MADAME DE (1953) * with switchable English and French subtitles *
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift to cover her debts. The general secretly buys the earrings again and gives them to his mistress, Lola, who is leaving for Constantinople (where an Italian diplomat, Baron Donati, buys them).
TWO FILM DVD: MIRACLE ON MAIN STREET (1939) + CRIME ON THE HILL (1933)
MIRACLE ON MAIN STREET (1939):
Christmas Eve, the Hispanic quarter of Los Angeles: Police attempt to arrest a couple running a shady floor show. The female member of the crime-committing duo runs into a church to hide and discovers an abandoned baby, which she promptly exploits to escape capture. Unfortunately for her, she's becoming more and more fond of the baby. Throw in a helpful doctor, who's a bit too fond of the bottle (and we don't mean the baby's) and a husband on the lam and maybe you'll understand why she tries to change her ways and keep the kid.
CRIME ON THE HILL (1933):
Murder runs amok in an English Manor house as the local vicar turns sleuth to solve the mystery. (Those Englishmen love their crime-solving clergy, don't they!).
TWO FILM DVD: MR DOODLE KICKS OFF (1938) + HIS BROTHER’S WIFE (1936)
MR DOODLE KICKS OFF (1938):
Ellory Bugs has offered a huge donation to his old alma mater, Taylor Tech, which is to be paid only if his son, Jimmie "Doodle" Bugs, becomes a football hero. But "Doodle" tips the scales at 143 pounds and is more interested in the band than the football team. Janice Martin, daughter of the college president, is the great thing in "Doodle's" life, but she despises him and only has eyes for Mickey Wells, the school football star. "Doodle" is consoled by Professor Minorous of the Greek Mythology department, who tells him that the gods will solve all of his problems, and starts right in to make communication with these worthies by means of countless and meaningless blackboard equations.
HIS BROTHER'S WIFE (1936):
Rita Wilson meets epidemiologist Chris Claybourne and they fall in love with each other. When Claybourne leaves for the tropics to find a cure for a disease, Wilson gets her revenge by marrying Claybourne's brother, although she still loves the epidemiologist.
TWO FILM DVD: MY AMERICAN WIFE (1936) + NO GREATER GLORY (1934)
MY AMERICAN WIFE (1936):
The story opens in Smelter City, Arizona, where the richest man in town is grizzled old Indian fighter Lafe Cantillon. Lafe’s social-climbing sister-in-law insists that her daughter Mary wed a titled European, Count Ferdinand. Much to Lafe’s delight, Mary isn’t assimilated into Continental high society; instead, she instructs Count Ferdinand in the virtues of good, old-fashioned American democracy. And, of, course, the Count and Lafe become great chums, when the “furriner” proves that he can ride a bucking bronco with the best of ’em.
NO GREATER GLORY (1934):
Adapted from The Paul Street Boys, an autobiographical novel by Ferenc Molnar, No Greater Glory is an unusually sensitive evocation of the pain of youth and the senselessness of war. Frail Nemecsek, a lonely boy who yearns to belong, worships Boka, the self-sufficent, charismatic leader of a well-organized gang, decked out in uniforms and sporting their own flag. The perennial outsider sees his chance to win a respected place in Butler's army, when their flag is stolen and war breaks out with another gang.
NANA (1926) * with switchable English subtitles *
Based on the famous novel by Emile Zola, in which the vivacious and beautiful Nana seeks fame on the stages of Paris. When she bombs as an actress, Nana becomes a courtesan, using her allure and charisma more directly to entice and pleasure men. She is kept in sumptuous fashion by a wealthy count, and several prominent and wealthy men find themselves unable to withstand her charms.
NAIS (1945) * with multiple, switchable subtitles *
Toine, the local hunchback, works at the tile manufacturing plant, but during the Summer, he gives a hand to Micoulin, a farmer, thereby being able to spend more time close to Nais, Micoulin's daughter. This particular Summer, the estate owner's son, Frederic Rostaing, decides to rest on the farm during his vacation from law school. But his real motives are to seduce young Nais, whom he knows from their childhood days, after having seen her in town. Who will win the power struggle between the possessive father, the naive daughter, the vile student and the golden-hearted cripple?
MISS HOTHEAD (1943) * with switchable English subtitles *
Anna Tipuli Pusu is the outspoken daughter of a primary school teacher, is unable to get into the music school she wishes to attend. Her relatives are just fine with that, as they consider her desire to become a concert pianist as an unworthy profession. At her brother's urging, Anna instead begins to study law at the University of Helsinki. Though not happy with her new field of study, she is diligent and successful; but the wild life of students isn't suitable for her. So, again following the advice of another person, who says that the law doesn't suit a woman, Anna now becomes a nurse-in-training and, while doing so, runs into the violinist she used to perform with and for whom she has more than a mild interest.
