Weimar Republic cinema

Robert Siodmak – Der Mann, der seinen Mörder sucht AKA Looking for his Murderer (1931)

It starts straight away with our young hero trying to shoot a bullet into his head. No explanation whatsoever is given as to his motives – moviegoers in the Germany of 1931 obviously did not need any. He is disturbed by a burglar and puts a contract on himself, so to speak. The burglar tells him that he will hit him in the near future and dutifully makes a cross on his back with a piece of chalk – not unlike the ‚M’ in Fritz Lang’s movie of the same year. With the cross on his back the young hero goes to a nightclub – and falls in love with a young girl. Of course he tries to rescind from the contract and desperately looks for the burglar, only to learn that he had passed on the job to a subcontractor! Not just any subcontractor, but the very same Jim, the man with the scar, as he solemnly declares. Read More »

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Die freudlose Gasse AKA The Joyless Street (1925)

Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid’s clients is arrested. He was with her, and had her necklace, because he needed some money for his own stock exchange deals. The same deal brings poverty to ex-government official Rumfort, his daughter Greta, who also has lost her job, tries to get some money to get food. She rents a room of the flat she, her young sister and her father are living in to an American Red Cross official, who pays $60 rent, but the money is taken by some of her father’s creditors. But their neighbour, shop owner Mrs Greifer knows how to “help”, she and Mrs. Merkel are running a nightclub with a brothel… Read More »

Richard Oswald – Wien, du Stadt der Lieder AKA Vienna, City of Song (1930)

Also known as Donauwellen.
No written credit. All titles are spoken like the other Oswald film Dreyfus (1930).

Filmed on location in Vienna, this German operetta was originally titled Wien, Du Stadt Die Lieber [sic]. Popular tenor Max Hansen carries most of the plot (what there is of it), singing his heart out to the delight of such delectable leading ladies as Charlotte Ander, Irene Ambrus and Grete Natzler (who, as Della Lynd, would later co-star with Laurel and Hardy in Swiss Miss). For some reason, it was decided to surround the nominal hero with seven top German comic actors, all of whom mugged and glowered outrageously. The worst offender (and the funniest of the batch) is Paul Graetz, who seemed to be having a great deal of fun letting loose. Evidently City of Songs was quite successful, inasmuch as it remained in distribution well into the late 1930s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Note: In this document, this movie was called City of Songs. Read More »

Vladimir Gajdarov – Wellen der Leidenschaft AKA The Waves of Passion (1930)

Synopsis:
The young Brazilian journalist Rex Ronney is gathering data for his book on Nordic alcohol smuggling and embarks on a boat trip to Estonia and Finland, where alcohol is prohibited. On the boat, he meets the booze king Kõlgis, whose confidence he wins. Kõlgis issues him a letter of recommendation and sends him to the smuggler Bratt in Tallinn, who is in the service of Mart Martens, who in turn is heavily indebted to Kõlgis. As a result, Betty Martens, his daughter, is compelled to get engaged with Kõlgis. In order to clear her father’s debts, Betty conducts the alcohol transports from Finland herself. When Rex Ronney shows up, it has consequences… Read More »

Robert Wiene – Orlacs Hände AKA The Hands of Orlac (1924)

A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn’t know they once belonged to a murderer. Read More »

Marie Luise Droop & Muhsin Ertugrul – Das Fest der schwarzen Tulpe (1920)

This silent film rarity has turkish intertitles only. Reason is that it was restored and shown for a turkish film festival about Muhsin Ertugrul.

Muhsin Ertugrul is a legendary turkish film director who was a pioneer of the turkish cinema.
He started as an extra and minor actor in early german film industry and later learned directing films at the german Ustad Film company, which was specialized in directing films based on the books of famous ( at least in Germany) adventure and travel author Karl May. Lot of his books played in then Turkish Empire and therefore Muhsin Ertugrul seemed to be predestined for these films. Read More »

Ludwig Berger – Ich bei Tag und du bei Nacht AKA I by Day, You by Night (1932)

A nightclub waiter and a manicurist share the same room, she sleeps there by night and he by day. They’ve never met, but they can’t stand each other. Then one day, they meet by chance… Read More »