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The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)

Der Student von Prag (original title)
For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »

Director:

Henrik Galeen

Writers:

Hanns Heinz Ewers (novel), Henrik Galeen (book)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Conrad Veidt ... Balduin, ein Student
Elizza La Porta Elizza La Porta ... Liduschka, Blumenmädchen (as Elizza la Porta)
Fritz Alberti Fritz Alberti ... Graf Schwarzenberg
Ágnes Eszterházy ... Comtesse Margit, seine Tochter (as Agnes Esterhazy)
Ferdinand von Alten Ferdinand von Alten ... Baron Waldis-Schwarzenberg, Margits Vetter und Verlobter
Werner Krauss ... Scapinelli, Wucherer
Erich Kober Erich Kober ... Student
Max Maximilian Max Maximilian ... Student
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Storyline

For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a penniless student, ever dare looking up to any woman worth of loving? Absorbed in his dreary thoughts and indifferent to the advances of Lyduschka, Balduin is unexpectedly offered a fortune by the mysterious money-lender Scapinelli - but on a strange condition... Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

26 December 1926 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Cheated Life See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sokal-Film GmbH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doppelgänger
2 August 2004 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

At the least, remakes should allow an opportunity to see the differences in film-making from different periods, and, hopefully, to see the advances made in the years bypast; at best, it displays something new and intelligent to a familiar story. The 1913 version of "The Student of Prague" was a film meant to bring respectability to cinema by adapting popular literature; however, the filmmakers lacked an understanding of their own medium and created a, for then, typically static motion picture. Henrik Galeen made this remake during the maturity of one of the greatest periods of national cinema in the history of the art form.

Obviously, close-ups and medium shots were common by 1926, where there were none in the aforementioned film of 1913. There's scene dissection, some inspired cinematography and editing and expressionistic sets by Hermann Warm, as well. We actually get to see the actors here, and Conrad Veidt and Werner Krauss do exceptionally well. The gypsy storyline fits into this version easily.

Cinematographers Günther Krampf and Erich Nitzschmann produced a large shadow of the Devil, which interacts with mass, in one shot; superimpose a saw cutting at Balduin's head in a moment of internal narration; shake the camera for a drunk POV shot; use irises and move the camera during close-ups. The rescue from a horse scene and the haunting finale are the most impressive visually, for the chiaroscuro lighting, special effects and editing. Some shots even seem intentionally reminiscent of the 1913 version. Additionally, the filmmakers were able to punctuate the mirror motif within this film of the doppelgänger thanks to state-of-the-art effects.


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