SERFS (1963) * with switchable English subtitles *
All of Qiangba's Tibetan ancestors have been serfs. Shortly after his birth, his parents are tortured to death by serf owner Wangjie. In his teens, he becomes a household serf of Wangjie, and passes an inhuman existence. Qiangba from then on refuses to speak, showing his resistance through silence. After the PLA enters Tibet, Qiangba and female serf Landuo leave to find the Communists. Landuo is rescued by the PLA, changing her fate; but Qiangba is caught and taken back. The serf owner's son, with support from foreign imperialists, foments armed rebellion. After the rebellion is smashed, Qiangba is rescued by the PLA, and the serfs are liberated at last. Qiangba is reunited with Landuo and begins to speak again after many years of silence.
DIARY FOR MY FATHER AND MOTHER (1990) * with switchable English subtitles *
The story follows a young student, who is orphaned as she grows to adulthood in the shadow of the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Coming from the communist intelligentsia, she sees her friends and family react differently. Her lover, a married factory manager, supports the patriots and later assists fellow workers in staging a strike. Meanwhile, her sister and others express anger at being forced from their homes during the revolution and continue to express a hatred for the rebels afterwards. But in the end, they realize that for all people, real life is not possible after the revolt and its brutal suppression by the Soviets and their collaborators.
NATHALIE: ESCAPE FROM HELL (1978)
A Russian doctor finds herself imprisoned in a lavish and elegant bordello for high-ranking Nazi officers; at the mercy of a fiendish SS officer. Can she locate a missing British agent under her nose, and escape from Hell?
NOSOTROS LOS POBRES (1948) * with switchable English subtitles *
Two kids take a book from a trash can. They begin to read the story of a poor neighborhood in Mexico City, where carpenter Pepe "El Toro" lives with his daughter Chachita and woos pretty "Chorreada". Around them, a people live their lives in many ways: a pair of always-drunk women known as "La Tostada" (The Toast) and "La Guayaba" (The Guava); a beautiful woman, who always oversleeps; a hooker with pneumonia and with a dark past. Tragedy comes when Pepe is falsely accused of robbery and sent to jail.
DIARY FOR MY LOVERS (1987) * with switchable English subtitles *
A continuation of Diary for My Children, the film picks up in 1950, when Juli, the diarist, is 18 and determined to become a movie director.
THE FOUR DAYS OF SNOW AND BLOOD (1989) * with switchable English subtitles *
The film is based on the "2.26 Incident", an attempted coup d'état in Japan 1936, launched by radical, ultra-nationalist members of the military. Several leading politicians were killed and the center of Tokyo was briefly held by the insurgents before the coup was suppressed.
TWO FILM DVD: FUGITIVE LOVERS (1934) + PICK-UP (1933)
FUGITIVE LOVERS (1934):
In a hopeful effort to evade gangster Legs Caffey, chorus girl Letty Morris hops a bus in New York bound for Los Angeles ... with Legs close on her heels (no pun intended). Along the way, the bus picks up escaped convict Paul Porter, who quickly allies himself with Letty. With the police in hot pursuit and Legs monitoring his every move with Letty, Paul is running out of both time and ideas.
The scheme of a pair of married con artists goes awry when their victim dies and they are both caught and imprisoned. When she gets out of prison, she tries to put her life back together.
TWO FILM DVD: THE SPIDERS – EPISODES ONE & TWO (1919/20)
THE SPIDERS - EPISODE 1 (1919):
In San Francisco, sportsman Kay Hoog tells club members he's found a message in a bottle with a map from a missing professor, which describes an Incan lost civilization still alive. He decides to go to Peru to seek the lost Incans and, as a side bonus, of course, their gold. However, members of the secret criminal organization "The Spiders", led by Lio Sha, break into Kay's mansion during the night and steal the map. Kay Hoog travels to Peru, where he retrieves his map and a document about the Diamond Ship from The Spiders.
THE SPIDERS - EPISODE 2 (1920):
In San Francisco, Kay Hoog follows Lio Sha into a subterranean Chinatown and discloses that her organization is seeking a Buddha-head diamond that will release Asia from tyranny. He's captured, but escapes and chases The Spiders, embarking as a stowaway on the Storm Bird.
EL VAMPIRO NEGRO (1953) * with switchable English subtitles *
El Vampiro negro is an Argentinian remake of Fritz Lang's classic film M. This film, however, is not a shot-for-shot remake. Teodoro Ulber, known as The Professor, is on trial for murder. After his attorney asks for confinement to a mental institution and the prosecutor counters with a plea for the death penalty, we are shown in flashback how Ulber got to this point. Outside a dance hall, a short, portly figure drags the body of a little girl from a worn sack and throws it down a sewage shaft. The next day, a homeless man, deep within the sewer tunnels of the city, comes across the body. He alerts the police, who toss him in jail as a possible suspect and then conduct a manhunt (that's what you get for being socially conscious, but also a social outcast ... [Homeless Lives Matter]). But Ulber's actions didn't go unseen. Through a window in the basement of a dance hall, a young performer spied the wretched little man.
SORTILEGES (1945) * with switchable English subtitles *
Lucien Coedel stars in this fascinating drama as an alpine bell ringer. His job is to toll the village bells to prevent strangers from getting lost in the snowy peaks. Somewhere along the line, Coedel snaps and begins abusing his position in order to murder tourists and passersby.
