8.1/10
11,515
52 user 80 critic

Faust (1926)

Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 6 December 1926 (USA)
The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director:

Writers:

(titles), (titles) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller
Drama | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu
Tartuffe (1925)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Young man shows his millionaire grandfather a film based on Molière's Tartuffe, in order to expose the old man's hypocritical governess who covets his own inheritance.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Hermann Picha, Rosa Valetti, André Mattoni
Nosferatu (1922)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Max Schreck, Greta Schröder, Ruth Landshoff
Sunrise (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos
Phantom (1922)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A shiftless young man becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman and yearns to find her again.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Alfred Abel, Frida Richard, Aud Egede-Nissen
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene
Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
City Girl (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the castle Vogeloed, a few aristocrats are awaiting baroness Safferstätt. But first count Oetsch invites himself.. Everyone thinks he murdered his brother, baroness Safferstat's first ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Arnold Korff, Lulu Kyser-Korff, Lothar Mehnert
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Margarete Schön, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Faust (as Gösta Ekmann)
...
...
Frida Richard ...
Gretchens Mutter / Marguerite's Mother (as Frieda Richard)
...
Yvette Guilbert ...
Eric Barclay ...
Herzog von Parma / Duke of Parma (as Eric Barcley)
...
Herzogin von Parma / Duchess of Parma
...
Edit

Storyline

God and Satan war over earth; to settle things, they wager on the soul of Faust, a learned and prayerful alchemist. During a plague, Faust despairs and burns his books after failing to stop death; Satan sends Mephisto to tempt Faust, first with insight into treating the plague and then with a day's return to youth. Mephisto is clever, timing the end of this 24 hours as Faust embraces the beautiful Duchess of Parma. Faust trades his soul for youth. Some time later, he's bored, and demands on Easter Sunday that Mephisto take him home. Faust promptly sees and falls in love with the beautiful Gretchen, whose liaison with him brings her dishonor. Is there redemption? Who wins the wager? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NEVER before has the screen revealed a spectacle of such size and impressiveness as in the epic production. The world-famous story of fate and temptation, renowned as an opera, has now been dramatically immortalized in a picture which can be truly called great. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 December 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Faust  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1997 restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film had already been shot and edited, UFA decided it disliked Hans Kyser's script. Over Kyser's objections, it asked German writer Gerhart Hauptmann to work on it. However, the studio decided that it disliked Hauptmann's script even more. The film was released in Kyser's original version. See more »

Quotes

Mephisto: Do you want a woman, a card game, an orgy?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Liebe. Real Humane Emotions.
5 June 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was the most important director of the German expressionism era. He made 22 films from which only 11 have persisted. Murnau often made several different versions of his films, which made it impossible to tell which was the original one. Faust was no exception; he made 9 different versions of it whose editing, rhythm and acting differ from each other. F.W. Murnau did a lot of breakthroughs in cinema - he's the most influential filmmaker of his time. For instance in his earlier film Der Letzte Mann (1924, The Last Laugh) Murnau used the camera as a character for the very first time. It was the first time the audience couldn't tell when you were watching the events as an outsider and when as a character. Faust is no lesser. Eric Rohmer has written about it in his dissertation and Herman G. Weinberg saw Faust as the most beautiful film ever made.

Everybody knows the German writer Goethe who wrote Faust. But the story did live before his play. It lived as a folktale. And this is where the critics did wrong. They thought that Murnau's Faust was a fiasco; probably because they tried to compare it to the original play. But F.W. Murnau did Faust (1926) based on the folktale. So the philosophy of Goethe's Faust was left away. The production company (UFA) of Faust also produced another artistic film, Metropolis by Fritz Lang. When the audience didn't like either of these films the company failed.

Faust is a story about God and Satan who wager. A man, Faust, agrees to sell his soul to Satan so he can have all the power of the world. First he wants to use the power to help the diseased people but the temptations of eternal youth and beauty win. "Damned be the illusion of youth!" Faust is a timeless story because the idea of selling one's soul will always be there. Faustic contracts are still made. There is only one thing that can terminate the contract. Liebe - Love. The flaming word appears on the screen to assure us. Earlier I mentioned the new camera-work of The Last Laugh. But Faust did something new too. It was the first film that was based on the metaphorical force of light and shadow. The use of shadows in Faust is symbolic and brilliant. When talking about light and Murnau one might be reminded of Nosferatu (1922), a Gothic vampire story by F.W. Murnau, where the beams of light killed Nosferatu.

Faust deals with essential and timeless themes. On the surface the themes are good and evil but Faust is much more complex than that. I would recommend this masterpiece of the German Expressionism to all film lovers. I wouldn't be surprised if one said that Faust is the best film ever made. F.w. Murnau manages to capture real humane emotions.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page