F.W. Murnau – Der Brennende Acker AKA Burning Soil (1922)

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When farmer Rog dies, his son Peter stays, but Johannes can not be satisfied with such a condition (and servant Maria’s love) and finds a job as old Count Rudenberg’s secretary. His ambition leads him to charm Gerda, the Count’s unique daughter. But when he discovers that Count’s second wife Helga will soon inherit a field that only he knows his underground is full with petroleum, he changes his allegiance… Greed and death. Continue reading

Ernst Lubitsch – Kohlhiesels Töchter AKA Kohlhiesel’s Daughters (1920)

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Somewhere in Southern Bavaria Xaver wants to marry Gretel, but her father Kohlhiesel wants his elder daughter Liesel to marry first. The problem is, nobody wants to marry her, because she’s too brutal. Seppel suggests, that he should marry Liesel first, get rid of her and then he can marry Gretel… Continue reading

Robert Wiene – Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari AKA The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

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Description: A man named Francis relates a story about his best friend Alan and his fiancée Jane. Alan takes him to a fair where they meet Dr. Caligari, who exhibits a somnambulist, Cesare, that can predict the future. When Alan asks how long he has to live, Cesare says he has until dawn. The prophecy comes to pass, as Alan is murdered, and Cesare is a prime suspect. Cesare creeps into Jane’s bedroom and abducts her, running from the townspeople and finally dying of exhaustion. Meanwhile, the police discover a dummy in Cesare’s cabinet, while Caligari flees. Francis tracks Caligari to a mental asylum. He is the director! Or is he? Continue reading

Robert Siodmak & Edgar G. Ulmer & Billy Wilder – Menschen am Sonntag (1930)

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A tale of five young Berliners – a taxi driver, a travelling wine dealer, a record shop sales girl, a film extra and a model – spending a typical sunday. In this vivid snapshot of Berlin life, a trip to the countryside reveals the flirtations, rivalries, jealousies, and petty irritations common to any group outing. All too soon it is the end of the day, and the prospect of Monday looms, and the return to weekday routine.

Considered one of the most important works of the German film Avant-Garde of the 1920s, and a huge influence on the French New Wave and Italian Neorealist movements, People on Sunday also marked the start of the film careers of six cinéastes who would go on to great success: Billy Wilder, Robert and Curt Siodmak, Edgar G Ulmer, Eugen Schüfftan and Fred Zinnemann.

The original negative of the film is lost and no complete copy exists, but this restored version has been reconstructed by the Netherlands Film Museum and contains important scenes previously missing. This version also features a vibrant new score by Elena Kats-Chernin. Continue reading

Michael Curtiz – Fiaker Nr. 13 aka Cab Nr.13 (1926)

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IMDB User Reviews
20 April 2004 | by bullybyte (United Kingdom)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS!! The film starts with a woman on the run from her millionaire husband giving birth to a daughter in the home of a washerwoman. The woman dies in childbirth, but the baby survives. The washerwoman leaves the baby in a horsedrawn Parisian taxicab (No. 13). The paperwork of the birth is lost in a huge tome. Sixteen years pass. The tome is bought by a poor student. One day his bookshelf collapses, and the tome opens at the page where the paperwork has been hidden. The student realises that the paperwork relates to a millionaire who has spent the last sixteen years looking for his pregnant wife. The student traces the washerwoman, and he tricks her into confessing what she has done with the baby. Meanwhile, the baby has been adopted by the cab driver and his wife, and has grown into Lili Damita. She has a boyfriend whom she loves very much. The student realises that if he marries the girl, he will be the son-in-law of a millionaire. He begins to prise the girl away from her boyfriend. There is some soul searching as the girl, now knowing who her real father is, must choose between her real family and her adopted family. But there is a happy ending with a memorable scene at the end where the bride, now back with her original boyfriend is being given away at her wedding by both her fathers. Continue reading