TWO FILM DVD: THE GIRL WHO CAME BACK (1935) + GIRLS CAN PLAY (1937)
THE GIRL WHO CAME BACK (1935):
A counterfeiter gives up her life of crime and goes straight. She gets a job in a bank, but the members of her former gang hear about it and try to blackmail her into helping them rob the bank.
GIRLS CAN PLAY (1937):
Foy Harris is a bootlegger selling illegal booze and also running a girl's professional softball team. He's also romancing the team's catcher, Sue Collins. The murder of one of the team members gets a police detective, Lieutenant Flannigan and Jimmy Jones, a dim-witted cub newspaper sports reporter, involved. The reporter also has a romance going with the team's ace pitcher, Ann Casey.
A country at the crossroads to the Orient and the West. A thermal power plant is being built there with the help of the DDR. When West German intelligence gets wind of the project, they launch "Project Aqua". Things start to get out of hand when the cover of a West German intelligence agent by the name of Major Sander is blown. Needless to say, there'll be a dramatic ending to the "project".
Ein Land an der Nahtstelle von Orient und Okzident. Hier soll mit Hilfe der befreundeten DDR ein Wärmekraftwerk entstehen. Als der westdeutsche Geheimdienst Wind davon bekommt, läuft das Sabotage "Projekt Aqua" an. Die Lage spitzt sich gefährlich zu, als die Deckung des Kundschafters Major Sander beim BND auffliegt. Es kommt zu einem dramatischen Finale.
This German TV-drama of Agatha Christie's crime drama, "And then There were None", concerns ten persons accused of murder --- and who were actually guilty --- who were able to escape prosecution due to legal technicalities. They are lured to a lonely island under false pretenses and picked off, one by one, even though they appear to be the only ones there. Who's the assassin and what's his/her motive?
Diese deutsche Verfilmung von Agatha Christies Krimi "And Then There Were None" handelt von zehn Menschen, die wegen Mordes angeklagt und eigentlich auch schuldig waren, wegen juristischer Spitzfindigkeiten aber ihrer Strafe entgehen konnten. Sie werden unter falschen Voraussetzungen auf eine einsame Insel gelockt, wo sie - obwohl sie die einzigen Menschen hier sind - nach und nach selbst Opfer von Mordanschlägen werden. Doch wer ist der Täter, und was ist sein Motiv?
VICTIM (1961) * with switchable Spanish subtitles *
A successful barrister, Melville Farr, has a thriving London practice. He is on course to become a Queen's Counsel and people are already talking of his being appointed a judge. He is apparently happily married to his wife, Laura. Farr is approached by "Boy" Barrett, a younger working class man with whom Farr has shared a romantic, but non-sexual, relationship. Farr rebuffs the approach, thinking Barrett wants to blackmail him about their relationship. In fact, Barrett has been trying to reach Farr to appeal for help, because he has fallen prey to blackmailers who have a picture of Farr and Barrett in a vehicle together, in which Barrett is crying with Farr's arm around him. Barrett has stolen £2,300 from his employers to pay the blackmail, is being pursued by the police, and needs Farr's financial assistance to flee the country. After Farr intentionally avoids him, Barrett is picked up by the police, who discover why he is being blackmailed. Knowing it will be only a matter of time before he is forced to reveal the details of the blackmail scheme and Farr's role, Barrett hangs himself in a police cell. Learning the truth about Barrett, Farr takes on the blackmail ring and recruits a friend of Barrett's to identify others the blackmailers may be targeting.
POLIZEIREVIER DAVIDSWACHE (1964)
For Sergeant Glantz, prostitution, theft and murder are nothing out of the routine. You see, his beat is the most famous in the world: the Davidswache in St. Pauli, Hamburg. He's looking forward to his daughter Lilo's visit, whom he hasn't seen in a long time. He intends to pick her up at the train station at 4:20pm. But by the time she arrives, Glantz might no longer be alive; for on this day, Bruno Kapp is being released from prison. Kapp was a brutal gangster Glantz put behind bars four years ago and the criminal's sworn vengeance. He intends to meet Glantz long before his daughter does.
Für Hauptwachtmeister Glantz sind Prostitution und Diebstahl, Mord und Totschlag Routine. Sein Revier ist das berühmteste der Welt: Die Davidswache auf dem Kiez in St.Pauli. Er freut sich auf den Besuch seiner Tochter Lilo, die er lange nicht gesehen hat. Er will sie um 4:20 Uhr vom Bahnhof abholen. Doch wenn sie ankommt, wird Glantz schon nicht mehr leben. An diesem Tag wird auch Bruno Kapp entlassen, ein brutaler Gangster, den Glantz vor vier Jahren hinter Gitter brachte. Dieser schwört Rache und lauert Glantz auf.
