Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts ... See full summary »
During a dinner, given by a wealthy baron and his wive, attended by four of her suitors in a 19th century German manor, a shadow-player rescues the marriage by giving all the guests a ... See full summary »
Just before his two masterworks with Louise Brooks, Pabst directed this provocative study of an upper-class woman's sexual frustration. Neglected by her work-obsessed husband, Brigitte Helm falls in with a fast crowd of Berlin nightclub denizens (the "wrong turn" of the title), toying with an artist and a boxer as potential lovers. Pabst sketches this milieu in terms of consumption of cigarettes, liquor, and drugs, but it looks considerably more realistic than the garish cartoon decadence of CABARET and its imitators. A highlight of a lengthy nightclub sequence is some amusing play around the erotic impact of a backless evening gown. If Helm writhes with coiled intensity in almost every scene, she still creates a credible psychological portrait. While the plot devolves into a can-this-marriage-be-saved? formula, Pabst sustains interest through expert framing and shrewdly chosen gestures: thus, the act of dividing a pastry comes to represent the possibility of divorce. An intelligently adult resolution, offering no easy answers, adds to the film's stature.
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