Paul Korner is a homosexual musician who falls in love with his protégé Kurt. Unfortunately, the two are seen walking hand in hand by the blackmailer Franz. Though Paul agrees to Franz's demands at first, it gets out of hand and he ends up refusing to pay which has dire consequences for the lovers.Written by
The Violinist, the Handsome Youth, and the Blackmailer
Interesting early film dealing with homosexuality and the laws in Germany at the time making it a crime punishable by a prison sentence. About a famous violin virtuoso, Paul (played by Conrad Veidt), who after a concert one evening is approached by a handsome young man named Kurt who idolizes and has a youthful crush on the older man. Kurt dreams of taking lessons from his idol, so visits the kimono-dressed man in his apartments where he is soon being given private violin lessons. The two men quickly become closer and closer, playing duets together on violin and piano, and taking strolls in the park arm and arm, but unfortunately a blackmailer sees them in the park - and seizes upon an opportunity to make himself some quick "hush money". Interestingly, the blackmailer himself hangs out in a nightclub full of women dressed as men, and pairs of men dancing together, which made me wonder - is he out to find himself another victim for blackmail here or is he himself?
This film is a reconstruction containing fragments, strung together in a well-done manner with intertitles and still photos describing and portraying the missing scenes. The print for the scenes that are intact look quite nice here, the music is appropriate and pleasing. Parts of the film almost come across as instructional, including a lecture given by a sexologist featuring a slide show of males and females mostly in various states of cross-dress. Conrad Veidt gives a very well-done, touching performance here, really giving off a keen sense of the strong relationship and love felt between Paul and Kurt. Well worth seeing.
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