Faust

Faust

4.0 1
Director: F.W. Murnau

Cast: F.W. Murnau, Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn

     
 

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The groundbreaking German director F.W. Murnau turned his unique eye to the famous Faust story in 1926. This disc from Kino presents that classic horror film. The DVD offers a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither closed captions nor… See more details below

Overview

The groundbreaking German director F.W. Murnau turned his unique eye to the famous Faust story in 1926. This disc from Kino presents that classic horror film. The DVD offers a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither closed captions nor subtitles on this release. Supplemental materials include rare production stills and an essay from film historian Jan Christopher Horak. This is a superb disc, especially for anyone interested in the golden age of silent filmmaking.Faust was the mammoth German production which won F. W. Murnau his contract with Hollywood's Fox Studios. Emil Jannings glowers his way through the role of Mephistopholes, who offers the aging Faust (Gosta Eckman) an opportunity to relive his youth, the price being Faust's soul. Though highly stylized, the film is unsettlingly realistic at times, especially during the execution of the unfortunate Gretchen. Even in old age, actress Camilla Horn could recall how close she came to genuine immolation when Murnau burned her at the stake. An American version of Faust had been planned earlier as a Mary Pickford vehicle, but Pickford's mother wanted no part of a film in which her darling daughter strangled her own baby. The scenario for Faust touches lightly upon the previous retellings by Goethe and Marlowe, but is more heavily reliant on the paintings of Pietr Breughel.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
F. W. Murnau's Faust (1926) has long lingered in the shadow of Nosferatu, his unauthorized Dracula adaptation. Although it's no masterpiece, there are riveting moments galore. It kicks off with a breathtaking opening, using light metaphorically to depict an argument between the Devil (Emil Jannings) and an angel, punctuating the frame with extremes of brightness and darkness. Driven to despair, Faust (Gösta Ekman) makes a deal with the devil to save his town, in which half the inhabitants have died of plague in just a few days. Faust is a film of great set pieces -- the opening; Gretchen (Camilla Horn) agonizing in abandonment amid winter snowdrifts; a flight taken by Faust and Mephisto -- but not a great film. Murnau emphasizes imagery over storytelling, leading to some jarring tonal shifts. The middle section, devoted to Faust's courtship of Gretchen, is almost lighthearted, injecting a comic element that seems wildly inappropriate here, although it might work in a different context. Faust is at its best in moody, mystical mode. Frequently the film draws on its own roots as a folktale as much as on Goethe's version. Even if its spell wavers, Faust bedazzles often enough to make the movie a memorable experience. -- Steve Erickson
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
While not as well known today as Nosferatu or The Last Laugh, Faust is perhaps director F.W. Murnau's masterpiece; few films by any director can match it for the sweeping impact and beauty of its visuals or the power of its storytelling. Murnau approaches Goethe's tragedy of a man who learns all too well the price of his soul with appropriately broad dramatic strokes, and if the effect seems a bit over the top in the early reels, it hits with full melodramatic force at the end; the full, horrible impact of Faust's comeuppance is as disturbing today as it was in 1926. Gosta Ekman is fine as the luckless Faust and Emil Jannings is brilliant as Mephisto, the embodiment of cunning and evil. And the camerawork by Carl Hoffman and production design by Robert Herlith and Walter Rohrig are nothing short of astounding, creating a brilliantly controlled and beautifully painterly visual sense that's the ideal backdrop for this fable. Anyone who thinks of silent films as sluggish and amateurish has obviously never seen Faust; the home video release on Kino compliments the film's striking visuals with a superb original score by the American composer Timothy Brock that's worthy of attention on its own merits.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2001
UPC:
0738329020729
Original Release:
1926
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:56:00
Sales rank:
59,990

Special Features

Digitally mastered from 35 mm archive materials; Digital stereo orchestral score; "UFA Studios 1925: The Making of Faust" [ a gallery of rare production stills]; Essay by film historian Jan Christopher Horak

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gösta Ekman Faust
Emil Jannings Mephisto
Camilla Horn Marguerite
Werner Fuetterer Archangel
Frida Richard Mother
William Dieterle Valentin
Yvette Guilbert Marthe
Eric Barclay Duke of Parma
Hanna Ralph Duchess of Parma
Hans Brausewetter Farmboy
Hans Rameau Actor
Hertha Von Walther Actor

Technical Credits
F.W. Murnau Director
Timothy Brock Score Composer
Robert Herlth Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Werner Richard Heymann Score Composer
Carl Hoffmann Cinematographer
Erich Pommer Producer
Walter Röhrig Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
David Shepard Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Opening Titles [:57]
2. A Wager [4:40]
3. Faust Vs. The Plague [7:28]
4. "all Is Vanity" [5:54]
5. Pact With The Devil! [10:52]
6. The Lure Of Youth [7:21]
7. Journey Through The Clouds [5:13]
8. The Duchess Of Parma [6:48]
9. "an Innocent Little Girl..." [8:10]
10. The Golden Chain [7:31]
11. Visiting Frau Marthe [7:32]
12. Chases Of Love [9:29]
13. "cursed Matchmaker!" [7:16]
14. Grethen In Ruins [8:15]
15. A Child In Winter [6:02]
16. Faust To The Rescue [5:40]
17. ."..forgive Me My Sin!" [4:28]
18. One Word [1:47]

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