starring Emil Jannings and Camilla Horn
This German-made visualization of the Faust legend is an extraordinary motion picture, one of the really fine things of the screen.
Goethe's panoramic poem has been used as its basis, and the adaptation has followed, in the main, as closely as the screen permits.
The medieval legend of the philosopher who sold his soul to Satan that he might regain his youth has been told many times and in many forms. This celluloid version testifies to the directorial abilities of F.W. Murnau and proves that his "The Last Laugh" was no mere chance success.
Murnau has caught the medieval atmosphere with surprising success. Under his adroit direction, the interest never lags. Murnau was aided by three fine performances: of Emil Jannings as Lucifer, of Camilla Horn as Marguerite and Gosta Ekman as Faust. indeed, for once, a picture is stolen from the redoubtable Jannings.
This Berlin newcomer, Fraulein Horn, is a remakable actress. Playing the role that was offered to Lillian Gish, she gives what is, in our opinion, a better performance than Miss Gish could have offered. It is a superbly tender and unaffected bit of work.
This, of course, isn't taking credit away from Jannings, who contributes a roystering and amazing Satan.
Murnau has developed any number of scenes extraordinary in directorial technique and photography. The opening curiously parallels the start of the Griffith film, "Sorrows of Satan," with Lucifer at the gates of Heaven. The Murnau handling is vastly superior, however.
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