Lulu is a beautiful young woman who can seemingly work her charms on all of the men around her. She is currently being kept by the rich editor Dr. Ludwig Schön. She is just a plaything however and he is engaged to be married to Charlotte, a woman of his own class. He arranges for Lulu to appear in his son Alwa's musical revue and he too falls for all of her charms. When Dr. Schön and his fiancée go to the theater, Lulu ensures that he is put in a compromising situation and the elder Schön feels he now must marry her, knowing full well it will ruin his reputation. On his wedding day, Dr. Schön reaches his breaking point. His actions cost him his life however and Lulu is convicted of manslaughter. She escapes with the help of her old cronies but together they begin a downward spiral.Written by
Georg Wilhelm Pabst initially incurred a lot of wrath when he cast American Louise Brooks in the role of Lulu, a part which was considered to be quintessentially German. Ultimately Brooks' performance silenced her critics. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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Upon its initial release, the film was cut in numerous different ways to suit different countries:
In France, Alwa was not Schon's son but his secretary - a change which actually had the effect of implying a homosexual relationship between the two men.
In the United States, the film was released in a heavily censored 90-minute version, with a happy ending. This ending - in which Lulu joins the Salvation Army - was so unconvincing that when the film played in New York, its distributors placed a disclaimer at the beginning, emphasizing that they were not responsible for the censorship forced upon them, and they apologized for what was termed "an added saccharine ending."
The film was restored in 1983, but the fact that it originally ran 130 minutes and the restored version is only 110 minutes means that some original footage may be lost forever.
Tightly paced, well-directed tale of Lulu (Brooks), a tramp with a heart of gold -- sort of. Brooks is a job to watch, and she's supported by a good cast.
Not realist in style, very cinematic, editing is a key in telling the story and the use of film is amazingly efficient. I found myself wondering towards the end of the film if I had seen any title cards at all -- there were so few and the action and emotion were so well conveyed by the directing.
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