Faust. 1926. Germany. Directed by F. W. Murnau. Screenplay by Hans Kyser, Gerhart Hauptmann. With Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard, Wilhelm Dieterle. English intertitles, translated for the first time from novelist Gerhart Hauptmann’s original German titles. 109 min.
F. W. Murnau’s now-classic film version of Faust is presented for the first time in a new English translation. The Munich Filmmuseum’s restoration presents the Ufa studio’s Goethe adaptation in a radically new light, reconstructing celebrated novelist Gerhart Hauptmann’s original verse intertitles, which the screenwriter Hans Kyser had successfully maneuvered to excise from the film’s release version. Hauptmann’s original titles significantly alter the rhythm and character of the film, placing greater emphasis on the power of the images. On January 17, Filmmuseum director Stefan Droessler puts this fascinating production in a historical context in his illustrated lecture, showing rare test footage of Ernst Lubitsch’s never-realized film adaptation and other attempts to bring the Goethe play to the screen.
New digital preservation with piano score by Richard Siedhoff, courtesy Munich Filmmuseum