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
A 133-minute version, distributed by Janus Films from Film Museum München, was broadcast in America on the IFC channel in 2006. It has an unidentified orchestral score, including a 2-minute overture at the start, and it listed the credits in German, some of which were translated into English. With German inter-titles and English subtitles. This version was released on a British Region 2 DVD). See more »
Besides the grim fatalist moral lesson, the film is lacking Expressionist ideals, and is more in tune with later Weimar cinema. The fact that it has a female lead certainly separates it from the classic Expressionist works. And shadowing and landscape techniques are much more modernized reflecting Weimar's embrace of technology and immersion into consumer culture. Even today, there are few female actors that represent such a powerful will and dominant presence as Louise Brooks did in her masterful performance. The film was not very popular at its time of production and I wonder how much that has to do with this strong female presence.
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