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Faust (1926)

Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 6 December 1926 (USA)
The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director:

F.W. Murnau

Writers:

Gerhart Hauptmann (titles), Hans Kyser (titles) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Gösta Ekman ... Faust (as Gösta Ekmann)
Emil Jannings ... Mephisto
Camilla Horn ... Gretchen / Marguerite
Frida Richard Frida Richard ... Gretchens Mutter / Marguerite's Mother (as Frieda Richard)
William Dieterle ... Valentin: Gretchens Bruder / Marguerite's Brother (as Wilhelm Dieterle)
Yvette Guilbert ... Marthe Schwerdtlein: Gretchens Tante / Marguerite's Aunt
Eric Barclay ... Herzog von Parma / Duke of Parma (as Eric Barcley)
Hanna Ralph ... Herzogin von Parma / Duchess of Parma
Werner Fuetterer ... Erzengel / Archangel
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Storyline

God and Satan war over earth; to settle things, they wager on the soul of Faust, a learned and prayerful alchemist. During a plague, Faust despairs and burns his books after failing to stop death; Satan sends Mephisto to tempt Faust, first with insight into treating the plague and then with a day's return to youth. Mephisto is clever, timing the end of this 24 hours as Faust embraces the beautiful Duchess of Parma. Faust trades his soul for youth. Some time later, he's bored, and demands on Easter Sunday that Mephisto take him home. Faust promptly sees and falls in love with the beautiful Gretchen, whose liaison with him brings her dishonor. Is there redemption? Who wins the wager? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NEVER before has the screen revealed a spectacle of such size and impressiveness as in the epic production. The world-famous story of fate and temptation, renowned as an opera, has now been dramatically immortalized in a picture which can be truly called great. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

6 December 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Faust See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1997 restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director F.W. Murnau wanted Lillian Gish to play Gretchen, but she insisted that the film be shot by her favorite cinematographer, Charles Rosher. Murnau instead cast newcomer Camilla Horn, who he had met on the set of Tartuffe (1925), where she was a double for Lil Dagover. See more »

Quotes

Marthe Schwerdtlein: Gretchens Tante: Three drops of this love potion will make all women crazy for you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Phantom Hour (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
10/10
28 August 2003 | by desperatelivingSee all my reviews

A lyrical fable version of Goethe's famous story, where Mephisto and an angel gamble with Faust's spirit, the entire film has an aura of delicate beauty. When Faust's town is shrouded with a pestilence, Faust summons Mephisto and agrees to a trial selling of his soul, in the hopes that he can save the townspeople. When Faust does indeed cure the town, Mephisto tempts him with the promise of youth and Gretchen, the most beautiful woman in Italy. Misty, often eerie, fiendish imagery, like satanic birds, hooded men, flying horsemen and Caligari-inspired exteriors fill the screen. When Faust signs his contract, the words burn themselves into the page as Mephisto dips his feather pen in Faust's vein. A wonderful touch near the beginning has Faust trying to escape Mephisto but having him appear wherever he goes, always a few steps ahead. Both Faust, as a young man, and Gretchen are lovely, and Jannings gives an excellent performance as the Dark Prince. A masterpiece of poetic atmosphere that ages Murnau's technical mastery wondrously, the film is aided tremendously by the sometimes ominous, sometimes enchanting orchestral score. 10/10


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