IMDb > Michael (1924)
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Michael (1924) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Herman Bang (based on the novel of the same name by)
Thea von Harbou (adaptation) ...
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Release Date:
17 November 1924 (Denmark) See more »
Triangle story: painter, his young male model, unscrupulous princess. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Something for the Boys See more (18 total) »


  (in credits order)

Walter Slezak ... Michael
Max Auzinger ... Jules - Majordomo

Nora Gregor ... Princess Lucia Zamikoff
Robert Garrison ... Charles Switt - Journalist
Benjamin Christensen ... Claude Zoret
Didier Aslan ... Duc de Monthieu
Alexander Murski ... Mr. Adelsskjold

Grete Mosheim ... Mrs. Alice Adelsskjold

Karl Freund ... LeBlanc - Art Dealer
Wilhelmine Sandrock ... Widow de Monthieu
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mady Christians ... Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Carl Theodor Dreyer  (as Carl-Th. Dreyer)
Writing credits
Herman Bang (based on the novel of the same name by)

Thea von Harbou (adaptation and screenplay) &
Carl Theodor Dreyer (adaptation and screenplay) (as Carl-Th. Dreyer)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Original Music by
Hans Joseph Vieth 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund (photographed by)
Rudolph Maté (photographed by)
Costume Design by
Hugo Häring (costumes by)
Art Department
Hugo Häring .... sets
Music Department
Neal Kurz .... music compiler (2004 alternate version)
Neal Kurz .... musician (2004 alternate version)
Other crew
David Shepard .... video producer (2004 alternate version)
Bret Hampton .... with appreciation to (2004 alternate version)
Monica Paulsen .... with appreciation to (2004 alternate version)
Ulrich Ruedel .... with appreciation to (2004 alternate version)
Bret Wood .... with appreciation to (2004 alternate version)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Chained" - USA
"Chained: The Story of the Third Sex" - USA
See more »
Canada:93 min | USA:86 min (2004 alternate version) | 90 min (20 fps, 2006 restored version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Finland:S | USA:TV-14 (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Continuity: When the painter Claude Zoret is talking to Mikael's creditor he switches from standing up to sitting down back to standing up between shots.See more »
[first lines]
Motto (titlecard):Motto: Now I can die in peace for I have known a great love.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (2011)See more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Something for the Boys, 19 November 2011

Of the Carl Theodor Dreyer motion pictures that I have recently seen, the more mature and the one that shows a better knowledge of the film medium, is "Michael" a production financed and shot in Germany, after he made "Love One Another". The obvious mistakes are more related to editing than to "mise en caméra", and even that is not abundant. Dreyer stylishly uses space, light, and the depth and height of the decors, abstaining from the Expressionist frenzy that characterized a good part of German cinema after "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920). Based on the novel "Mikaël", by Herman Bang, this is one of the most impressive studies of narcissism among the films that I have seen, and one of the most moving dramas on homosexuality in old age that I know. I find admirable is that a film from 1924 shows an understanding of human nature similar to a drama as "Happy Together", rather than recent bursts of sweat and semen that have pretended to explain narcissistic delight and homosexual love in epidermic, explicit ways. We should also remember that this is a motion picture from 1924 if it may illustrate ideas that today may seem as prejudice, or whenever we react negatively to the resources of 1920s cinema, in make-up, costumes, acting style, or technical shortcomings yet to be perfected to erase the efforts to convey an impression of reality. Less problematic, I believe, are the direction and especially the writing. Behind the adaptation there is a key name in the history of cinema: Fritz Lang's ex-wife, Thea Von Harbou, who remained in Germany when her husband fled from the Nazis. By 1924 Harbou and Lang had already collaborated in "The Weary Death" and the first two parts of "Dr. Mabuse", and next would come "Spies", "Die Nibelungen", "Metropolis", "Woman in the Moon", "M", "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" and the diptych "The Tiger of Eschnapur" and "The Indian Tomb". Harbou excelled in adventures, science-fiction and exotic melodramas (genres almost absent in Lang's American filmography), but here she is more than adequate describing a homosexual liaison tinted with economic interest, loneliness and a narcissistic game of mirrors, in the story of a painter and the young male model to whom he gives all his possessions, which are then spent by the boy in an affair with a ruined and unscrupulous princess. The theme of Death is present throughout the tale, and it is duplicated in the story of an affair between a count and a young woman, married to an old man. Besides Von Harbou, "Michael" includes first-rate personnel in other roles: the cinematographer is Expressionist maestro Karl Freund (director of photography of "The Last Man", "Metropolis", "Berlin, Symphony of a Great City" and Tod Browning's "Dracula"), who also plays a art dealer; the painter is played by Danish director Benjamin Christensen (the maker of "The Witch"), and the Italian operatic diva Nora Gregor (leading lady in Renoir's "The Rule of the Game") plays the princess. For the role of Michael, Dreyer used beautiful blond actor Walter Slezak, born under the sign of Taurus, and --as a good son of the bull-- too much attracted to good food and wine. When he reached 30 he had already lost his slenderness and in spite of his big, expressive blue eyes, for the industry he was too a chubby fellow to be a leading man. However, when he migrated to the United States he became an instant sensation in Broadway, winning a Tony award. In films he had a more discrete participation, but he also had other unforgettable roles, as the Nazi sailor in Alfred Hichcock's propaganda drama "Lifeboat", and as Rock Hudson's feisty majordomo in "Come September", turning his boss' Italian villa into a hotel during his absence, except every September. A good work of restoration, "Michael" includes a dense 1993 score by Pierre Oser.

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