Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
Original title: Die Buchse Der Pandora
Germany, 1929. Nero-Film AG. Scenario by Ladislaus Vajda, based on the plays Erdgeist and Die Buchse der Pandora by Frank Wedekind. Cinematography by Gunther Krampf. Produced by Heinz Landsmann. Music by Stuart Oderman, Peer Raben. Production Design by Andrej Andrejew, Gottlieb Hesch, Erno Metzner. Costume Design by Gottlieb Hesch. Film Editing by Joseph Fleisler.
Stunning silent film that made an international icon of its star, Louise Brooks. She stars as the naughty Lulu, the notorious vamp who falls in love a thousand times a day and is constantly bringing men to their ruin (bad girls in silent films always have a name that’s a variation on Lulu, Lola, Lolita or the like, so all you mothers about to name your little girls, beware!) After a business tycoon ends his affair with Lulu to make a more lucrative marriage, he places her in his son’s vaudeville show and then becomes insanely jealous when she and his son fall madly in love. Abandoning his fiancée, the tycoon marries Lulu himself and then commits suicide when he suspects her of infidelity. Charged with murder, Lulu escapes thanks to the son’s help and goes abroad with him, continuing her path of destruction until she finally meets her match: Jack the Ripper! You gotta admire a woman who can make even Jack get googoo eyes when he looks at her. Brooks’s incredible screen presence almost makes you forget you’re not hearing any dialogue, and director G.W. Pabst’s stunning visual style holds up to even the most dazzling films made today.