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
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 »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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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?
You'll have to kill me to get rid of me.
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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.
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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