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One of the masters of early German cinema, G.W. Pabst had an innate talent for discovering actresses (including Greta Garbo). And perhaps none of his female stars shone brighter than Kansas native and onetime Ziegfeld girl Louise Brooks, whose legendary persona was defined by Pabsts lurid, controversial melodrama Pandoras Box. Sensationally modern, the film follows the downward spiral of the fiery, brash, yet innocent showgirl Lulu, whose sexual vivacity has a devastating effect on everyone she comes in contact with. Daring and stylish, Pandoras Box is one of silent cinemas great masterworks, and a testament to Brookss dazzling individuality.
G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box serves as a filmic window into the decadent Weimar Republic because of its tauntingly beautiful star, Louise Brooks. Brooks, encompassing the very essence of sexual allure and mystery, is iconically linked to her character, Lulu, the dancer-turned-streetwalker who captivates all men in her path with her elusive beauty. Set in Berlin, 1928, Pandora's Box is about Lulu, an aspiring star whose patron, Dr. Schön (Fritz Kortner), finds loyalty to his fiancé impossible because of Lulu's unsurpassed charm. Schön's son, Alwa, also falls in love with Lulu until a series of tragic incidents render them destitute in London, where Lulu resorts to prostitution and, in a final devastating scene, picks up her final john, Jack the Ripper. In the silent film era, Brooks's expressive face and graceful movements enabled her to epitomize a Roaring Twenties' version of feminism: innocence underpinned by sexual innuendo. Key scenes in Pandora's Box, such as when Lulu thrills at Dr. Schön's fiancé discovering he and Lulu embraced, or when Lulu's gleaming eyes mimic Jack the Ripper's polished knife blade, are radically risqué examples of all-time seductive cinematic moments. The Criterion Collection's beautifully packaged release of Pandora's Box features a thorough booklet of essays and photos, as well as a biographical documentary about Brooks and an interview with Pabst's son, Michael. After languishing in obscurity for many years preceding her death in the '80s, Louise Brooks will now forever be remembered as Lulu, Hollywood's finest vixen. --Trinie Dalton
Pandora's Box, the movie is excellent. Louise Brooks is sensational.
That said, this review concerns the Criterion Collection's quality control over their... Read more
I already had this film on VHS and on DVD but when I saw there was a Criterion release there wasn't any real debate about getting it again. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mick Jordan
When recently looking for this title, was disappointed that (mostly used) copies were being sold, at upwards of $100. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jrum C.
"Pandora's Box", a silent film made when "talkies" were just coming into vogue in 1929, was not very successful at the box office. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Peter Baklava
I was looking to reorder the movies and documentaries that were stolen and I ran across this collection. I ordered it and couldn't be happier! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Michele R Clark
PANDORA'S BOX is the photoplay that earned beautifully bobbed flapper Louise Brooks international fame. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Annie Van Auken
Agree with the consensus that this film is a classic: great b&w atmosphere, effectively conveys the decadence of Weimar Germany, etc. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bryan