- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 31 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: July 27, 2010
- Originally Released: 1913
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
The Student of Prague (1913, B&W, 41 minutes):
Balduin (Paul Wegener) is a penniless student in 19th century Prague who, in a chance encounter, rescues the beautiful Countess Margit Schwarzenberg and becomes romantically obsessed with her. Scapinelli, the sorcerer, lures the student with a bargain - 100,000 gold pieces - a vast fortune - in return for which "...he shall take from this room whatsoever he chooseth for his own use..." and Balduin hastily signs the contract. Much to the student's astonishment, the old magician approaches a large mirror, extracts Balduin's reflection and departs with it! Intoxicated with his new-found wealth, the student is unaware that he is now doomed to a horrific fate. With it's Faustian theme, 1913's The Student Of Prague
is one of the first "horror" movies and a true classic of German expressionist cinema. Alpha Video is pleased to present this landmark film with an original score by Paul David Bergel and completely restored title cards.
The Student of Prague (1926, B&W, 41 minutes): Although he is known as the finest fencer in Prague, Balduin bemoans his lot in life. In the depths of his despair, the poor university student is accosted by the mysterious Scapinelli, who makes him a deal that seems too good to be true: in exchange for his choice of Balduin's meager possessions, Scapinelli offers the staggering sum of 600,000 gold pieces. Agreeing to the terms, Balduin watches in amazement as Scapinelli approaches the mirror and summons Balduin's reflection from it, walking away with the blank-faced doppleganger in tow. Balduin senses he's made a terrible mistake, but begins to enjoy his new life as a wealthy socialite, finding love with a young countess. The hefty price of his bargain becomes clear, though, as his reflection begins to interfere with his newfound happiness in a most sinister way. This highly-acclaimed 1926 version of The Student of Prague features Conrad Veidt in the lead role of Balduin. Veidt made a name for himself in numerous German Expressionist films of the silent era, including The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, where he portrayed the somnambulist Cesare. After fleeing Hitler's Germany in the thirties, Veidt appeared primarily in American produced films, among them Casablanca, which found him playing Nazi officer Heinrich Strasser.
Hanns Heinz Ewers's tome THE STUDENT OF PRAGUE received two separate silent screen incarnations: one in 1913 at the hands of director Stellan Rye, and another in 1926 at the hands of director Henrik Galeen; this set includes both films, full and complete as they originally aired. Regarded as one of the first horror movies ever made, the 1913 version stars Paul Wegener as Balduin, a poor student in 19th Century Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire, who rescues Countess Margit Schwarzenberg, then grows romantically fixated on her. Taking advantage of these feelings, Scalpinelli, a local sorcerer, offers the student 100,000 gold pieces and the lure of romance in exchange for Balduin's soil, which he extracts via a reflection in a mirror - thus dooming the naïve Balduin to a fate worse than death. The second film in the set stars the legendary Conrad Veidt (CASABLANCA) as Balduin, who in this case sustains a reputation as one of the most skilled fencers in all of Prague, but bemoans his low station in life - until Scalpinelli (Werner Krauss) turns up and offers him 600,000 gold pieces in return for any item of Balduin's that he chooses - with disastrous consequences for the young student. Both versions of the film, as is apparent from these synopses, constitute variations on the Faust legend.