Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Eyes of the Mummy 1918

The Eyes of the Mummy (1918)

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Actors: Emil Jannings, Pola Negri, Max Laurence, Harry Liedkte and Margarete Kupfer

Writers: Hanns Kraly and Emil Rameau

Release date: 3rd October 1918 (Germany)

An artist who has gone to Egypt discovers that a prince intends to discover the tomb of Queen Ma. Albert Wendland, the painter, is fascinated when he discovers a legend that any person who enters the crypt of Queen Ma, tragedy would ensue. Soon, Albert's intrigue takes hold and searches for the tomb of Queen Ma. Venturing into the tomb, he instead finds a beautiful woman. Her name is Mara, and she is held prisoner by Radu. Soon after, Albert rescues Mara. He falls in love and takes her back to his European home and is married. Radu her captor seeks revenge on Mara. From this, the curse of the mummy is with her forever.

The movie stars celebrated German silent actor Emil Jannings, who went on to the groundbreaking The Last Laugh. He also became the highest paid actor in Germany throughout the 1920's.

German Silent Films

After World War 1, the German silent film industry flourished, which was aided by rampant inflation throughout the 1920’s.

After the horrors of the war, the German silent film industry tended to be aimed at horror and crime films. This culminated in the German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, which was made in 1919. This film is credited as the beginning of expressionism within German film. There was no location shooting, but relied on sets that were painted to represent the mental state of a madman.

Other landmark films from this period in German silent film are Nosferatu 1922 and The Golem 1920.

Films from this period concentrated on imagery and symbolism to tell the narrative. The expressionist movement within German silent cinema ended during the mid 1920’s.