Murnau's Faust 1926 b/w German silent subtitles [VHS] shipping included!

Murnau's Faust 1926 b/w German silent subtitles [VHS] shipping included!

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  • Murnau's Faust 1926 b/w German silent subtitles [VHS]
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording reissued, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Rated: 
     NR 
     Not Rated 
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes

Mobilizing the full resources of the Ufa Studios, F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Sunrise) orchestrated a colossal adaptation of Goethe s FAUST that ranks alongside Fritz Lang s Metropolis as the greatest achievement of the German silent cinema. Gösta Ekman stars as the titular alchemist who, struggling with his faith amidst a devastating plague, is offered the power to cure and the gift of youth... in exchange for his soul. As the diabolical Mephisto, Emil Jannings (The Last Laugh) delivers a performance of operatic scale and intensity, by turns charming, comical, and horrific.

As is to be expected of a great director, (F.W. Murnau, "Nosferatu", "The Man Who Laughs"), "Faust" delivers a brilliant adaption of this classic story concerning the perennial subject of good versus evil. Though, not apparently the first telling of this story, (IMDB lists 5 previous films with this title), it's perhaps, (to my knowledge) the oldest surviving version available. Its brilliance deserves preservation.
In a world struggling against pestilence, famine, and disease Mephisto decides he can attempt a hostile take-over through a real estate deal. The Archangel Michael agrees, that if Mephisto can win Faust over to his side, he gets the kit and kaboodle. Faust is a tired old doctor/alchemist who is disappointed at his inability to offer healing to those with the rampant-running plague. Soon, he calls on Mephisto and strikes up a deal with him. Mephisto gives him youth and pleasures of the world, until Faust falls for a simple girl.
This film is brilliantly done, with fantastic effects and brilliant storytelling. Some scenes are downright eerie, like Mephisto standing over the town with ravens wings. Emil Jennings plays a brilliant Mephisto, somewhere between the brilliant humor of mythical Loki and the dark evil vision of Zarathrustra's Angra Mainyu. Gösta Ekman is brilliant as Faust as well, from withered old man to young libertine, he shows talent rarely seen on the screen in recent time.
Though there aren't a lot of features on this disc, (including a nice photo gallery, a link to Kino's website, and scene selection), the print is beautiful for its age, and the music recently recorded and very appropriate. The price is a little high, but your not purchasing a sad copy for a few bucks, but a masterpiece both in original content and painstaking preservation. This film is worthy of being in any collection interest in great filmmaking.


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