Tartuffe (Masters of Cinema) View large image

Film Details

Directed by: F.W. Murnau

Produced: 1925

Countries & Regions: Germany

DVD Details

Certificate: U

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 24 January 2005

Cat No: EKA40074

Languages(s): English
Subtitles: English, German
Interactive Menu

Moviemail Details

Returns Policy
If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return it to us within 30 days. More Details

Tartuffe (Masters of Cinema)

Cast: Emil Jannings , Werner Krauss , Lil Dagover , Hermann Picha , Rosa Valetti , André Mattoni , Lucie Höflich

Availability: Not available.

F.W. Murnau’s adaptation of Molière’s satire, often overlooked in favour of his grander masterpieces ’Faust’ and ’Nosferatu’, delivers a... Read More

MovieMail Rating:
  • Currently 0.00/5
(Read Review)

Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Your Rating:
  • Currently 0.00/5
(Submit Review)

Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

, 0.0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings

Not available

Add to wishlist

F.W. Murnau’s adaptation of Molière’s satire, often overlooked in favour of his grander masterpieces ’Faust’ and ’Nosferatu’, delivers a strong morality lesson about the evils of hypocrisy and greed. Set in a contemporary 1920s setting and presented as a ’film-within-a-film’, the film tells the story of a devious housekeeper who convinces her master to cut his worthy grandson out of his will and leave the riches to her instead. The grandson responds by disguising himself as the projectionist of a travelling cinema show, and flatters his way into his grandfather’s home, where he shows his film of Tartuffe in an attempt to open his grandfather’ eyes to his housekeeper’s manipulations.

Between The Last Laugh and Faust, F W Murnau made this free adaptation of Moliere’s play about the hypocrite Tartuffe, stripping it to its essentials and presenting it as a film of a play within a film. Including elements of both farce and satire it’s further proof of just what an adaptable director Murnau was. We are fortunate to see the film at all. No original German negative of the film has survived and the print used is taken from the best of the four surviving copies – that of the American export version, which unfortunately was cut by the American censors, for whom the portrayal of the hypocrite Tartuffe was just too, well… hypocritical. Gone are the religious symbols that were part of Murnau’s anti-clerical design, gone too is a scene (fortunately preserved in another print and shown in the extras) in which Jannings’ portrayal of Tartuffe turns nasty and which is at odds with the caricature of Tartuffe he presents at other times – though at least this vicious aspect comes through in the bedroom scene in the surviving print. Jannings as usual relishes his part, leering and groping whenever he is safe to let his mask of myopic piety down, and at times Murnau films him as a vampiric shadow that stalks the house. Add the meticulous set design, good use of false perspective and cinematography from Karl Freund and you have a film which presents the themes and preoccupations of Murnau’s other works in a refreshingly different light.

Submit your review

It's Not too Late to add these...