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Old Heidelberg (1915)

Karl Heinrich is the heir to the throne of the small European principality of Rutania, but he's a lonely child, not allowed to play with other children and knowing little about life outside... See full summary »


John Emerson


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Cast overview:
Wallace Reid ... Prince Karl Heinrich
Dorothy Gish ... Katie Ruder
Karl Formes Karl Formes ... Dr. Juttner (as Karl Formes Jr.)
Erich von Stroheim ... Lutz
Raymond Wells Raymond Wells ... Karl Bilz
John McDermott John McDermott ... Von Wendell (as J.W. McDermott)
James Gibson James Gibson ... Kellerman
Franklin Arbuckle Franklin Arbuckle ... Fritz Ruder - Katie's Father
Madge Hunt Madge Hunt ... Frau Hans Ruder - Katie's Aunt
Erich von Ritzau Erich von Ritzau ... Prince Rudolf (as Erik von Ritzau)
Kate Toncray Kate Toncray ... Frau Fritz Ruder - Katie's Mother
Harold Goodwin ... Prince Karl - Age 12
Francis Carpenter Francis Carpenter ... Prince Karl - Age 5


Karl Heinrich is the heir to the throne of the small European principality of Rutania, but he's a lonely child, not allowed to play with other children and knowing little about life outside the castle. When he reaches college age he is sent to attend the University of Heidelberg, and really starts to enjoy himself for the first time, even falling in love with Kathie, his only friend during childhood and the niece of an innkeeper. However, political turmoil in Rutania forces him to return. He finds that the only way out of declaring war on a neighboring country would be to marry the daughter of its king--but that would require giving up Kathie, the only woman he's ever loved. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Drama | Romance







Release Date:

14 November 1915 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fine Arts Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of The Student Prince (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

Utterly charming.
29 July 2002 | by David-240See all my reviews

Although it's hard not to make comparisons with the Ernst Lubitsch/Ramon Novarro masterpiece of 1927, this much earlier silent version of "The Student Prince" has a special charm all its own. With a running time of just over 30 minutes, it's a very compact telling of the tale. The early scenes, with the prince as a boy, are excellent and given extra impact by the menacing presence of Erich Von Stroheim as the prince's valet. His performance is almost expressionistic in style.

Later the prince is played by the excellent Wallace Reid, and his great love by the disarmingly innocent Dorothy Gish. They make a great team, and the scenes of fun and love-making at Heidelberg are terrific.

Standing in stark contrast are the brutal, and sometimes spectacular, scenes of war (though I suspect some of the long shots were stolen from "Birth Of A Nation" - D.W. Griffith produced "Old Heidelberg" too). What is especially notable is the anti-war sentiment, expressed at a time when World War 1 was raging in Europe. Two years later, when America entered the war, such sentiment would not have been allowed.

All in all this is a vivid little gem from the early days of cinema, that is well worth a look.

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