EIN MANN NAMENS HARRY BRENT (1968)
Jane Conway wants to marry her fiancee Harry Brent and therefore resigns from her job at a manufacturing plant run by Samuel Fielding. He, in turn, is shot by the applicant Barbara Smith in the middle of an interview to fill Jane's former position. Inspector Wallace, Jane's former fiancee, takes charge of the investigation. He notes that Barbara Smith sat with Harry Brent on the train to Guildford, the place where the action took place, and that before she came to the meeting, she laid flowers on the grave of Harry Brent's parents. At first, a possible motive for the murder can't be found. Before she can be questioned in detail, she commits suicide in prison. Dying, she asks for Harry Brent.
Jane Conway will ihren Verlobten Harry Brent heiraten und kündigt deshalb ihre Stellung bei dem Fabrikanten Samuel Fielding. Der wird bei der Suche nach einer neuen Kraft von der Bewerberin Barbara Smith mitten im Vorstellungsgespräch erschossen. Inspektor Wallace, Janes ehemaliger Verlobter, nimmt die Ermittlungen auf. Er stellt fest, dass Barbara Smith mit Harry Brent zusammen im Zug nach Guildford, dem Ort der Handlung, saß und dass sie, bevor sie zu dem Termin kam, am Grab von Harry Brents Eltern Blumen niederlegte. Ein Motiv für ihren Mord an Fielding ist nicht erkennbar. Bevor sie zu ihrer Tat eingehend befragt werden kann, begeht sie im Untersuchungsgefängnis Selbstmord. Im Sterben verlangt sie nach Harry Brent.
An odd and tightly directed tale of a singer/dancer at the Moulin Rouge, who meets her daughter’s fiancee, only to have him fall obsessively in love with her and she with him. Alienation, betrayal and near tragedy result.
This stark, gritty drama opens with a robbery of the gate receipts at a soccer stadium. It's committed by a group of diverse, desperate individuals in broad daylight, as thousands are cheering the match. The police doggedly pursue their investigation, but to no avail. The movie chronicles the plight of the thieves, who, at first, go into hiding separately and then begin to wither under the pressure of the crime.
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ICH WAR NEUNZEHN (1968) * with switchable English and Spanish subtitles *
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted with the dilemma of having to fight men from the very country he was born in. Through dealing with challenging situations (e.g. he is appointed commander of Bernau, talks to many disillusioned Germans, and is once and again attacked by scattered groups of German soldiers), he grows more confident that not all hope is lost for post-war Germany. Based on the diary entries of director Konrad Wolf, the episodic movie authentically portrays the protagonist's struggle to come to terms with his own past and identity.
Gregor Hecker war als Achtjähriger mit seinen Eltern in die Sowjetunion emigriert. Als 19-Jähriger kehrt er mit einer Aufklärungseinheit der Roten Armee im April 1945 nach Deutschland zurück. Es fällt ihm schwer, die Deutschen, die zum Teil noch erbittert gegen die Russen kämpfen, als seine Landsleute zu betrachten und er schämt sich vor den sowjetischen Genossen für das Verhalten der Deutschen. Nur langsam reift die Erkenntnis, dass nicht alle Deutschen schuldig waren und dass man nur mit ihnen gemeinsam ein friedliches Deutschland aufbauen kann. Mit diesem Film erzählt Konrad Wolf ein Stück Autobiographie.
KONGO-EXPRESS (1939) * improved video quality *
A German woman in Africa has to deal with the conflict between an egocentric and alcoholic French pilot and a gallant German admirer. In order to stop the Congo-Express, in which the woman is riding to a sure disastrous accident, the Frenchman steers his plane into a suicidal dive onto the train tracks.
Eine Deutsche in Afrika im Konflikt zwischen einem egozentrischen, alkoholsüchtigen französischen Piloten und einem ritterlichen deutschen Verehrer. Um den Kongo-Express zu stoppen, in dem die Frau einem sicheren Zugunglück entgegenfährt, stürzt sich der Franzose mit seiner Maschine selbstmörderisch auf die Gleise.
JUGEND (1938) * improved video quality *
Germany, 1890: Having just gotten his high-school diploma, Hans leaves for Heidelberg to begin his university studies. But first, he wants to visit his uncle, Pastor Hoppe, in the small village of Rosenau. It's here that he again meets his cousin and childhood friend Annie. Annie is the illegitimate child of Pastor Hoppe's sister, who's left the upbringing of her offspring to the man-of-the-cloth. Conservative chaplain Schigorski continually tries to convince Annie to join the nearby cloister and thus "atone" for the sins of her mother. And it's getting more difficult for the fun-loving girl to escape the chaplain's harrassment. When Hans arrives, old feelings of lust come back to the surface. This, in turn, leads to even more pressure on Annie: Schigorski finds out about her relationship with the boy; Annie believes she's disappointed her loyal uncle; and --- as is almost always the case in Veit Harlan's films -- she commits suicide. When the girl's body is found, open conflict breaks out between the chaplain and the pastor.
