Paris...at the turn of the century. Inspector Vidocq investigates a series of unexplained murders at a Grand Guignol-type theatre...where the players have suddenly become real-life victims. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.
Helmut, a war orphan, is charged with theft at the time of the Berlin Airlift and faces a jail sentence of up to six years behind bars. The unfairness raises the anger of numerous people who decide to fight it.
The lawyer Martini starts looking for his young daughter who has been missing for some time. With the help of Irene, one of the girl's best friends, the man comes into contact with a world composed of unscrupulous people.
A demobilized centurion returns home to Pompeii to find his father murdered by a gang of black-hooded Christian robbers that terrorizes the city and he decides to investigate the matter while the nearby volcano threatens to erupt.
The talented law student Corda has a severe traffic accident: in panic she fled after an argument with her older boyfriend, who told her he's married. Now, 8 years later without having seen... See full summary »
Elements of a film noir seem to have found their way into this melodrama. Not every element though, unless I managed to miss the presence of a femme fatale. The only girl that could pass for a femme fatale is the sweet-looking ballerina who puts a needle in Angelika's shoe. The nicest ode to the film noir genre is in a scene where naive officers try to find out who the counterfeiters are: they ask the girl at a box office who gave her the money and she gives them a weird look: "Do you know how many 20 Mark notes we get on a day?" The film playing at that theatre is Jacques Tourneur's classic film noir "Out of the Past".
It's easy to summarize "Der Schweigende Engel": a talented young girl has a nasty accident which makes her lose her voice, her brother's in a bit of trouble, counterfeiters blackmail her (if you don't distribute the dirty money, we will do something to your brother), she's so talented some ballerinas are jealous. And yes, this is the sort of melodrama where you can guess the ending a long time before the movie is over, but that doesn't matter: soak yourself in the many emotions and enjoy the several nods to the film noir. The predictable ending is even worse than you could have expected (we could have done without that monologue!), but there is so much you can enjoy before the ending it would be a shame you would miss the entire film for that.
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