12 user 18 critic

Secrets of a Soul (1926)

Geheimnisse einer Seele (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 19 February 2008 (USA)
A scientist is tormented by an irrational fear of knives and the irresistible compulsion to murder his wife.




Cast overview:
Werner Krauss ... Martin Fellman
Ruth Weyher ... Seine frau
Ilka Grüning ... Die mutter
Jack Trevor ... Erich
Polycarpe Pavloff Polycarpe Pavloff ... Dr. Orth (as Pawel Pawloff)
Hertha von Walther Hertha von Walther ... Fellmans Assistentin
Renate Brausewetter Renate Brausewetter ... Dienstmaedchen
Colin Ross Colin Ross ... Kriminalkommissar


A scientist is tormented by an irrational fear of knives and the irresistible compulsion to murder his wife.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Part of Universum Film AG's (the Ufa Studios) Kulturfilm Abteilung, a special division of the studio whose task it was to develop educational and intellectual films. See more »

User Reviews

Moderately Gripping, But No Great Classic!
19 April 2008 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

Although it has an enormous reputation as a classic example of German Expressionist Cinema, "Secrets of a Soul" turns out to have very few of these pictorial elements. That reputation was obviously built on the opinions of critics who had not actually seen the movie but had referenced the illustration reproduced on the poster. It is not a still from the movie at all, but a composite made up by the publicity department.

Admittedly, we do see the various dreams individually—and they are even briefly reprized—but even so, they constitute but an extremely small part of the movie which mostly centers on the well-off but distinctly middle-aged hero's sudden aversion to his young and extremely attractive wife.

I realize that this was obviously not the scriptwriter's intention, as it appears from the flashback that the three participants are roughly the same age. The casting, however, particularly of the 25-year-old Weyher, as well as youngish Jack Trevor, makes nonsense of this supposition. We are forced to accept the movie in the way it appears on the screen, not in the way it was postulated in the minds of the screenwriters.

I suppose you could argue that the dreams are presented in an expressionistic fashion (though I would disagree), but you can't get away from the fact that they display little visual imagination. And in any event, they occupy very little screen time.

As the middle-aged lead, Werner Krauss does extremely well in conveying the domestic disparity he suffers with his young wife. He has obviously been married for at least five or six years and his attitude is not so much loving, as reserved, suspicious, ill-tempered and even resentful. As said, this was probably not the way Neumann and Ross intended, but it's the way Krauss plays the role and, more importantly, the way Pabst has directed it. So what have here is not so much expressionism, as a moderately gripping domestic drama.

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None | German

Release Date:

19 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets of a Soul See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Neumann-Filmproduktion See more »
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Technical Specs


| | (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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