20 October 2019 | topitimo-829-270459
Historical romance without any sparks
Liane Haid was Austria's first movie star. She had a long life and lived to be 105 years old. Her career, however, would grow stale after the advent of talkies. In 1921 she was at the height of her star power. Haid stars in this German film, directed and produced by another Austrian, Richard Oswald, a specialist in light entertainment for the masses.
Historical spectacles were very popular in 1920's Germany. Possibly the defeat in WWI and the wide-spread poverty of the Weimar Republic made people long for the lost glory of distant centuries. Lubitsch made several historical films, of varying quality and about different cultures. Some of them were very good. This Oswald film is not. Lady Hamilton was a famously beautiful woman who lived in 18th and 19th century Europe. She was a socialite who affected European politics through her relationship with Lord Nelson, played here by Conrad Veidt.
Though the film has a genuine historical story, it is not very interested in creating a realistic feel to the narrative. It's a very superficial romance, that moves on in a bumpy manner, and doesn't give much psychological depth to the characters. There is nothing interesting in cinematography or other technical areas, and the acting is forgettable too, with especially Veidt being a wasted talent in a role like this. Compared to the look of some other historical German films of the era, this one looks like it was made on a budget.