MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 18,256 this week

The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)
"Der Student von Prag" (original title)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  20 March 1927 (Finland)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 353 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (book)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 26 Aug 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 09 Jan 2013
 
a list of 104 titles
created 31 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 85 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)

The Man Who Cheated Life (1926) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Man Who Cheated Life.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
Chess Fever (1925)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his ... See full summary »

Directors: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovsky
Stars: José Raúl Capablanca, Vladimir Fogel, Anna Zemtsova
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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
The Doll (1919)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Ossi Oswalda, Hermann Thimig, Victor Janson
The Bells (1926)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An innkeeper murders a wealthy guest to pay off his debt, but his conscience will not allow him to get away with the crime so easily.

Director: James Young
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Caroline Frances Cooke, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director: Walter Ruttmann
Stars: Paul von Hindenburg
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
Stars: Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Henrik Galeen
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Paul Wegener, Iván Petrovich
Die Straße (1923)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Karl Grune
Stars: Anton Edthofer, Aud Egede-Nissen, Leonhard Haskel
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Cashier in a bank in a small German town is alerted to the power of money by the visit of a rich Italian lady. He embezzles 60, 000 Marks and leaves for the capital city, where he ... See full summary »

Director: Karl Heinz Martin
Stars: Ernst Deutsch, Erna Morena, Roma Bahn
Eerie Tales (1919)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After the old-books shop closes, portraits of the Strumpet, Death, and the Devil come to life and amuse themselves by reading stories--about themselves, of course, in various guises and ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Oswald
Stars: Anita Berber, Conrad Veidt, Reinhold Schünzel
Satanas (1920)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Fritz Kortner, Sadjah Gezza, Ernst Hofmann
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Elizza La Porta ...
Liduschka, Blumenmädchen (as Elizza la Porta)
Fritz Alberti ...
Graf Schwarzenberg
Agnes Esterhazy ...
Ferdinand von Alten ...
Baron Waldis-Schwarzenberg, Margits Vetter und Verlobter
Werner Krauss ...
Erich Kober ...
Student
Max Maximilian ...
Student
Edit

Storyline

For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a penniless student, ever dare looking up to any woman worth of loving? Absorbed in his dreary thoughts and indifferent to the advances of Lyduschka, Balduin is unexpectedly offered a fortune by the mysterious money-lender Scapinelli - but on a strange condition... Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1927 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Cheated Life  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) |

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of The Student of Prague (1913) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sadly neglected horror masterpiece
1 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

You never know what you'll come up with when you go bottom-fishing in the budget bins at Tower Video. Last week, for 6 bucks, I scored a movie I'd been questing a long time. It's the silent German chiller, "The Student of Prague." So what if the print (from an outfit called Alpha Video) is scratchy, fuzzy, and discolored, and if the contrast is so poor at times that I wasn't sure which character I was watching. Hey -- life isn't always a Criterion disc. At least it didn't cost me $40, and at least I finally got to see this movie. It's a gem, and it should be much, much better known. It tells the Mephistophelean tale of a university student named Balduin (the great Conrad Veidt), a dashing fellow and the best fencer in Prague. Unfortunately, he's also penniless, which puts him out of the running for the hand of the beautiful countess with whom he has become smitten. This makes him an easy mark for the Devil, who arrives in Prague one day in the guise of a mysterious stranger named Scapinelli. Scapinelli offers Balduin the astounding sum of 600,000 gold pieces, with only one string attached: Scapinelli gets to take whatever item he wants from Balduin's room. Balduin, glancing around his spartan crib, recognizes that it's filled with nothing but worthless junk. In short, the deal seems to be a no-brainer, and Balduin hastens for the dotted line. No sooner does Scapinelli hand over the dough than he announces which item he wants: it's Balduin's reflection in the mirror. And, in an amazing scene, he calls it forth. The special effects are primitive, of course, yet smashing. The rest of the movie is basically a series of confrontations between Balduin and the unleashed reflection, which has transmuted into a malicious doppelgänger. I won't reveal the final confrontation, which is astounding, both dramatically and cinematic ally, but it's not a spoiler to reveal Balduin's epitaph (which is revealed at the fade-in before the story is told in flashback): "This monument is dedicated to Balduin, the best fencer in Prague. He gambled with Evil and lost….Adieu, Balduin."

The only things I know about director Henrik Galeen are that he directed "The Golem" and wrote "Nosferatu." But I am willing to maintain that he was a movie genius of the first order. His work is full of wonderful expressionistic flourishes, reminiscent of "Caligari," which is probably not surprising since the two movies share the same production designer, Hermann War (they also share Veidt of course). The movie's highlights are unforgettably effective, including the fantastic moment when Scapinelli's giant shadow snatches a love letter that Balduin has sent to the countess. In another scene, Galeen uses a shaky hand-held camera for a drunken POV shot. There's also a neat bit of foreshadowing in an early scene in which Balduin fences with himself in the mirror. I noticed some other shots that anticipated future movies:

o A long shot of Scapinelli, in silhouette, alone on a hilltop next to a solitary tree, vowing revenge ("Gone With the Wind") o A fox hunt captured through hand-held cameras and jerky editing ("Tom Jones") o A lovelorn girl sublimates her unrequited feelings for a guy by secretly cleaning his apartment ("Chungking Express") – and get a load of the way she fondles his saber! YOW!

Either these shots are coincidences, or "The Student of Prague" was far more influential than is generally known.

Well, now that I have finally bagged "The Student of Prague," I can turn my quest to two other objects: (1) a decent print of it (preferably in a theatrical screening); and (2) the original 1913 movie, of which this 1926 version is just a johnny-come-lately remake.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Man Who Cheated Life (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?