Archive of films Varieté / Varieté

Germany
1925, 95 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2015

A grand cinematic salto mortale archetypically told (one woman – two men); no more need be said. To get past US censors, this silent film adored by critics and audiences alike was extensively cut. Thanks to comparisons of all extent sources, the 2015 Berlinale gave us a Varieté that comes closer to the premiere version of November 1925 than anything audiences would have seen in past decades. The Tiger Lillies have taken care of the music.


Synopsis

A grand cinematic salto mortale archetypically told (one woman – two men); no more need be said. The other story – a detective tale of the restoration of a canonical silent film – begins in the early 1960s at the National Film Archive in Prague. A stored duplicate copy of Varieté with Czech intertitles became the source for the first version distributed by the Murnau Foundation in 1976, allowing a new generation of viewers to discover the film. Only after entering the new century did it become possible to achieve an authentic re-creation of Dupont’s film with the aid of copies (no longer merely duplicates) from the archives in Vienna, Washington, New York, and Rome. The search for the original negative was the trickiest. To get past US censors of the day, the movie was shortened. As soon as the license expired and Germany’s Ufa Studios were once again in possession of the material, they attempted to return it to its original form but without complete success. Nevertheless, thanks to comparisons between all extent sources, the 2015 Berlinale gave us a Varieté that comes closer to the premiere version of November 1925 than anything audiences have seen in past decades.

Milan Klepikov

About the director

Ewald André Dupont (1891, Zeitz, Germany – 1956, Los Angeles) from 1911 onwards became one of the main initiators of serious film criticism in the German daily press; then in 1916 he turned to practical film work himself, authoring scripts shot by leading directors of the era. He began directing in 1918; after a few detective stories he concentrated on more weighty themes, including Wally of the Vultures (Die Geier-Wally, 1921) and The Old Law (Das alte Gesetz, 1923). A worldwide critical and box office success, Varieté immediately opened the way to Hollywood. Later, as the silent era gave way to talkies, he made movies in Britain and in Germany, where he came out with Salto mortale (1931) as a follow-up to Varieté. His gradual retreat from the limelight meant routine film and TV work in American exile, which Dupont chose after Hitler’s 1933 rise to power.

Contacts

NFP media rights
Mausfelder Str. 56, 06108, Halle (Saale)
Germany
Tel: +49 345 478 0555
E-mail: info@nfp.de
www: www.nfp.de

About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Out of the Past
   
Director: E. A. Dupont
Screenplay: Leo Birinski, E.A. Dupont, na motivy románu / based on the novel Der Eid des Stephan Huller by Felix Hollaender
Dir. of Photography: Karl W. Freund, Carl Hoffmann
Music: Ernö Rapée (původní / original); nový hudební doprovod / new musical accompaniment Martyn Jacques (The Tiger Lillies)
Editor: E. W. Dupont
Art Director: O. F. Werndorff, Alfred Junge
Producer: Erich Pommer
Production: UFA
Cast: Emil Jannings, Lya de Putti, Maly Delschaft, Warwick Ward
Sales: NFP media rights
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