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Pandora's Box (Criterion Collection) (1929)

Cast: Louise Brooks, Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, more...
Director: G.W. Pabst, G.W. Pabst
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Germany, Criterion Collection
Subtitles: English, German

Synopsis
German filmmaker G.W. Pabst's late-silent classic Pandora's Box (Die Büchse der Pandora) stars the hauntingly beautiful Louise Brooks as libertine dancer Lulu. Ever out for the "main chance," Lulu persuades her wealthy lover Dr. Schön (Fritz Kortner) to marry her. But in a fit of jealous rage, he pulls a gun, a scuffle ensues, and she shoots him. Eventually escaping to London with the doctor's moonstruck son Alwa (Francis Lederer), Lulu takes up residence with her "adopted" father Schigolch (Carl Götz), where she is reduced to walking the streets, with tragic consequences. Pandora's Box (based on two works by the controversial German writer Franz Wedekind) exudes smoky sensuality in every frame; regarded now as a masterpiece, the film received surprisingly scathing reviews, with most of the critical broadsides aimed at Louise Brooks (this was long before Brooks graduated from just another pretty Hollywood starlet to Cult Goddess). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the definitive Munich Film Museum restoration
  • Four musical scores, each offering its own interpretation of the film
  • Audio commentary by film scholars Thomas Elsaesser and Mary Ann Doane
  • Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998), a 60-minute documentary by Hugh Munro Neeley
  • Lulu in Berlin (1971), a rare, 48-minute interview with Louise Brooks by documentarian Richard Leacock and Susan Steinberg Woll
  • New video interviews with Leacock, about Brooks, and Michael Pabst, the director's son
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Stills gallery
PLUS: A book featuring Kenneth Tynan's 1979 essay "The Girl in the Black Helmet," an article by Louise Brooks on her relationship with Pabst, and a new essay by critic J. Hoberman

GreenCine Member Ratings

Pandora's Box (Criterion Collection) (1929)
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8.00 (48 votes)
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Pandora's Box (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1929)
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7.36 (11 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

Not to Miss! by Scaramouche December 31, 2006 - 3:12 PM PST
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5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This is a pretty incredible film, particularly considering it was made in 1929. Brooks' performance is modern, sexy, beguiling. The direction is perfect and the cinematography and lighting, viewed in this excellent restoration, is a perfect example of German expressionist cinema. It's also interesting to see its depiction of Germany in the midst of the depression and just a few years before Hitler came to power. There are also four soundtracks to select from, although I think that the first of the four is the only one that captures the period and the style. Criterion has done it again.

More reviews for titles in this product:


Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
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Films I always recommend to my friends
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