IMDb > Tartuffe (1925)

Tartuffe (1925) More at IMDbPro »Herr Tartüff (original title)


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Molière (play)
Carl Mayer (manuscript)
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Release Date:
24 July 1927 (USA) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Odd little film - not one of Murnau's best. See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Hermann Picha ... Der Greis

Rosa Valetti ... Seine Haushälterin / Housekeeper
André Mattoni ... Sein Enkel / Grandson

Werner Krauss ... Herr Orgon

Lil Dagover ... Frau Elmire / Elmire, Orgon's wife
Lucie Höflich ... Dorine

Emil Jannings ... Tartüff
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Camilla Horn

Directed by
F.W. Murnau 
Writing credits
Molière (play)

Carl Mayer (manuscript)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Original Music by
Giuseppe Becce 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund  (as Carl Freund)
Art Direction by
Robert Herlth 
Walter Röhrig 
Costume Design by
Robert Herlth 
Walter Röhrig 
Makeup Department
Waldemar Jabs .... makeup artist
Camilla Horn .... stunt double: Lil Dagover
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Baberske .... assistant camera
Music Department
Kurt Graunke .... conductor: new score
Frank Strobel .... conductor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Herr Tartüff" - Germany (original title)
See more »
74 min | USA:70 min | Spain:63 min (DVD edition)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Filmed February to April 1925, on Agfa and Kodak material, using a Pathé-Industriel camera.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Los 5 Faust de F.W. Murnau (2002) (V)See more »


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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Odd little film - not one of Murnau's best., 12 September 2001

It is amazing to think that in Murnau's oeuvre this falls in the year just after his revolutionary THE LAST LAUGH. Although there are some influences from that film here, notably a vastly increased use of the close-up, this is essentially a small, "throw away" work. With only a few sets and only a few actors, he retells Moliere's tale of a hypocritical do-gooder who upsets the life of an 18th century aristocrat until he is exposed by the latter's wife. This is told within a framework of a contemporary story. For the first twenty minutes we see a conniving housekeeper, influencing her elderly charge against his grandson and in her favor, to the point of having his will changed. She is also administering poison in small doses to ensure his death. The grandson visits, sees her plan, and upon leaving, confides in the audience that he will be back. Since he is an actor he visits in disguise and performs the play of "Tartuffe." At this point we enter the play. Jannings does a marvelous job playing the sly and ultra-devout Tartuffe (we first glimpse him when the film is already half over and then with one eye open and the other slyly almost closed), proving once again that he was a chameleon and the finest character actor next to Lon Chaney the silents ever had). The play continues with Lil Dagover doing a fine job as Elmire, the wife of the sadly put upon aristocrat, Orgon. Her final seduction attempt of course works and her husband purposely witnesses Tartuffe's downfall. We then return to the present day for the grandson to expose the housekeeper in front of his grandfather and extricate her from the house.

Another morality lesson from Murnau, this one against hypocrisy and greed. The tight use of close-ups brings an intimacy to the tale, but there are no elaborate or artistic images such as in THE LAST LAUGH. There is one striking sequence where we watch a maid descend two flights of stairs with the light of her candle illuminating her face as the only point of reference in a black screen.

The only print available on video is from Grapevine and it is a very poor print indeed. Out of focus (many generations of copying to get to this dupe, I imagine) with frames jumping every so often, moments cut out and some deteriorating nitrate (which gives the impression of rats climbing up Madame's gown).

A Murnau trifle, effective but in no way remarkable. For fans of Murnau and Jannings only.

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