The infatuation of a professor for a nightclub singer leads to his downfall. Sternberg reversed the meaning of Heinrich Mann’s novel “Professor Unrath” by making the professor a foolish, repressed victim rather than the corrupt and hypocritical exploiter of Lola portrayed in the novel. The film already shows Sternberg’s interest in visual density rather than narrative vigour, creating atmosphere rather than narrative tension, a preference for the maximum expressiveness of decor and lighting over surface realism. Stars Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings, Hans Albers and Kurt Gerron. Note: German dialogue, English subtitles.
Josef von Sternberg
Black and White