Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Forbidden Paradise

Kielletty paratiisi / Det förbjudna paradiset. US (c) 1924 Famous Players-Lasky. P+D: Ernst Lubitsch. SC: Hans Kraly, Agnes Christine Johnston - based on the play and novel by Lajos Biro and Menyhert Lengyel (1913). DP: Charles J. van Enger. AD: Hans Dreier. Starring: Pola Negri (the Czarina), Rod La Rocque (Alexei), Adolphe Menjou (the Chancellor), Pauline Starke (Anna). Orig. 2299 m /18 fps/ 111 min, /20 fps/ 100 min. The surviving Czech print 1534 m /18 fps/ 74 min, /2o fps/ 67 min. Narodni filmovy archiv, Czech titles (a weak print), E-subtitles AA. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 26 Feb 2008. Ernst Lubitsch and Pola Negri take Catherine the Great as the subject of their historical parody, which is totally different from their versions of the French and Egyptian history. This is fun without any particularly profound undercurrents, at least in this surviving short (but consistent) version. Nothing essential is missing at least if one compares the original intertitle list with this surviving version. 20 fps too fast, should be screened at 18 fps or slower.

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