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Pandora's Box (1929)

Die Büchse der Pandora (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 22 February 1930 (Japan)
The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Writers:

Frank Wedekind (plays), Ladislaus Vajda (scenario)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Louise Brooks ... Lulu
Fritz Kortner ... Dr. Ludwig Schön
Francis Lederer ... Alwa Schön (as Franz Lederer)
Carl Goetz Carl Goetz ... Schigolch
Krafft-Raschig Krafft-Raschig ... Rodrigo Quast
Alice Roberts Alice Roberts ... Gräfin Geschwitz - Countess Anna Geschwitz
Daisy D'Ora Daisy D'Ora ... Charlotte Marie Adelaide v. Zarnikow - braut Dr. Schöns - Dr. Schön's Bride (as Daisy d'Ora)
Gustav Diessl ... Jack the Ripper (as Gustav Diesel)
Michael von Newlinsky ... Marquis Casti-Piani (as Michael v. Newlinsky)
Sig Arno ... Der inspizient - the Stage Manager (as Siegfried Arno)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 February 1930 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Pandora's Box See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,950, 18 June 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,950, 18 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nero-Film AG See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (Copy with French titles at Brussels Musée du Cinéma) | (original) | (video) | (2018) (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This marked the first of 3 films produced in Europe for Louise Brooks. Brooks remarked she much preferred her European films because she felt they challenged her as an artist, but she admitted the European films proved more exhausting than those filmed in Hollywood. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ludwig Schön: The whole town is talking about us. I'm jeopardizing my position. Don't you see that we must put an end to this?
Lulu: You'll have to kill me to get rid of me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Weekend at Burnsie's (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

This will leave you breathless!
23 October 2001 | by Bucs1960See all my reviews

No beauty has ever graced the screen like that of Louise Brooks. No film has ever validated that beauty like "Pandora's Box". It took Pabst to recognize that this wild, uninhibited American flapper could turn in a performance like Lulu in this film. It is for the ages and time has not dimmed it at all. She brings Lulu to life with such joie de vivre and also such poignancy, that it hurts to watch it....especially when you realize that Brooks' career would soon turn into a shambles when she returned to Hollywood. If you don't have an appreciation of silent films, you need to watch this one and you will see the true art form that existed before "talkies" came into vogue. If "Pandora's Box" does not convince you, you can't be convinced.


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