"Tajemnica Starego Rodu" ( Mystery Of An Old Family ) was directed in the silent year of 1928 by Herr Zbigniew Gniazdowski ( a renowned cinematographer ) und Herr Emil Chaberski ( theater and film producer ); the film is a very interesting Polish melodrama with a classic and inventive story.
The film has different stages that the directors develop accordingly with the pace of the story; first we see the idle bourgeois life of princess Alicja (these Polish aristocrats are very similar to their noble born neighbors). Then the story turns into a mystery: Why do Frau Lydia and Frau Alicja resemble each other? Who is the ragged old man wandering in the forest holding a very important document for Szymon, Lydia's father? Finally the family secret is revealed via flashback leading to a catharsis that reconciles the two family branches and leaves hope for a better future.
The film stars Frau Jadwiga Smosarska who was considered in Poland as the "Polish Screen Queen" and who here is convincing in a double role. Herr Stanislaw Knake-Zadadzki, who plays the prince Zamilli, was one of the most eminent theater actors in his country.
Herr Gniazdowski's background as cinematographer shows in the remarkable camera-work and we must also mention the careful production design by Herr Jozef Galewski who captures the perfect mood and atmosphere in this larger-than-life film about romance, mystery and melodrama.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must unveil some old Teutonic family secrets.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/