Weimar Cinema 1919-1933
Beyond Your Wildest Dreams. Groundbreaking, imaginative, innovative and astonishingly modern: welcome to the dreamscapes and nightmares of this creative era.
Revolutionary chaos, surreal inflation, the shock of defeat: such was the nightmare experienced by Germans in the turbulent aftermath of World War One. In the fast-paced, unstable Weimar Republic, cinema was the latest sensation – a dream machine for a new mass audience. Thanks to brilliant aesthetic and technical innovations, Germany’s film industry was soon second only to Hollywood, conjuring the most extraordinary visions. Even our innermost fears found visible form in its famous brand of ‘haunted screen’ horror. But nightmares were only part of the dreamscape. Our collection highlights some of different styles and genres from this groundbreaking era of German cinema.
Throughout this period of polarised politics – increasingly overshadowed by the rise of Nazism – Weimar cinema posed vital questions. From a detached, pacifist approach to war and international relations to stirring critiques of the capitalist system, it still speaks urgently to our concerns. These are dreams which warn and inspire.
Science Fiction1927150 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s expressionist, dystopian vision is one of the first science fiction feature films, and is arguably the most influential.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Horror191977 minsSilentDirector: Robert Wiene
One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s expressionist nightmare shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form.
From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses
Documentary2014114 minsDirector: Rüdiger Suchsland
Rüdger Suchsland’s 2014 documentary on the social and cultural impact of German cinema during the Weimar Republic.
The Blue Angel
Drama1930103 minsDirector: Josef von Sternberg
Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.
War193096 minsDirector: G.W. Pabst
Four infantrymen on the Western Front suffer the everyday hardships and insanity of trench warfare, in G.W. Pabst's anti-war classic.
Industry sponsored film193190 minsDirector: G.W. Pabst
A team of German miners risk their lives to rescue a team of French miners left trapped after an underground explosion, in this innovative disaster film from G. W. Pabst (Pandora's Box).
Crime1931111 minsDirector: Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre is unforgettable as the compulsive child murderer on the run from both police and criminals alike, in Fritz Lang’s seminal crime film.
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler Part 1 (The Great Gambler - A Picture of the Time)
Crime1922155 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain, is a masterpiece of conspiracy, fear and paranoia.
Dr Mabuse, the Gambler Part 2 (Inferno, A Game for the People of Our Age)
Crime1922115 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
The second part of Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain.
Horror192289 minsSilentDirector: F.W. Murnau
This influential Dracula adaptation contains some of the most famous images of expressionist film, with a new score by Hammer composer James Bernard.
Woman in the Moon
Science Fiction1929170 minsSilentDirector: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s second silent sci-fi classic after Metropolis is a space exploration saga about scheming scientists searching for gold on the moon.
Drama192594 minsSilentDirector: E.A. Dupont
This under-appreciated classic of German silent cinema stars Emil Jannings as Boss, a middle-aged circus acrobat whose life is derailed by a seductive stranger (Lya de Putti). With a new score by Stephen Horne.