“Poor Faust, why do you seek death when you have not yet lived?” That does seem kind of backward. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they head for the realm of silent horror with F.W. Murnau’s Faust (1926). Care to make a bargain?
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 145 – Faust (1926)
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The demon Mephisto has a bet with an Archangel that he can corrupt a righteous man’s soul and destroy in him what is divine. If he succeeds, the Devil will win dominion over the earth.
- Director: F.W. Murnau
- Writers: Gerhart Hauptmann (titles), Hans Kyser (titles), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (play “Faust”) (as Johann Wolfgang Goethe)
- Producer: Erich Pommer
- Cinematographer: Carl Hoffmann
- Selected Cast:
- Gösta Ekman as Faust
- Emil Jannings as Mephisto
- Camilla Horn as Gretchen
- Frida Richard as Gretchen’s mother
- William Dieterle as Valentin, Gretchen’s brother
- Yvette Guilbert as Marthe Schwerdtlein, Gretchen’s aunt
- Eric Barclay as Duke of Parma
- Hanna Ralph as Duchess of Parma
- Werner Fuetterer as Archangel
Featuring innovative special effects for the time, Faust, directed by F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, 1922), is one of the preeminent examples of German expressionism. Faust is Murnau’s final German film before heading to the U.S. where he would make three more films before passing in 1931 at the young age of 42. In the movie, Mephisto sets out to prove to an Archangel that he can corrupt a man’s soul. An early example of superb cinema and intellectual horror, it is a must-see indeed. Check out what the Grue-Crew thinks of this true masterpiece.
At the time of this writing, Faust can be streamed from the Classic Horror Movie Channel, Kanopy, and Hoopla, as well as various subscription and PPV options. The movie is also available on physical media as a Blu-ray from Kino Lorber’s Kino Classics line. If you haven’t yet experienced Faust, there is no time like the present.
If silent films are your thing, you might want to check out these episodes of the Classic Era focusing on silent horror films:
- THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) – Episode 13
- NOSFERATU (1922) – Episode 21
- THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925) – Episode 42
- THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1927) – Episode 60
- HÄXAN (1922) – Episode 79
- PHANTOM CARRIAGE (1921) – Episode 85
- THE GOLEM (1920) – Episode 99
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Jeff. In honor of Raquel Welch’s passing on 15 February 2023, the crew’s next topic will be Fantastic Voyage (1966). Despite what you might think, the film is not based on an Isaac Asimov novel. It does, however, feature Oscar-winning special effects along with performances from Donald Pleasance and a bevy of top-notch character actors.
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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for watching and listening!”