Paris, 1937. Winckler kills his enemy Gordon, a Chicago mobster, from the stage of a Parisian music hall, where he performs telepathy. He pays another artist, Helene, so that she tells the ... See full summary »
Erich von Stroheim,
Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl, Sally, who is learning to be a croupier. Her husband turns up with drugs he has stolen... See full summary »
A Russian emigrant sings in a Shanghai nightclub under the assumed name of Kay Murphy. All she dreams of is a peaceful life with her daughter Vera. But this is only a pipe dream as she has ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
The French version of G.W.Pabst's monumental three-language (English, French and German - separate versions each) filming of Cervantes' classic novel. The German version seems to be lost, ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Feodor Chaliapin Sr.,
A religious fanatic finds his entire life and philosophy turned upside-down as he falls in love with a girl and kills her in a jealous rage. His search is for peace of mind and a desire to ... See full summary »
In some ways this anticipates Welles' Mr. Arkadin inasmuch as it is an uneven film crammed with brilliant performers, directed by an acknowledged master with a plot verging on the bizarre. Welles, of course didn't need much help with screenplays - if we exclude Citizen Kane - yet Pabst had three on the payroll two of whom, the exotic named Irma von Cube and Jacques Natanson, had some tasty credits; von Cube had worked on both Mayerling and Johnny Belinda whilst Natanson worked on Max Ophuls final films, La Ronde, Le Plaisir and Lola Montes yet none of these was remotely like Salonika - Nest Of Spies which moves from Paris to Berne to Salonika in the first two reels setting up encounters between top-billed Dita Parlo and the likes of Louis Jouvet, Viviane Romance, Pierre Fresnay, Jean-Pierre Barrault, Gaston Modot, Pierre Blancheur and Charles Dullin among others. Some are little more than cameos, as in the case of Barrault, a lunatic who manages to intrigue via a schtick with a melon; Louis Jouvet seems to be anticipating Akim Tamiroff in For Whom The Bell Tolls - on the other hand Pepe Le Moko was released about the same time so maybe someone figured Jouvet would make a passable Arab/gypsy fortune teller. For good measure Viviane Romance throws in an emotive song and a good, if slightly puzzling time is had by all. This is a film of moments rather than a whole but definitely worth seeing.
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