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 »
In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »
The business tycoon Nicolas Saccard is nearly ruined by his rival Gunderman, when he tries to raise capital for his company. To push up the price of his stock, Saccard plans a publicity ... See full summary »
Flashback story of an escape from the lonely, high-security Dartmoor Prison. A jealous barber's assistant is enraged by the attentions that his manicurist girlfriend pays to a customer. He ... See full summary »
Hans Adalbert Schlettow,
Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »
Prologue: The murderer "Boss" Huller - after having spent ten years in prison - breaks his silence to tell the warden his story. "Boss", a former trapeze artist, and his wife own a cheap ... See full summary »
Ewald André Dupont
Lya De Putti
The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »
Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drown. That same day,... See full summary »
Aspiring singer Susanne takes over for ham actor Viktor at a small cabaret in Berlin where he works a woman impersonator and per chance she's discovered by an agent, who thinks, that she ... See full summary »
Following World War I, after a long imprisonment, two German prisoner-of-war soldiers escape from a Siberian lead-mine. Karl manages to reach Germany before Richard, and is sheltered by ... See full summary »
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 its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something more complex and inherently cinematic. Written by
It's a good film all around, but it's most notable for finding yet another remarkable silent beauty queen, Betty Amann, who could perhaps have been a huge star if the era had continued. With her jet-black bob-cut, she'll remind many of Louise Brooks, but, aside from a similar hairdo, she's not much like Brooks. The story concerns a cop (Metropolis' Gustav Froehlich) who picks up Amann for stealing a diamond from a jewelry store. She tries to seduce him so he'll let her go, but he's so morally upright she basically has to jump on top of him to get what she wants. Froehlich walks away from the situation bewildered, but also kind of in love with her. She, too, develops feelings for the poor little innocent, but odds are against them. Especially when her gangster boyfriend shows back up. I wouldn't quite group this among the silent masterpieces, but it's a fine film. And Amann really is wonderful (she would go on to co-star in Hitchcock's The Rich and the Strange, and she also pops up in Nancy Drew... Reporter). I think it might be a bit better known if not for the lousy title. "Asphalt" only really refers to Froehlich's job as a traffic cop, but I don't see what else it has to do with the film.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?