Deutschland im Jahr 1890: Gerade hat der blutjunge Hans sein Abitur bestanden, da macht er sich schon auf den Weg nach Heidelberg, um sein Studium zu beginnen. Zuvor will er noch seinen Onkel, den Pfarrer Hoppe, in dem kleinen Dorf Rosenau besuchen. Hier trifft er auch seine Cousine und Jugendfreundin Annchen wieder. Annchen ist das uneheliche Kind von Pfarrer Hoppes Schwester, das dieser voller Fürsorge bei sich aufgenommen hat. Der konservative Kaplan Schigorski versucht Annchen fortwährend dazu zu überreden, ins Kloster zu gehen, um damit die “Schuld” ihrer Mutter zu sühnen. Der lebenslustigen jungen Frau fällt es immer schwerer, sich dem Drängen Schigorskis zu entziehen. Hans’ Ankunft läßt bei beiden die alten Gefühle wieder aufflammen. Der Druck auf Annchen wird immer größer – Schigorski erfährt von ihrem Verhältnis, Annchen glaubt nun, ihren treusorgenden Onkel Hoppe enttäuscht zu haben und begeht Selbstmord. Als die Leiche gefunden wird, kommt es zum offenen Konflikt zwischen Schigorski und Hoppe.
2 DVD SET: MIHAI VITEAZUL - THE LAST CRUSADE (1971) (Michael the Brave) * EXTENDED VERSION; with switchable English subtitles *
Michael was one of Romania's greatest medieval rulers, as well as a celebrated military commander. Having been obliged to pay a large sum to the Ottoman emperor for his appointment as prince of Walachia, he did away with his Ottoman creditors, who had advanced him the money, by summoning them to his palace and then having them massacred. This act was imitated throughout Wallachia and became known as the Wallachian Vespers. Michael repeatedly routed an Ottoman retaliatory army with the help of Sigismund Báthory, prince of Transylvania, and mercenaries. Michael's subjects were oppressively taxed to pay for the victory. In 1596 the sultan made peace, leaving Wallachia virtually independent. Michael now turned to the conquest of Transylvania, which he accomplished after defeating (1599) Andrew Cardinal Báthory, to whom Sigismund had given up his throne. Initially, Michael had the support of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and he was able to unite all Romanians under his sole rule. However, Rudolf II soon came to suspect Michael's increased power, and when Transylvanian nobles provoked a rebellion against Michael, the imperial army in Hungary under Gen. George Basta came to their aid. Defeated, Michael fled and presented himself at the imperial court in Vienna, where he was pardoned and reinstated as governor of Transylvania. Returning, he defeated Sigismund Báthory, who had renewed his claim to the principality, but Michael was shortly afterward assassinated on the order of General Basta. After his death Walachia and Moldavia reverted to Ottoman control, while Transylvania came under Austrian domination; the union of the three areas became a national ideal in succeeding generations, and Michael himself a national hero. This 1970 film, made under Romania's communist government, is suspiciously nationalistic; unofficially, a crime in any so-called socialist state. Nonetheless, it is not too blatant in its nationalism and is quite entertaining.
DER DYBBUK (1937) * improved video quality; hard-encoded English subtitles *
Hannan, a talmudic scholar, falls in love with Leah'le, the daughter of Sender, a rich merchant. Sender opposes a marriage between the two, as he prefers a rich suitor for his daughter. In desperation, Hannan decides to study the mystical arts of the Kabbalah, in the hopes of finding a way to win back Leah'le, whom he feels is his predestined bride. When Sender announces that he has found a suitable bridegroom for Leah'le, Hannan drops dead in a state of mystical ecstasy. On the day of her wedding, Leah'le goes to the graveyard, for the purpose of inviting the spirit of her dead mother to attend the wedding. She stops by the graves of a bride and groom who were murdered together before their marriage was consummated, and invites their spirits to the wedding. Finally she is drawn to the grave of Hannan, and leaves the graveyard appearing somehow "changed". Under the wedding canopy, Leah'le suddenly cries out to her intended: "You are not my bridegroom!" and rushes to the grave of the slaughtered bride and groom. A man's voice issues from her mouth, saying "I have returned to my predestined bride, and I shall not leave her". She has been possessed by the Dybbuk. Leah'le is brought to the home of a Hassidic sage who is to exorcise the dyybuk from her body. Several attempts fail, and finally the sage calls upon the chief rabbi of the town for assistance. The chief rabbi arrives and tells of a dream he had, in which Nisn, the long-dead father of Hannan demanded that Sender, father of Leah'le, be called before the rabbinical court. The room is prepared as a court, and the spirit of Hannan's father is invited to plead its case from within a chalk circle drawn upon the floor. The spirit speaks to the rabbi, and tells him of a pact made between him and Sender, many years ago, that their two children shall be wed. By denying Hannan his daughter's hand in marriage, Sender broke the pact. The rabbis attempt to appease the spirit, and order that Sender must give half of his worldly goods and money to the poor, and say Kaddish over the spirits of Hannan and his father. But the dybbuk does not acknowledge that it has been appeased. Leah'le is left within the chalk circle of protection while the others leave to prepare for her wedding. The image of Hannan appears before her, and she leaves the safety of the circle to unite with her beloved - presumably, in death. Considered one of the finest Yiddish movies ever made, this movie is all the more interesting in that it was filmed in pre-War Poland in 1937, where the world's largest Jewish population lived at the time. Watch the actors closely: the majority of them found their premature end in the Holocaust the Germans and their helpers launched upon Poland during the Second World War. Just as most of the actors in the film would be gone by War's end, so most of Poland would look radically different by the time it was "liberated" by the Soviets in 1944/45. Thus, the film is valuable in showing us two worlds which would almost completely disappear within a decade of the film's completion.
