- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 50 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: December 14, 2004
- Originally Released: 1919
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Gay-Themed Films Of The German Silent Era
One of the first gay-themed films in the history of cinema, Different From the Others was banned at the time of its release, later burned by the Nazis and was believed lost for more than forty years. Using recently discovered film segments, still photos and censorship documents from different archives, Filmmuseum Muenchen has resurrected this truly groundbreaking silent film for DVD.
Enacted in 1871, the German penal code's Paragraph 175 sentenced thousands of accused German homosexual men to jail terms for "unnatural vice between men." In 1919, director Richard Oswald (Tales of the Uncanny) and psychologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld created a film intended to expose the unjust Paragraph 175 and help liberate the "third sex" from legal persecution and public scorn. Different From the Others casts Conrad Veidt (Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) as Paul Korner, a gay concert pianist blackmailed by a closeted low-life named Bollek. When Korner's budding romance with a handsome young music student runs afoul of Bollek's extortion, Korner goes to the German courts for protection. But the draconian Paragraph 175 makes criminals out of both accuser and accused, and the love Korner has found may cost him his career, his freedom or his life.
Conrad Veidt's uncompromising performance (the same year as his legendary portrayal of Cesar the somnambulist in Caligari) places a human face on Hirschfeld's reformist fervor and Oswald's tragic melodrama. In its frank depiction of gay bars, closeted homosexuality, and the suffocating expectations of straight society, Different From the Others is both a fascinating time capsule and a remarkably modern cinematic plea for tolerance and change.
The first film to positively depict homosexual relations was released in Germany in 1919, 50 years before the gay liberation movement began in the US. A masterpiece of the silent era from acclaimed director Richard Oswald (AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS, LUCRETIA BORGIA) DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS starred one of the most popular German actors of the period, Conrad Veidt (THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, CASABLANCA). The film was a direct condemnation of the German penal code's Paragraph 175, which sentenced those who were guilty of "unnatural vice between men" to serve a prison sentence. This historical milestone positively depicts gay lifestyles, condemns the cruel system that forced them to live in terror, and advocated the freedom of the "third sex." Though initially a moderate success at the box office, the film was subjected to sabotage from anti-gay activists, and eventually banned under the Nazi regime. Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, head of the Institute of Sexology in Berlin, produced and starred in the film, and possessed the last print in his library; when this was raided by the Nazis, who burned everything, DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS was thought to have been lost for good. 43 years later a partial print was discovered in a Ukrainian archive in 1976. Combining this with still photographs and censorship documents, the current version was pieced together.
Veidt plays Paul Korner, a successful gay concert pianist who one night accepts an offer for a walk home from the shady Franz Bolleck, who intimates an interest in him. Upon arriving at their destination, Bolleck reveals his true intention: a blackmail threat to expose Korner's violation of Paragraph 175 if he refuses to pay up. While enduring this prolonged extortion, Korner falls in love with one of his piano students, but as Bolleck asks for increasing amounts of money, Korner gets fed up and goes to the courts. Condemning Bolleck for blackmail, they also sentence Korner to serve time for his homosexuality, and upon his release he finds that all of his music contracts have been terminated due to his now sullied reputation. The consequences of Korner's act of speaking up may now cost him his career, his love, and his life.
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- Sales Rank: 90,338
- UPC: 738329039127
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item