The Student of Prague Collection [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Der Student von Prag
Its rather advanced special effects aside, this first film version of Hanns Heinz Ewers' short story Student of Prague is filmed in the static, long-shot style common to this early period. Still, the basic story, a variation of the "Faust" legend, has enough raw power to overcome the film's technical limitations. The titular student sells his mirror reflection to a mysterious conjuror (who, in this film, comes dangerously close to a Jewish stereotype) in exchange for wealth and romance. The reflection takes on an evil life of its own, wreaking havoc on all concerned. Of interest in the 1913 Student of Prague is the casting of Paul Wegener in the title role: during the Nazi era, Wegener was appointed Actor of the State, while Student of Prague author Ewers had become the principal biographer of Nazi "martyr" Horst Vessel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Der Student von Prag
Considered the magnum-opus of filmmaker/screenwriter Henrik Galeen, and featuring actor Conrad Veit in one of his finest performances Student of Prague is considered an important work in German Expressionist cinema. It is also the first to present a dark exploration of the inner realms of the self that would obsess German filmmakers for years to come. The decidedly Faustian tale centers on a student (Veit) who encounters a minion of the devil and in exchange for the love of a woman and wealth, sells him his reflection. The student's mirror image turns into a doppelganger. The student marries a baroness, but his happiness is ruined by his troublesome, malevolent double who destroys his marriage and his life. In hopes of ending the torment, the student tricks the doppelganger back into the mirror and then shoots him. Ironically, it is the student who dies. While the haunting story itself is intriguing, it is film's exquisite production design, careful expressionistic lighting that imbues the film with its moody, humanism. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Paul Wegener
    Paul Wegener - Balduin
  • Grete Berger
    Grete Berger - Komtesse Margit
  • Image coming soon
    John Gottowt - Scapinelli
  • Image coming soon
    Lyda Salmonova - Lyduschka

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