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Here we got a another german gem from the twenties. But nothing surnatural here. The last months of Napoléon's life are here described. It's also the fall of a beaten man, left by everyone exerpt a fistful of true friends who go with him on the small island St Helena. The director of the movie, Lupu-Pick, was totally fond of making silent work. So it's not surprising that he comitted suicide when movies began to talk.
The French director, Herr Abel Gance is well known among the silent
film fans for having filmed, among others, a superb, indispensable film
about the life and wars of Herr Napoleon, a countryman of his almost as
famous as Herr Abel Gance even for those outside silent movie circles.
"Napoleon" (1927) is a enormous silent masterpiece, a film with so many innovations and creations that it became a milestone in silent film history; the film project turned out too monumental even for Herr Abel Gance and he sold the scenario of "Saint Helene" to Herr Lupu Pick, who, in 1929, filmed the story of Napoleon's exile at that island after the defeat in Waterloo by the English government.
Herr Lupu Pick was also an important film director as well as an actor in many films. He is best known for directing important "Kammerspiele" films. "Napoleon auf St. Helene" is his last silent film and the penultimate of his career.
This German count could say that in some ways, "Napoleon auf St. Helena" is also a kind of late "Kammerspiele" film, not for the decors certainly which are usually sparse and unique in that special German film genre , but due to the psychological study. The film focuses on Herr Napoleon ( Herr Werner Krauss ) and his rival, the evil governor Hudson Lowe ( performed excellently by Herr Albert Bassermann ), contradictory human portraits that shows the solitude, despair and hatred among those two strong characters.
There are also in the film a gallery of different characters around Napoleon who will share his painful exile in that claustrophobic English colony ( a prison inside a prison ) , different persons with varied ambitions that are shown in the film in contradictory terms, enriching in this way the story.
"Napoleon auf St. Helena" is a very interesting silent film worthy of his director, a kind of spurious modernization of the film merits for which Herr Lupu Pick was known in the early 20's.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must retreat to his golden retirement.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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