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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TARTUFFE (1926)

It’s produced by Erich Pommer, directed by F. W. Murnau, adapted by Carl Mayer, lensed by Karl Freund and features Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss & Lil Dagover, but don’t get your hopes up. This Reader's Digest version of the great Moliere comedy on clerical hypocrisy, set within a parallel story of little interest, only proves the adage about the German sense of humor (or lack thereof). Horror, suspense, melodrama & piteous cruelty responded brilliantly to the stylings & odd exaggerations of German Expressionist as practised at the UFA studios, but comedy withered under its sway. No wonder Lubitsch left in 1922.

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