8.0/10
8,604
86 user 77 critic

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)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After falling pregnant to a pharmacist and refusing to marry, a young woman is thrown from her home and sent to a scrict girls' reform school.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp
The Crowd (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin
Stars: I. Inkizhinov, I. Dedintsev, Valéry Inkijinoff
Zemlya (1930)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko
Stars: Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yuliya Solntseva
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
L'Age d'Or (1930)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker
Certificate: Passed Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After socialite Lynn Llewwllen receives an anonymous threat, he is poisoned at his uncle's casino, and although he recovers, his wife is murdered by the same killer.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Paul Lukas, Alison Skipworth, Donald Cook
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Louise Brooks ... Lulu
Fritz Kortner 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)
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 February 1930 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Pandora's Box See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being replaced by Louise Brooks at the last minute for the role of Lulu in Pandora's Box (1929), Marlene Dietrich managed to snag another coveted role. Her removal from "Pandora's Box" freed her up to play one of her most iconic roles, Lola Lola in Josef von Sternberg's Der blaue Engel (1930). See more »

Goofs

The poster warning Londoners of Jack the Ripper is in German instead of English. See more »

Quotes

Schigolch: You should only play when you're sure to win.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Chicago (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Greatest Silent Film
14 April 1999 | by vbzSee all my reviews

Of all the silent dramas of the '20s, perhaps none is as compelling and inherently watchable as "Pandora's Box" of 1928. Amazingly, despite its age and completely different cinematic conventions, this G.W. Pabst picture continues to influence filmmakers worldwide. Made in Weimar Germany, it stars Louise Brooks, an American actress now considered the quintessential symbol of the flapper era. If not for her presence, the film would probably never have its incredible durability and cult status. She is the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Mia Wallace in both personality and sheer appearance. For the source of that chic haircut, look no further than Lulu, the proto-"femme fatale" played by Brooks. In a plot that could have come right out of a modern daytime talk show, she manages to destroy the lives of virtually everyone who loves her. Lulu (an aspiring actress), is simultaneously involved with Dr. Schoen (a prominent, high-society man) and his son, while being pursued by a lesbian admirer. To make matters worse, she is "supervised" by a rather disgusting, shady, pimp-like creature impersonating her father. And that's only the beginning. The girl's circumstances become even more bizarre as the action progresses. Obviously, given such a juicy storyline, the audience could well have been treated with a dose of laughable high camp. But Pabst, through brilliant cinematography (and, incidentally, silence), manages to retain dignity and generate powerful emotions as opposed to sarcasm and mild amusement. Precisely because the characters do not speak, we have an opportunity to witness their expressions and gestures. The camera spends much time on Brooks' face, showing the wide range of her emotions: from playfulness to rebellion to despair and back again. That face is one of the most versatile (not to mention the most beautiful) in the history of cinema. At the conclusion of the film's best scene-- as Dr. Schoen's fiancee catches him red handed in Lulu's dressing room-- her competitor slowly dismounts him with a momentary smirk full of hurt and disdain, yet somehow ballsy and triumphant. Such precious and sophisticated details make "Pandora's Box" a masterpiece. The title itself is mentioned in an inevitable courtroom scene midway through the story, by a prosecutor who crudely accuses the girl of being the root of all evil. This is where the film's sociological implications make it stand out from many of its contempories. Louise does not portray a conniving temptress. On the contrary, the people around her fall prey to their inhibitions, delusions and obsessions. Essentially, she is only an indirect cause of their demise and never fully responsible. Lulu's representation as a victim of nothing but her own zest for love and life in a stagnant, repressive society, is an example of humanist cinema at its finest. Brooks' personal life was no less turbulent than her character's: after a potentially prosperous career and scores of lovers (from Chaplin to Pabst himself), she quit the business, refusing to cooperate with its humiliating limitations and rigid standards. Fortunately for us, her name has been immortalized in an impeccable movie.


32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 86 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed