The ship-owner Herr Reeder Roberts organizes a world trip on his luxury liner "Yoshiwara". Aboard are millionaires and famous artists, but also criminals. The manager of the ship-owner, Stefan Martini, has been murdered shortly before the departure in a mysterious way. Several persons are suspected and these are, precisely, the passengers of the "Yoshiwara".
Frau Brigitte Helm became a world famous silent actress after the success of the Grosse und landmark German film production "Metropolis" (1927) film directed by, as you probably know by now ( if not, well, this Herr Graf will desist in writing more of this irrelevant aristocratic silent reviews ) Herr Fritz Lang. Hers was a short but very interesting silent career in which she worked with important German film directors. She adapted into the sound era well and adapted into marriage well also by marrying a rich aristocrat who retired her from the mad talkies - but that's another and different Teutonic story.
The most remarkable merit of Frau Helm on the silent screen was her powerful, fascinating and enigmatic beauty. All of the directors who worked with her used this to the benefit of their stories. Her presence often evoked obscure and wicked temptation, wrapping her in mystery and danger.
"Die Yacht Der Sieben Sünden" ( The Yacht Of The Seven Sins - 1928) is a film directed by the Austrian pioneer director woman Frau Luise Fleck and her husband Herr Jacob Fleck, who accordingly used Frau Helm's fascinating presence in what it is for this German count an interesting exercise in silent film style of a mysterious variety.
In this film, Frau Helm portrays a "femme fatale", the dancer Marta Petrowna who will be involved in a crime and must use her fräulein weapons for selfish benefit. The film was inspired in a novel by Herr Paul Rosenhayn published in Cologne's "Illustrierte Zeitung" and certainly the construction of the film, the developing of the intensity and the mystery of the picture is indebted to those classic and popular mystery novels.
The film has an interesting portrait of the "modern" 20's with urban sceneries where influenced by the pictures of similar American productions of this genre ( an impersonal and international archetype film style ). The action later transfers to the boat "Yoshiwara" where the characters are involved in different degrees in the crime to be solved. There's a score to settle involving wicked conflicts of suspicion, mistrust, hidden interests and inner sexual desires. The result is a sometimes intricate but resourceful mystery plot.
Obviously Frau Helm is the star of the film. The many close-ups and the different lavish garments she wore in the film confirm this (beautifully photographed by Herr Carl Drews und Edgar S. Ziesemer together with their mysterious night scenes or the urban and indoor shots). However, in comparison, she has to deal with another German actress, Frau Rina Marsa who has more acting resources, besides beauty, than Frau Helm and who in the film plays a singer.
Unfortunately the last act (Act 6) is missing so the picture includes the description of its content following the text of the "Illustrierte Film-Kurier" in order to know who finally committed the damn crime! "Die Yacht Der Sieben Sünden" is nonetheless an efficient German "film noire" in where the archetypes of such film genre are used proportionally. The classic mystery film ingredients create a mixture that results in a very convincing and, at the same time, unusual German film.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must sail in his rich heiress' sinner arms.
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