.
Instead, both directors adopt a solemn expression ( not just in academic terms but in theatrical mannerisms ) but in many ways its artistic intentions fall far short. For example, in art direction, the film is an exaltation of papier mâché ( fortunately the indoor settings are overshadowed by some outdoor nature scenes) and the cast overacts, even Herr Conrad Veidt who had achieved great success by this point. it is unbelievable that the supposedly most thrilling scene of the film, when Herr Tell shoots an apple off the head of his son, is practically thrown away, providing evidence of the weak imagination and clumsy use of the camera by both directors of the film.
And last but not least, unfortunately Herr Guido Seeber 's cinematography couldn't impress this German count due to the blurry copy of the film ( well, this is a well-known custom in every Schloss film premiere ) which was rescued from the Schloss cellar film archives .
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must go to tell off Herr Tell.
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