Tartuffe (1925)
"Herr Tartüff" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  24 July 1927 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,235 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 16 critic

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.



(play), (manuscript)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The likeable and carefree Grand Duke of Abacco is in dire straits. There is no money left to service the State's debt; the main creditor is looking forward to expropriating the entire Duchy... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Mady Christians, Harry Liedtke, Robert Scholtz
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
City Girl (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lem goes to Chicago to sell the wheat his family has grown on their farm in Minnesota. There he meets the waitress Kate. They fall in love and get married before going back to the farm. ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence
Faust (1926)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn
    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
4 Devils (1928)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Mary Duncan, Charles Morton
Drama | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In his final film, F.W. Murnau presents the tale of two young lovers on the idyllic island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. Their life is shattered when the old warrior declares the girl ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Chang-Hwa Jeong
Stars: Tina Chin-Fei, Liang Chen, Pat Ting Hung
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When farmer Rog dies, his son Peter stays, but Johannes can not be satisfied with such a condition (and servant Maria's love) and finds a job as old Count Rudenberg's secretary. His ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Werner Krauss, Eugen Klöpfer, Vladimir Gajdarov
The Dark Road (1921)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Olaf Fønss, Erna Morena, Conrad Veidt
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


Complete credited cast:
Hermann Picha ...
Der Greis
Seine Haushälterin / Housekeeper
André Mattoni ...
Sein Enkel / Grandson
Lucie Höflich ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 July 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tartuffe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed February to April 1925, on Agfa and Kodak material, using a Pathé-Industriel camera. See more »


Version of Tartuffe - hycklaren (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

More innovation from Murnau
21 November 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The film begins with the story of a rich man being given a slow premature death by his money-grubbing housekeeper. The elderly man has shunned his actor grandson, who visits him and, after discovering the housekeepers use of poison, is sent away. He returns disguised as a travelling cinema worker, who, upon getting into his grandfather's house, proceeds to show them the story of Herr Tartuff. Rich landowner Herr Orgon (Werner Krauss) brings his new friend and religious fanatic Tartuffe (Emil Jannings) home, much to the dismay of Orgon's wife Frau Elmire (Lil Dagover). After she spurns Tartuffe's sexual advances, she sets out to prove to Orgon that Tartuffe is an imposter who is seeking to inherit Orgon's vast estate.

Why director F.W. Murnau decided to use the film-within-a-film device in his adaptation of Moliere's famous play, I'm not sure. Maybe it was to put his own new spin on what is now a well-known story and moral tale, or perhaps it is just to bring it up to date. Either way, it's an effective device, and allows Murnau to advertise his unbelievably advanced film-making techniques and ideas. His better known classics such as Nosferatu (1922) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) showed his ability for expressionism and breakthrough techniques, but Tartuffe displays his eye for the science of cinema. Every frame, every camera movement, and every cut is sheer beauty. And everything is helped by one of the giants of silent cinema, Emil Jannings.

Tartuffe is an absolute monster, and it needed a true monster to play him. Jannings is colossal - his hulking frame making him look like a kind of evil spectre, capable of anything (what a shame that Jannings would later commit career suicide by becoming Goebbels pet propaganda tool). The film takes some surprising risks (for its time) as well. During the opening scenes, before we are introduced to Tartuffe, we see the young grandson being booted out of the house. Then something amazing happens - he walks up to the camera and looks at us, the audience, smiling. He assures us that the matter is not finished, and that he will be back to avenge his grandfather. This was back in a time where directors felt they had to have the characters looking a certain way went conversing, and that camera shots had to be at a certain level, for fear the audience simply wouldn't understand what was happening. Directors were simply terrified to try new techniques, but not Murnau.

There is also a shocking scene involving the first exchanges between Tartuffe and Elmire. She is in the midst of demanding him to leave, when the camera droops down from her face, and lingers on her cleavage, which is slightly visible due to the way she is looking down upon Tartuffe. All is seen from Tartuffe's point of view, and this happens a number of times. Surprisingly saucy given it's age. Murnau is simply a genius, and you can watch almost any of his films to realise this. Tartuffe is not his best, and even if it seems to be breathlessly sprinting for the end in the final ten minutes, it is still a brilliant film.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Tartuffe (1925) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: