7.2/10
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21 user 22 critic

Michael (1924)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 17 November 1924 (Denmark)
Trailer
1:49 | Trailer

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Triangle story: painter, his young male model, unscrupulous princess.

Director:

Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl-Th. Dreyer)

Writers:

Herman Bang (based on the novel of the same name by), Thea von Harbou (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Walter Slezak ... Michael
Max Auzinger Max Auzinger ... Jules - Majordomo
Nora Gregor ... Princess Lucia Zamikoff
Robert Garrison Robert Garrison ... Charles Switt - Journalist
Benjamin Christensen ... Claude Zoret
Didier Aslan Didier Aslan ... Duc de Monthieu
Alexander Murski Alexander Murski ... Mr. Adelsskjold
Grete Mosheim ... Mrs. Alice Adelsskjold
Karl Freund ... LeBlanc - Art Dealer
Wilhelmine Sandrock Wilhelmine Sandrock ... Widow de Monthieu
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Storyline

Mikaël is an artist who rises as his teacher, the aging Zoret, falls. Zoret gives Mikaël his start, and their relationship is sexual as well. Then Mikaël takes up with the Princess Zamikoff, selling gifts from Zoret and even stealing from the master to pay for his carnal and luxurious life with her. He abandons Zoret, whose health begins to fail but who also discovers spirituality in his solitude. In a subplot, Alice Adelsskjold cuckolds her husband and takes a lover, the Duke of Monthieu; their relationship, infused with the eroticism of art, also gives way to religion as the duke becomes ill. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

princess | artist | model | painter | gay | See All (28) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

17 November 1924 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Michael See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2004 alternate) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the painter Claude Zoret is talking to Mikael's creditor he switches from standing up to sitting down back to standing up between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Motto (titlecard): Motto: Now I can die in peace for I have known a great love.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2004, Kino International Corporation copyrighted a version with a piano score compiled and performed by Neal Kurz. It was produced for video by David Shepard and runs 86 minutes. See more »

Connections

Version of Vingarne (1916) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Art, Beauty, Drama
6 November 2005 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

This is a beautiful film, in its rich mise-en-scène and gorgeous cinematography. It resembles in polished photography, including how well it has remained over the years, the better-looking Hollywood films at the end of the silent era. The lighting is great, creating a very clear and crisp picture, with many subtle effects. And, the interior furnishings are lush.

"Michael" is a moving film, and I think that has more to do with the photography and settings than with the drama. The implicit homosexual relationship between the artist and his model, Michael, is curious, though. What I especially like about the narrative, however, is that it's about art--a very apt subject, which is heightened by the photography. Benjamin Christensen plays the aging artist, which is a significant casting decision, given that he was the great Danish filmmaker to precede Dreyer. Christensen had worked as an actor in his own films, so he's fully capable in this role. Additionally, cinematographer Karl Freund, who changed the role of the camera the same year in "The Last Laugh", has a small role as an art dealer.

Overall, Dreyer does better here with the actors than he previously had. He achieves a nice pacing, as well, except for a few mistimed editing cues, which are too quick. Even the subplot, for mood affect, works. It's a mature work--probably his first--resembling his later films in many ways.


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