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Young Prince Karl Heinrich has spent his entire life behind the palace gates protected from the world. He has been raised in a melancholy atmosphere of strict discipline and duty, yet he often looks out at the frolics of youths and maidens who live beyond the walls. When he passes his exams, Karl is sent to Heidelberg to complete his studies. It is a heady new world of brew, song, and comradeship. Karl falls in love with Kathi, a pretty barmaid, and she reciprocates. But can the love survive their disparate backgrounds? Will Karl ever find happiness or will duty deny it to him? Written by
Thomas McWilliams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ernst Lubitsch's silent films are as graceful and enchanting as his sound pictures, but the director's silents are unfairly left in the corner and don't always get the distinction they truly deserve. Along with "Lady Windermere's Fan" and "The Marriage Circle", this heartbreaking silent classic is one of Lubitsch's most perfect and poignant American silent films.
"The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg"(surviving copies only say " Old Heidelberg") is a very moving and heartbreaking love story and pretty much in the best Lubitsch tradition of subtle, graceful, witty romantic comedy, tinged with an air of sadness and poignancy, much like what you see in the later Lubitsch sound masterworks like "The Shop Around the Corner", "Heaven Can Wait", and "Cluny Brown". Norma Shearer gives what could be her greatest and most satisfying silent performance as Kathi, a popular barmaid with fraternal students and townsfolk in the quasi-mythical university town of Heidelberg. Ramon Novaro is superb as her prince charming, the student prince who falls in love with her.
If you liked this one, I recommend Lubitsch's other great silent love story from this period, the rarely seen and appreciated "Eternal Love."
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