DAS MADCHEN ROSEMARIE (1958) * improved video quality; switchable English subtitles *
Rosemarie Nitribitt is found dead in her apartment. The murder triggers one of the biggest scandals of the 1950s; for Rosemarie Nitribitt is Frankfurt's most famous call girl and among her customers are some of the most influential men in the business world. What was the reason for her death? Did she have to die, because she knew too much
Rosemarie Nitribitt wird tot in ihrer Wohnung aufgefunden. Der Mord löst einen der größten Skandale der 1950er Jahre aus. Rosemarie Nitribitt ist Frankfurts bekanntestes Edel-Callgirl, zu ihren Kunden gehören die einflussreichsten Männer der Großindustrie. War das der Grund für ihren Tod? Musste sie sterben, weil sie zu viel wusste?
MAZURKA (1935) * with switchable English subtitles and improved picture quality *
MAZURKA tells the story of Lisa, a teen-age music conservatory student, stalked by famed concert pianist Grigorij Michailow. After a contrived meeting, Michailow charms Lisa into sneaking out of her well-to-do home to tryst the following night. He takes her to a sleazy dive, where world-weary tart Vera entertains riff-raff nightly with her warbling. During her act, Vera spots Michailow kissing Lisa and she promptly faints. She's carried to her dressing-room as the pianist and his intended prey make for the exit. Vera grabs a gun and charges through the nightclub screaming out Michailow's true name - and as he turns to look at her, she shoots him. What follows is an involving courtroom melodrama where the story's shocking answer to "why" is revealed through flashbacks... Pola Negri, silent star of German UFA & Hollywood film, is extraordinary in her first German talkie. She wrings every drop of pathos from a character who goes from a frivolous young operetta star to a jaded & degraded underworld "entertainer", who finds herself on trial for her life. The reasons why Negri's Vera won't help with her own defense (and the sacrifice she makes) make this a real tearjerker.
Wendungsreiches Melodram um die Leidensgeschichte der Sängerin Vera, die wegen Mordes an dem Komponisten Michailow vor Gericht steht. Im Verlauf des Prozesses enthüllt die Angeklagte unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit ihre persönliche Tragödie: Als junge Frau war Vera an der Warschauer Oper engagiert und spielte dort in Michailows "Mazurka". Zugunsten ihrer Heirat mit Rittmeister Boris Kierow beendete Vera ihre Karriere, doch bei einem Widersehen mit den alten Kollegen wird sie nach zuviel Alkoholgenuss bewusstlos und von Michailow vergewaltigt. Vera wird schwanger, und nach der Geburt bleibt das Kind, Lisa, beim Vater und dessen neuer Frau. Jahre später entdeckt Vera während einer Vorstellung Michailow, der gerade die ahnungslose Lisa verführt. Aus Angst, dass sich Michailow an seiner eigenen Tochter vergeht, erschießt Vera den Komponisten vor den Augen der Theaterbesucher. Nach ihrer Aussage erhält Vera ein mildes Urteil. Vor dem Gerichtssaal trifft sie Lisa, die nicht weiß, dass Vera ihre Mutter ist. Vera verabschiedet sich von ihrer Tochter, ohne ihr Geheimnis zu verraten.
Caterina Bastiani comes from a long line of performers and she's certainly a talented musician. And when she's suggested for the lead in a new musical, her dream of becoming a success on the stage seems to be coming true. However, the author of the play isn't too thrilled with the choice of this singing and dancing whirling-dervish for his creation. Caterina, however, isn't about to just let her chance for fame casually pass her by: she's determined to prove she can successfully pull off the role as a simple and naive young woman. In fact, she's found what she believes to be the ideal way to demonstrate it: by smuggling herself into the playwright's home as a servant.
Musik im Blut hat die talentierte Nachwuchsschauspielerin Caterina Bastiani. Ihr Traum vom Bühnenerfolg scheint wahr zu werden, als sie für die Hauptrolle in einem neuen Musical vorgeschlagen wird. Doch für den Autor des Stückes kommt das singende und tanzende Temperamentbündel nicht in Frage. Caterina gibt nicht auf. Um ihm zu beweisen, daß sie sehr wohl die einfache junge Frau darstellen kann, die ihm als Idealbesetzung vorschwebt, schmuggelt sie sich als Dienstmädchen in sein Haus.
SCHOOLGIRL REPORT – VOL. 1 (1970) * switchable English subs *
A young student lingers behind during a school field trip and makes her way back to the school bus, where she meets up with the bus driver and begins making amorous advances upon him. The two are interrupted by the arrival of a teacher, who immediately hauls the student down to the principal's office. The teachers are mortified at the young girl's behavior and threaten her with expulsion. A psychologist tries to defend her actions by giving other "examples" of this behavior he has encountered in his practice. In a series of erotically charged episodic-stories, we see a young girl seduce her stepfather; a gymnast, who enjoys some locker room antics with a coach; and a trio of beautiful young girls "save" a lifeguard at the local pool.
