28 January 2015 | juergen-lehning
WWI film of the Cruiser Emden in the Pacific
Film historical view: The basis for Kreuzer Emden/Cruiser Emden was the 1926 released silent film Unsere Emden. Kreuzer Emden was not the sole re-release. In 1928 Australia released The Exploits of the Emden/Heldentaten der Emden a special adaption based on the footage of Unsere Emden. In 1931 Australia released Sea Raider/Der Seeräuber which was based on the footage of Unsere Emden and The Exploits of the Emden. It was shown as documentary short thereby having eliminated all fictional sequences. While these three films were silent the 1932 release of Kreuzer Emden was a talkie using the documentary parts of Unsere Emden and enhancing the fictional sequences. In 1934 another Emden film was released also based on the first and second German versions (Heldentum und Todeskampf der Emden/The Exploits and the Agony of the Emden (unclear if this film was ever released outside of Germany). In contrary to the first mentioned films, which had an documentary or semi documentary style, respects to a certain degree the enemy each other, this release was already a more propagandistic film under the upcoming Nazi influence. All but Kreuzer Emden exist in fragments: Unsere Emden approximately 7 min runtime, originally 104 min. Exploits of the Emden approximately 33 min runtime, originally approximately 109 min (10 reels). Sea Raider approximately 26 min runtime, originally runtime unclear. Kreuzer Emden 98 min runtime. Heldentum und Todeskampf der Emden approximately 22 min runtime, originally 102 min.
The above is an extract from the booklet of the DVD release.
"The German Cruiser Emden captured or sunk twenty-three ships in about two months. Her own destruction was accomplished by the Australian H.M.A.S. "Sydney" in less than two hours an November 9th 1914.The German Admiralty supported the production of Our Emden in 1926. Subsequently, both German and Australian producers released other versions the used the 1926 footage as well as incorporating additional sequences that were shot later. The battle between the two ships appeared over and over again on the screens of the former enemies. What was a legend of a chivalrous war on sea became truth."
The above is a quotation from the cover of the DVD release. There are no copyrights to be found.
Review: Kreuzer Emden is a semi documentary film containing some fictional sequences (love story). Some of the real Emden officers were among the cast. For those days it was showing the respect for the enemy and chivalry of war on both sides. In that respect the film is more a film of historical interest than of cinematographic interest. The dispute between two sailors (superior and subordinate) brings only little effect and emotion to the story from a present day perspective.Nevertheless, if you are interested in old historic films it is worthwhile watching it.