The Sophistication And High Finish Of Some Weimar Later Silent Films
Herr Henry Duhan ( Herr Henry Edwards ) partner of the law office "Duhan und Born" lives only for his work, neglecting his duties as a husband much to the unhappiness of his wife, Frau Inge ( Frau Elga Brink ) who is devoted to her spouse and child but is becoming bored with her comfortably bourgeois but dull life. On the other hand, Herr Born ( Herr Bruno Kastner ), partner of Herr Duhan, lives a liberal and carefree life with his wife, Frau Claire ( Frau Margit Manstad ) but they can't stand each other.
"Angst; Die Schwache Stunde einer Frau" (1928) directed by Herr Hans Steinhoff, is a good example of the sophistication and high finish of some Weimar later silent films. The film is a striking urban silent oeuvre with a complex subject that always stirs up emotions: matrimony crisis and infidelity.
Based on a novella by the Austrian writer Herr Stefan Zweig, the film depicts in an elegant way the modern lives of some Teutonic businessmen ( believe it or not, in such troubled times, there were a few of those in the Republic of Weimar ), reflecting exquisitely their greed for business and economic security. They have everything-good jobs, success, money-but they pay little attention to their spouses leading to Frau Inge nearly having an affair and Frau Claire contemplating divorce.
The contrast between the two wives is particularly effective. Frau Claire is free spirited and strong while Frau Inge is a passive and obedient wife. Both will have a catharsis. Frau Inge takes a vacation in on the French coast and is wooed by a handsome Herr ( Herr Gustav Fröhlich ) and Frau Claire decides to ask for the divorce, fed up with her husband's extramarital adventures.
These peculiar matrimonial conflicts are perfectly depicted by Herr Steinhoff, emphasizing the moral dilemmas in an elegant and stylish way; these problems cause fears and doubts about illicit conduct not allowed in any respectable marriage and this creates frustration and a terror of the abyss. As the German film title of the film says, "fear; a moment of weakness in a woman".
The film is set in an urban and modern city with the decadent Weimar as a background. The camera cleverly scrutinizes the main characters and their surroundings: for example, the way Herr Steinhoff introduces the four main characters at the beginning of the film and later the various staircase sequences ( Teutons love dark staircases, ja wohl! ) This is an impeccable Teutonic silent film production absolutely modern and not very prudish in reflecting the doubts and conflicts that can put any marriage at risk.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must talk to his Teutonic lawyer.
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