SCHOOLGIRL REPORT – VOL. 2 (1971) * switchable English subs *
10 vignettes about scandalous behavior of horny German schoolgirls. First, a strict, conservative teacher is lured by three of his beautiful, nubile young female students into a compromising situation with tragic results.
Germany, March 1945: Shortly before the end of the war, Felix Bleck, a visually-impaired reserve officer working as an overseer in a military prison, is ordered to transport forty of his charges to the Western Front, where the men will be placed in a punishment battalion. It's as clear to the men in question, as it is to Bleck, that there's no way he'll be able to control the forty prisoners on his own. While the men plan an escape to avoid a senseless death at the front, Bleck tries to win the sympathy of the prisoners with favors. But when during the transport he finds out that his fiancee was killed in a bombing raid, and at the same time he's forced to carry out ever more nonsensical orders, he comes to a fateful decision: together with the prisoners, he takes over the train and breaks through enemy lines to surrender to the enemy.
Deutschland, März 1945. Kurz vor Kriegsende erhält der in einem Militärgefängnis als Aufseher eingesetzte, sehbehinderte Reserveoffizier Felix Bleck den Auftrag, 40 seiner Strafgefangenen an die Westfront zu führen, wo die Männer in einem Strafbataillon eingesetzt werden sollen. Sowohl den Männern als auch Bleck ist klar, dass er alleine nicht auf die 40 Gefangenen aufpassen kann. Während diese einen Fluchtplan schmieden, um nicht an der Front sinnlos verheizt zu werden, versucht Bleck mit Gefälligkeiten, die Sympathien der Gefangenen zu erringen. Als Bleck während des Transportes erfährt, dass seine Verlobte während eines Bomberangriffs ums Leben kam und er parallel immer mehr unsinnige Befehle ausführen muss, fasst er einen schicksalhaften Entschluss: Gemeinsam mit seinen Gefangenen übernimmt er den Zug und durchbricht die feindlichen Linien, um sich in Kriegsgefangenenschaft zu ergeben.
BOEFJE (1939) * with switchable English subtitles *
Twelve year old Jan Grovers spends more time in the alleys of Rotterdam than with his family (though he occasionally looks after his three younger sisters, all of whom are named Mientje). Together with his best friend and partner in crime, Pietje Puk, he plans to travel to America to get rich. When a local clergyman takes pity on the boy and tries to teach him good manners, Boefje at first rebels. However, once he is sent to a strict boarding school, he takes an interest in music, specifically the pipe organ.
LA NUIT DE VARENNES (1982) *with switchable English subtitles *
On 20 June 1791, the king and queen of France try to escape from revolutionary Paris to join monarchist allies outside France. However, they are intercepted and arrested in the town of Varennes. The incident inflames popular distrust and hatred against the monarchy. Linked to this historical event, the film imagines a group of travelers on the same road, including the American patriot Thomas Paine, the noted seducer Casanova, the French novelist Restif de La Bretonne, and one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. They reflect various attitudes toward the momentous changes taking place around them.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (1959) * switchable English & Spanish subtitles *
The first puppet kinescope in the world, it is based on the famous poetic comedy by William Shakespeare. Three worlds meet in this story: the noble world of three Athens couples, a common popular world of tradesmen amateur theatre and a fairy-tale happiness of magic creatures as elves and nymphs. The film is considered the most remarkable Jirí Trnka's work and a milestone in the history of the world animation.
The following is a direct translation of the German review of this film:
A stolen hen is the "corpus delicti" in this military farce, which takes place in occupied France during the Second World War. A film, which is not only disqualified as a work of art by its crude and vulgar humor, but also by is trivialization of the Nazi war.
To the reviewer: Don't hold back! Tell us what you really think! A little too soon after the War, huh? Admittedly, when first viewing this film before processing it, I was shocked to see a comedy with actors wearing what appeared to be Wehrmacht uniforms only ten years after the end of the war. Surely, they must have been Bundeswehr outfits; but no, they weren't. Folks, if even *I* think something is tasteless, it must be really bad.
Ein gestohlener Hahn ist das "corpus delicti" in einer Militärposse, die während des Zweiten Weltkriegs im besetzten Frankreich spielt. Ein Film, der sich nicht nur durch platte, ordinäre Komik disqualifiziert, sondern auch durch seine Verharmlosung des Nazikriegs.
Shortly after the end of the Second World War, music student Maria forms an international jazz band, which is now touring throughout Germany. She finds support and encouragement in a music-loving, American officer named Tom and his buddy Walter, a German engineer. Both men are also interested in a romantic relationship with the girl, but when Walter sees that he hasn't a chance against Tom, he pulls back. A little later, the band gets into trouble and Walter shows himself to be the man to count on in an emergency. The result? Maria chooses him.
