7.4/10
1,036
14 user 19 critic

Variety (1925)

Varieté (original title)
Trailer
1:01 | Trailer
Prologue: The murderer "Boss" Huller - after having spent ten years in prison - breaks his silence to tell the warden his story. "Boss", a former trapeze artist, and his wife own a cheap ... See full summary »

Director:

Ewald André Dupont (as E.A. Dupont)

Writers:

Felix Hollaender (novel), Ewald André Dupont (scenario)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emil Jannings ... Boss Huller
Maly Delschaft ... Frau Huller
Lya De Putti ... Bertha-Marie
Warwick Ward ... Artinelli
Alice Hechy
Georg John ... Seeman
Kurt Gerron ... Hafenarbeiter
Paul Rehkopf Paul Rehkopf ... Zuschauer auf dem Jahrmarkt
Charles Lincoln Charles Lincoln ... Spanischer Artist
Georg Baselt Georg Baselt
Trude Hesterberg Trude Hesterberg ... Zuschauerin imm Varieté
Werner Krauss ... (unconfirmed)
The Flying Codonas The Flying Codonas ... Acrobatic Ensemble (as Die Drei Codonas)
Alex Hyde and his Original New York Jazz Orchestra Alex Hyde and his Original New York Jazz Orchestra ... Alex Hyde and His Original New York Jazz Orchestra
Enrico Rastelli Enrico Rastelli ... Jongleur
Edit

Storyline

Prologue: The murderer "Boss" Huller - after having spent ten years in prison - breaks his silence to tell the warden his story. "Boss", a former trapeze artist, and his wife own a cheap side-show that displays ''erotic sensations''. But he longs for his former glamorous life in the circus. When he meets the orphan Berta-Marie, he falls under her spell and leaves his wife and young son behind. He makes Berta-Marie his partner in a new trapeze number. One day, the famous trapeze artist Artinelli takes note of them and engages them for his trapeze show in Berlin. Their salto mortale becomes an immediate sensation. Calculatedly and cold, Artinelli seduces Berta-Marie and destroys "Boss'" happiness. Written by Christian Taube <taube@isa.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gripping, Dramatic, Sensuous, Thrilling, Powerful (original poster - USA) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

American humorist S. J. Perelman was so taken with this movie he wrote about it 40 years later in an essay entitled "And, in the Center Ring, That Stupendous Death-Defying Daredevil..." He said "Alfredo Cordona, the wizard of the flying rings, and his partners doubled for the actors. I saw the picture four times, reacting so volcanically to Cordona's forward triple somersault that I almost rent the chair in front of me to matchwood." See more »

Connections

Edited into Prisoner of Paradise (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Vaudeville
Theme song for British release
Music by Vivian Ellis
Lyrics by William Helmore
See more »

User Reviews

 
Expressionism Intertwined With Social Comment
25 November 2011 | by FerdinandVonGalitzienSee all my reviews

Among silent film conneisseurs Herr Ewald André Dupont is well-known for a trilogy of films; "Varieté" (1925), "Moulin Rouge" (1928) und "Piccadilly" (1929); they all explore troubled relationships against a background of twenties popular entertainment (music-hall, cabarets, vaudeville). Of these, "Varieté" is certainly the best and Herr Dupont's masterpiece, an excellent film that maintains intact its virtues and cinematic merits after so many years, This Herr Graf revisited it recently and found that it had lost none of its power.

The love story involves Herr "Boss" Huller ( Herr Emil Jannings ) and the seductive orphan Frau Berta-Marie ( Fay Lya de Putti ) Once a famous trapeze artist, "Boss" has been reduced to managing a sordid fairground attraction together with his wife ( Frau Maly Delschaft ). He falls madly in love with Berta-Marie and seeks to start a new life with his lover, leaving his wife and child behind.

The virtuosity in the dramatic use of the camera-work together with film narrative by Herr Dupont is simply great. Through the eyes of "Boss'", Dupont skilfully compares the young and vital Berta-Marie and the faded and worn wife. Later the camera shoots from behind Huller's back to depict a desperate man utterly defeated and broken. The expressive close-ups wherein hidden feelings are made transparent are also superb as is the portrait of the people of Berlin, inhabitants of a decadent but thrilling city. The frenzied nightlife of Weimar Berlin (Wintergarten, Vaudeville Theater, fairgrounds) is vividly captured by the camera-work of Herr Karl Freund und Herr Carl Hoffmann.

The camera-work is especially impressive during the trapeze sequences wherein Herr Dupont, with the aid of optical special effects by Herr Ernst Kunstmann, employs many different camera angles to emphasize the riskiness of the trapeze act and the riskiness of the relationship between "Boss", Berta-Marie and their partner, the famous artist Herr Artinelli ( Herr Warwick Ward ) . The tension builds during the performance because we know that Herr "Boss" has discovered that Berte-Marie and Artinelli have become lovers.

The actors are splendid, specially Herr Jannings who, when properly directed , can express powerfully the most inner and divergent human feelings, Frau Lya de Putti, is no femme fatale type at all but that certainly is the point; she's attractive enough but common, someone easily charmed by a stylish man like Herr Artinelli.

"Varieté" is an exemplary work wherein all the achievements and virtuosity of German cinema of that time are on display. You have Expressionism intertwined with social comment, a fascinating portrait of the times. Dupont's wavers a bit at the end and allows a minor concession which is forgivable and by no means fatal to the film as a whole.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must refuse a splendid offer to be a fairground attraction.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

None | German

Release Date:

31 January 1926 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Jealousy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$709,613
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed