22 August 2010 | MartinHafer
Owch---this one doesn't play well in the 21st century
Although film buffs today would consider director Ernst Lubitsch to be a film genius, the fact is that it took him years of film work to produce the wonderful masterpieces he made for Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s. His German films of the late 1910s and 1920s were, generally, a bit rough and were a training ground for him to hone his craft. To some, suggesting his earlier films were not masterpieces is blasphemy, but I have seen quite a few and only a few were exceptional films..."Die Bergkatze" is NOT an exceptional film. In fact, it really is tough to watch today because the comedy is too broad--too unsophisticated. However, I must admit that at the time, it was more mainstream than it is today. By 1921, broad slapstick comedy was on its way out (as the style was mostly popular in the previous decade), but still was not unusual. But now, you certainly can't see the famed 'Lubitsch touch' in this occasionally annoying film.
Pola Negri plays a mountain girl whose family are bandits. Her character is pretty ambiguous. At the same time you see her story, you also follow the story of a womanizing Lieutenant. His tale IS much more interesting and I loved the farewell scene early in the film when a bazillion adoring women came to see him. It was cute. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie was just dull and full of pratfalls and the like. An interesting curio for film fans, but that is all.