Paracelsus, (G.W. Pabst, Werner Krauss) DVD
"The Most Exquisitely Crafted Film Biography Made During The Third Reich!"
Our enemy is death. Sixteenth-century, Swiss-born, philosopher-healer Paracelsus (Werner Krauss) upsets Baselís medical and political establishment with homeopathic methods of treating illness. Paracelsus is a sumptuously produced, tumultuous costume biography produced by Bavaria-Filmkunst in Prague. It is one of the most robust epics in Third Reich cinema, featuring spectacular sets and costumes and impressive performances from some of the great names of Ď20s and Ď30s German film. Paracelsusí chief adversary, Baselís town doctor, is played by veteran character actor Fritz Rasp (Metropolis), who, in one of the finest character parts of the Nazi era, virtually steals the picture from its star, Werner Krauss (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Tartuffe, The Student of Prague). The filmís most celebrated setpiece is an astonishingly macabre, Expressionist dance that symbolizes the entry of the Black Death into quarantined Basel. This brilliantly choreographed Totentanz (Dance of Death), performed by the juggler Fliegenbein (Harald Kreutzberg), has been observed, in one of cinemaís great shock moments, by the figure of Death. Paracelsus, combatting obscurantists in medicine, is presented as a Faustlike healer with a National Socialist worldview. Abandoned by all, as Frederick the Great and Adolf Hitler would be, Paracelsus perseveres, a heroic figure to whom all must turn whenever there is misery and suffering. There are those who claim that director G. W. Pabstís talkies are inferior to his silent work. But although The Love of Jeanne Ney, Pandoraís Box, and Diary of a Lost Girl remain his best efforts, the talkies Westfront 1918, Die 3 Groschenoper, and Kameradschaft are better than most other directorsí best work. Paracelsus is very nearly one of these and is long overdue for reappraisal.
Directed by G. W. Pabst. Starring Werner Krauss, Annelies Reinhold, Harry Langewisch, Mathias Wieman, Fritz Rasp, Harald Kreutzberg. Cinematography by Bruno Stephan. Music by Herbert Windt.
Germany, 1943, B&W, 102 minutes. German dialogue, English subtitles.
DVD Special Features:
- Three Historical Background Autoplay Slideshows:
- Werner Krauss (5 min.)
- G.W. Pabst (6 min.)
- Paracelsus & the End of the Third Reich (5 min.)
- Original Promotional Materials:
- Illustrierter Film-Kurier w/ English Translation
- Production Stills & Posters
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.