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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Variete (1925)

An ex-trapeze aerialist (Emil Jannings) currently works as a carnival barker to support his wife (Maly Delschaft) and baby. When a young foreign beauty (Lya De Putti) enters the picture, he abandons his wife and baby and they run off together. Success arrives when they unite with a third aerialist (Warwick Ward) and their act becomes a popular success. But infidelity and jealousy will destroy them all. Directed by E.A. Dupont, the film's artistry lies not in its routine story of a love triangle but in its execution and its here that Dupont and his master cinematographer Karl Freund (METROPOLIS) excel. From its heady trapeze shots to its spectacular crowd and group scenes, it's a visual treat. But what really holds the film together is Emil Jannings' performance and this may be my favorite performance by him. This is an excellent example of why he was considered one of the premier actors of his era. For fans of silent cinema, this is a must!

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