Best Movies by Farr
Variety Poster
Released Runtime Category
1925 95 Drama, Silents
Director Language
Ewald André Dupont German
Emil Jannings, Lya De Putti, Warwick Ward, Maly Delschaft


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What's it About

Extensively cut by American censors on its initial release (for themes of adultery and sexual content), the original version was meticulously restored and reconstructed in 2015. Jannings is a powerhouse, exhibiting brute emotions of desire, rage and regret. But it is the “unchained camera” of cinematographer Karl Freund that really amazes as it swings vertiginously on the trapeze in this underappreciated masterwork of the German silent film era.

Why we love it

After many years of incarceration, Prisoner 28 (Jannings) finally confesses his crimes to the prison warden. As a washed-up circus sideshow manager, he fell in love with Berta-Marie (De Putti), a beautiful, exotic dancer. He abandons his wife and child, and the lovers create a trapeze act that attracts the attention of world famous acrobat Artinelli (Ward). Soon the performers are a Berlin sensation, but infidelity and jealousy risk toppling everything.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"