|**Kino** has announced Murnau for release on March 17th. |
The titles are listed below and the six-disc set will retail for $99.95, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $69.99. The only title of the bunch not previously released on DVD is The Finances of the Grand Duke (1924), with The Haunted Castle (1921) being rescued from public domain and Faust (1926) receiving a new 2-disc deluxe edition.
While Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (1924) and Faust (1926) are all available as singles in 2-disc deluxe editions, each version of the movies in this set will only contain a restored single disc version.
Titles with previous release information (if any):
Tartuffe (1927 - Previous Kino release that is being re-packaged, but not available for individual resale)
The most gifted visual storyteller of the German silent era, F.W. Murnau crafted works of great subtlety and emotional complexity through his absolute command of of the cinematic medium. Known for such dazzling films as Nosferatu (1922), The Last Laugh (1924), Faust (1926) and Sunrise (1927), Murnau was also drawn to more intimate dramas exploring the dark corners of the human mind.
In Tartuffe, he revisits Moliere's fable of religious hypocrisy, in which a faithful wife (Lil Dagover) tries to convince her husband (Werner Krauss) that their morally superior guest, Tartuffe (Emil Jannings), is in fact a lecherous hypocrite with a taste for the grape. To endow the story with contemporary relevance, Murnau frames Moliere's tale with a modern-day plot concerning a housekeeper's stealthy efforts to poison her elderly master and take control of his estate.
Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with such films as Faust and The Last Laugh, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a storm-bound manor and the grim mystery that lurks within. A hunting party is interrupted by the arrival of a notorious Count (Lothar Mehnert), who is believed to have murdered his brother. The uninvited guest sets in motion an elaborate plot to resurrect the ghosts of the past and bring to light the dark secret that lies at the center of his brother's death. The foreboding atmosphere and psychological complexity inspired Murnau to delve deeper into the horror genre, which he did the following year, with the immortal vampire tale Nosferatu (1922).
In one of the most eclectic films of the German silent era, visual stylist F.W. Murnau (Faust, Sunrise) broke away from the dark, foreboding dramas for which he was known to explore the realm of light comedy. Working from a screenplay by Thea von Harbou (Spies, Metropolis), Murnau crafted a playful espionage thriller reminiscent of Ernst Lubitsch (who had recently left Germany for Hollywood). Harry Liedtke stars as a “benevolent dictator” who must preserve the tiny nation of Abacco by fending off creditors, wooing a wealthy Russian princess (Mady Christians), and evading a band of demonic conspirators (including Nosferatu himself, Max Schreck).
Mobilizing the full resources of the Ufa Studios, F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Sunrise) orchestrated a colossal adaptation of Goethe’s Faust that ranks alongside Fritz Lang's Metropolis as the greatest achievement of the German silent cinema. Gosta Ekman stars as the titular alchemist who, struggling with his faith amidst a devastating plague, is offered the power to cure and the gift of youth...in exchange for his soul. As the diabolical Mephisto, Emil Jannings (The Last Laugh) delivers a performance of operatic scale and intensity, by turns charming, comical, and horrific. This special Kino edition contains the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation’s meticulous restoration of the original German version of the film (with unique hand-painted intertitles), as well as a lengthier alternate cut prepared by the Ufa Studios in 1930.
The Last Laugh (1924) - Previous Kino Release