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Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and had her necklace, because he needed some money for his own stock exchange deals. The same deal brings poverty to ex-government official Rumfort, his daughter Greta, who also has lost her job, tries to get some money to get food. She rents a room of the flat she, her young sister and her father are living in to an American Red Cross official, who pays $60 rent, but the money is taken by some of her father's creditors. But their neighbour, shop owner Mrs Greifer knows how to "help", she and Mrs. Merkel are running a nightclub with a brothel... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1st watched 2/6/2007,61 minute edited version - 6 out of 10 (Dir-G.W. Pabst): Interesting silent drama that shows the major differences between upper-echelon and depression Austria after World War I and portrays it very well for the most part. The movie turns into a romantic piece in the last quarter which negates it's effectiveness but still shows us more than we normally see from this type of film. Greta Garbo plays in what is labeled as her first starring role in the version I watched, and does an admiral job as the daughter of a retired civil servant who's always trying to do the right thing to help her family's financial situation but it never seems to work out. Her performance is all about her facial and body gestures which, of course, is a must for a silent film and she is excellent with this. The hero in the film is an American do-gooder who helps the family survive by moving into their home and paying rent, but the authorities would prefer that he mingle with the uppity crowd and soon removes him from the setting. Everything works out in the end like a good Hollywood movie, which in my opinion takes away from the effectiveness of what could have been a more impressive piece of movie-making. ;watched app. 94 minutes version on 11/29/2015;added scenes and totally different non-romantic somewhat incomplete darker ending lend to a deeper film overall
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