26 February 2015 | arfdawg-1
Silly Story, Great Cinematography.
The Plot: Prologue: The murderer "Boss" Huller - after having spent ten years in prison - breaks his silence to tell the warden his story.
"Boss", a former trapeze artist, and his wife own a cheap side-show that displays ''erotic sensations''. But he longs for his former glamorous life in the circus.
When he meets the orphan Berta-Marie, he falls under her spell and leaves his wife and young son behind.
He makes Berta-Marie his partner in a new trapeze number. One day, the famous trapeze artist Artinelli takes note of them and engages them for his trapeze show in Berlin. Their salto mortale becomes an immediate sensation. Calculatedly and cold, Artinelli seduces Berta-Marie and destroys "Boss'" happiness.
If you are watching a version shorter than 112 minutes, you are watching the edited version. My screening was 83 minutes so I know there were lots of scenes cut out.
Still, it's an interesting movie. Yes, the story line is dated, but I assume that was not the case back in 1925.
The direction is really good.
I found interest in watching how people lived back then. Smoking all the time indoors, the luggage used, the different acts at the circus (which, BTW, was not a circus as we know it today, more a vaudeville show).
All the guys wear suits and ties and hats. A different time and place.
Anyway..it's true that the story is not complex. And it's also true that the female lead is not especially attractive. Nor is she slim. And Jannings is laughably overweight to be an acrobat.
The guy who is is stunt double for the acrobat scenes is literally 80 pounds lighter!
Despite all...watch it for the cinematography!