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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>
I watched this delightful film on TCM last night. What a revelation! Although the print quality has clearly suffered over the years, the high quality of the original production values shines through. The famous Lubitcsh Touch is all over this sweet, moving film.
The acting is also superb! Navarro and Shearer give believable performances as a star-crossed couple in turn-of-the-century Germany. Navarro, in particular, gives a pitch-perfect portrayal of a reluctant prince who longs only for a simple life surrounded by school-friends and his first love.
Also giving a beautiful performance as the prince's tutor and mentor was Jean Hersholt.
I have never particularly enjoyed silent films - many seem to me to be overly melodramatic. But this film changed my opinion. The actors and director were able to communicate so much with very few dialog cards. It made me realize what was lost when talking pictures took over and everything became more literal.
Even if you don't think you like silent films, give this one a try.
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