The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg

Live Musical Accompaniment by Martin Marks
Screening on Film
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
With Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, Jean Hersholt.
US, 1928, 35mm, black & white, silent, 120 min.
Print source: Warner Bros.

After his five silent masterpieces for Warner Brothers, Lubitsch moved to MGM for this adaptation of a popular 1901 German play, not the 1924 Sigmund Romberg operetta also based on the play. A lonely prince from a tiny European country finds love with a commoner when he goes off to college at Heidelberg, only to be called home to assume the throne. Lubitsch predates the bittersweet illustration of duty as the death of love that would be the theme of Stroheim’s The Wedding March the following year and a major preoccupation of Max Ophuls’ films in subsequent decades. Lubitsch also abandons his customary satirical approach to romance, presenting the love story simply and directly, to devastating emotional effect.

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That Certain Feeling... The Touch of Ernst Lubitsch

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.