Man(Vanel) comes back from WW1 and finds again his wife and kid ; he suffers from amnesia.As he is a wealthy notable,gossips surface.Is he really the man he claims to be?There's a trial but he wins his case thanks to a mysterious person (Berry) who turns to be a blackmailer.
Adapted from a Kafka novel (not THE Kafka),this is an interesting work :Vanel portrays with conviction this bewildered man,in search of his identity.Best scene shows an old lady,chasing him out of her flat,saying he's not her son,then,when the door is closed,bursting into tears.
Kurt Bernardt had begun his career in Germany,as contemporary of Lang and Murnau,but these works are almost impossible to see (he directed Dietrich).Then,after a stint in France,he headed for America where he directed minor movies ,most of them forgotten,including the remake of perennial French tear-jerker "le voile bleu" (as "the blue veil").
Most interesting is the influence of the movie on later works:
-In 1983,Daniel Vigne directed "Le retour de Martin Guerre".During the Middle Ages ,a man comes back to his home.but is he really the one he claims to be?Well you get the picture: a remake in disguise.
-in 1992,"Sommersby" was a remake of "Martin Guerre" (actually the re-remake of "Carrefour").WW1,Middle Ages or American Civil war,it's the same old song.
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