2 November 2008 | zolaaar
When Conscience Afflicts
The Man I Killed deals with home comers of World War I, the war which's end is celebrating 90th anniversary this month I think, is much better than Whale's, because it's more subtle and less histrionic overall (except for Holmes' unbearable, almost laughable staginess). It has some great actors, most of all Lionel Barrymore who gives a physical powerhouse performance, the best I've seen from him so far. The film is very short, too short in every respect for the other lead characters to really unfold (again except for Holmes', who is simply too much to take) and for supporting roles to really get fully recognized, such as the house maid, played by Zasu Pitts. Even though the subject matter is dark and depressing, the film has its light moments, typical Lubitsch moments of drollness and wit who perfectly knows what is so comical and absurd about German bourgeoisie. However, The Man I Killed is miles away from the usual Lubitsch comedy of the 30s and is instead a thought-provoking, touching drama and an obviously heartfelt processing of a dark European history. Did I mention, that Holmes was horrible, though?