From its elaborate and stylish opening scenes, Asphalt immediately establishes itself as a startling achievement. This unforgettable film is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something more complex and inherently cinematic. Although influenced by such classics as The Last Laugh and Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Asphalt is a unique look at urban life and a classic in its own right.
Gustav Frohlich, best known as the young protagonist of Metropolis, stars as Holk, a strait-laced traffic cop who has the simple task of escorting a diamond thief to the police station. However, the thief is the exotic and beautiful Else (played by Betty Amann), which makes the task far from simple. The stage is thus set for a scandalous turn of events, and the drama is made all the more exciting thanks to the dynamic photography of Gunther Rittau (The Blue Angel) and the equally impressive sets of Erich Kettelhut (Metropolis
Joe May's 1929 drama is a masterpiece of German film of the silent era, providing a stylized look at Berlin nightlife and an inspiration for countless films noirs to follow. Betty Amann (NANCY DREW...REPORTER) stars as a poor but well-dressed woman who steals a valuable jewel while distracting the store owner with her charms. A naive but good-looking traffic cop (Gustav Froehlich) catches her, but his attempts to arrest her are thwarted by her attempts at seduction, which are eventually, inevitably, successful.
Film Noir |
Silent Films |
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