IMDb > The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)

The Man Who Cheated Life (1926) More at IMDbPro »Der Student von Prag (original title)

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Overview

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Release Date:
26 December 1926 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Daily Briefing. Avant-Garde Masters
 (From MUBI. 23 April 2012, 6:36 AM, PDT)

8 Essential German Expressionism Films You Must See
 (From Obsessed with Film. 13 October 2011, 1:29 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Doppelgänger See more (10 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Conrad Veidt ... Balduin, ein Student
Elizza La Porta ... Liduschka, Blumenmädchen (as Elizza la Porta)
Fritz Alberti ... Graf Schwarzenberg
Ágnes Eszterházy ... Comtesse Margit, seine Tochter (as Agnes Esterhazy)
Ferdinand von Alten ... Baron Waldis-Schwarzenberg, Margits Vetter und Verlobter

Werner Krauss ... Scapinelli, Wucherer
Erich Kober ... Student
Max Maximilian ... Student
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marian Alma ... (uncredited)
Adolf Peter Hoffmann ... (uncredited)

Sylvia Torf ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Henrik Galeen 
 
Writing credits
Hanns Heinz Ewers (novel of the same name)

Henrik Galeen (book)

Produced by
Harry R. Sokal .... producer (as H. R. Sokal)
 
Original Music by
Willy Schmidt-Gentner 
 
Cinematography by
Günther Krampf 
Erich Nitzschmann (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Hermann Warm 
 
Production Management
Max Maximilian .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Erich Kober .... assistant director
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Der Student von Prag" - Germany (original title)
"The Student of Prague" - International (English title) (imdb display title), UK
See more »
Runtime:
91 min (DVD) | 110 min (20 fps)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Doppelgänger, 2 August 2004
Author: Cineanalyst

At the least, remakes should allow an opportunity to see the differences in film-making from different periods, and, hopefully, to see the advances made in the years bypast; at best, it displays something new and intelligent to a familiar story. The 1913 version of "The Student of Prague" was a film meant to bring respectability to cinema by adapting popular literature; however, the filmmakers lacked an understanding of their own medium and created a, for then, typically static motion picture. Henrik Galeen made this remake during the maturity of one of the greatest periods of national cinema in the history of the art form.

Obviously, close-ups and medium shots were common by 1926, where there were none in the aforementioned film of 1913. There's scene dissection, some inspired cinematography and editing and expressionistic sets by Hermann Warm, as well. We actually get to see the actors here, and Conrad Veidt and Werner Krauss do exceptionally well. The gypsy storyline fits into this version easily.

Cinematographers Günther Krampf and Erich Nitzschmann produced a large shadow of the Devil, which interacts with mass, in one shot; superimpose a saw cutting at Balduin's head in a moment of internal narration; shake the camera for a drunk POV shot; use irises and move the camera during close-ups. The rescue from a horse scene and the haunting finale are the most impressive visually, for the chiaroscuro lighting, special effects and editing. Some shots even seem intentionally reminiscent of the 1913 version. Additionally, the filmmakers were able to punctuate the mirror motif within this film of the doppelgänger thanks to state-of-the-art effects.

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