Die Musikstudentin Maria gründet kurz nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges eine internationale Jazzkapelle, mit der sie über das Land tingelt. Unterstützt wird sie dabei vom musikliebenden amerikanischen Offizier Tom und vom deutschen Ingenieur Walter. Die beiden Männer machen Maria den Hof. Als Walter zu erkennen glaubt, dass er keine Chance gegen Tom hat, zieht er sich zurück. Wenig später steckt die Kapelle in Schwierigkeiten und Walter erweist sich als Retter in der Not, der daraufhin endlich Maria in seine Arme schließen darf.
"I am going to lead you into wonderful times!", is what Kaiser Wilhelm II promised his subjects. And fifty years later, the cabaret artist Gunthe Neumann leads the average citizen on a cinematic tour of the first half of the 20th Century. Willy Fritsch plays the little man, who blindly clings to the promises of whomever is in power at the time and who always longs for the "wonderful times". August Schulze is the average German: eternally loyal; eternally incapable of learning from his mistakes. He votes; he is the nameless cog in the machine; cannon fodder; and the little man with a narrow horizon, who believes anything and everything put before him. The satirical, historical revue ends before the ruins of the Reichstag, but it is questionable whether August Schulze has finally learned the lessons of history.
"Ich führe euch herrlichen Zeiten entgegen" hatte Kaiser Wilhelm II. seinen Untertanen versprochen. Fünfzig Jahre später begleitet der Kabarettist Günter Neumann den Durchschnittsbürger durch die erste Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Willy Fritsch spielt den kleinen Mann, der blind den Versprechen der jeweiligen Machthaber anhängt und immer wieder unverdrossen HERRLICHE ZEITEN ersehnt. August Schulze ist der Durchschnittsdeutsche, ewig gutgläubig, ewig unbelehrbar, er ist der Wähler, der kleine Pg., das Kanonenfutter, der kleine Mann, mit engem Horizont, stets das glaubend, was man ihm vorsetzt. Die satirische Zeitrevue endet vor der Ruinen des Reichstags, aber es ist fraglich, ob August Schulze diesmal seine Lektion gelernt hat.
MARE NOSTRUM (1926) * with English intertitles and hard-encoded French subtitles *
German spies, using Freya Talberg as bait, convince neutral Spaniard Ulysses Ferragut to navigate a ship to refuel German U-boats, telling him they would never fire on passenger ships. However, one torpedoes the ship his son, Esteban, was on, killing him and many others. He sets out to punish the ones responsible.
80 HUSZAR (1978) * with switchable English subtitles *
1848. Europe is seething with revolutions against tyrannical rulers breaking out everywhere. In the Austrian Empire, the emperor even abdicates the throne! A regiment of Hungarian hussars are stationed in Galician Poland, serving out their enlistment time in the Imperial Austrian Army. Soon, news will come that not only has a rebellion against Austrian begun in Galicia, but back in Budapest, too. The hussars wish to return to Hungary, but their superiors in Vienna have no intention of allowing that, knowing full well that they'd fight on the side of the revolution and not maintain their loyalty to the Austrians. When they receive orders to fire on rebelling Poles in Krakow, they refuse and head back to their homes. Filled with now archaic notions of honor and duty, the 80 men are hunted down and slaughtered by their commanders.
Ski season is going full swing in a Tirolean mountain village. Everyone has their favorite hangout, whether up at the cabins, at the Grand Hotel or in the rundown “Berghof”. The “Berghof’s” owner, Sepp, a skiing instructor, wants to sell the place, but his son Toni wants to keep it. Then Dorothy shows up. She renovates the hotel and Toni falls in love with her. But then, all of a sudden, lady luck disappears.
In einem Tiroler Bergdorf ist die Skisaison in vollem Gang. Jeder hat seine eigenen Verücktheiten, ob oben auf der Hütte, ob im Grand Hotel oder im heruntergekommenen "Berghof". Dessen Besitzer Sepp, ein Skilehrer, will das Hotel verkaufen, sein Sohn Toni möchte es erhalten. Da taucht Dorothee auf. Sie saniert den "Berghof", und Toni verliebt sich in sie. Ganz plötzlich aber ist die Glücksfee wieder verschwunden.
In the spa-town of Kitzbuhel, a rich woman on vacation gets to know a poor substitute teach from a neighboring village, who wishes to form his students into a children’s choir and to marry the daughter of a farmer, much to the objection of her father. After a race of the children, some nativity play rehearsals and a fire in a barn, which the teacher is suspected of setting, the final concert takes place, which goes off splendidly.
Im Kurort Kitzbühel lernt eine reiche Winterurlauberin den armen Hilfslehrer vom Nachbardorf kennen, der seine Schüler zum Kinderchor formiert und eine Bauerntochter gegen den Widerstand des Vaters heiraten will. Nach Kinderskirennen, Krippenspielproben und dem Brand einer Scheune, wobei der Lehrer gar als Täter verdächtigt wird, löst das umjubelte Schlusskonzert alles in Wohlgefallen auf.
Thank you and the best to all of you,