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Sumurun


List Price: $29.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ernst Lubitsch, Pola Negri, Paul Wegener, Jenny Hasselqvist, Aud Egede-Nissen
  • Directors: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Writers: Ernst Lubitsch, Friedrich Freksa, Hanns Kräly, Richard Rieß
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLQPWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,390 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sumurun" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

In the early 1920s, Ernst Lubitsch was among Germany's leading directors and one of the few European filmmakers to consistently find success at the American box office. Sumurun, originally released in the U.S. under the title One Arabian Night, was among his greatest triumphs and helped secure his invitation to Hollywood. This exotic spectacle stars Jenny Hasselqvist (The Saga of G+Ýsta Berling) as Sumurun, a rebellious member of a harem who has committed the greatest of sins: she has rejected the old sheikh and instead fallen in love with a charming cloth merchant. Lubitsch expertly interweaves Sumurun's tale with several other related stories, and the result is a wonderful blend of melodrama and comedy. The cast also includes screen legend Pola Negri (Forbidden Paradise) as a traveling dancer who is drawn to both the harem and to the sheikh's handsome son, famed director-actor Paul Wegener (The Golem) as the tyrannical, lecherous old sheikh, and Lubitsch himself as a hunchbacked clown in love with Negri. Sumurun was based on a pantomime act that had been a popular success for Lubitsch's mentor, the theater director Max Reinhardt. The New York Times labeled the film "an exceptional production," and Lewis Jacobs, in his book The Rise of the American Film, wrote that Sumurun "not only revealed Lubitsch as an ingenious director of comedy, but introduced a risqu+ª wit that killed the heavy-handed American sex and style displays. This film presaged the flock of films Lubitsch was to make in America and was to have a lasting influence on American productions generally."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on February 25, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thanks to KINO VIDEO's set of four new releases in the "Lubitsch in Berlin" series we can now get a better understanding and appreciation of Ernst Lubitsch's contribution to the silent film era. Regarded as one of Germany's leading directors, he stands out as uniquely different from his contemporaries and their works, namely Fritz Lang (who directed "Metropolis") F.W. Murnau ("Faust", "Nosferatu", "The Last Laugh") and G.W. Pabst ("Pandora's Box" and "Diary of a Lost Girl" with Louise Brooks) While German silent cinema was known for its Expressionist style, and generally serious with use of special lighting and shadows, Lubitsch's films are a refreshing contrast with their light, straight-forward and often humorous approach. Lubitsch's early German Silents also reveal his wide range of talents, covering different styles of comedy such as "Wildcat" and "The Oyster Princess" but also serious historic dramas such as "Anna Boleyn" (all in the `Lubitsch in Berlin' series by KINO) and not only was he a very versatile and innovative director as well as co-writer of many films, but his acting should not be overlooked either. "Sumurun" is a surprise in many ways, not in the least in Lubitsch's fairly important role of `the Hunchback' which, to me, stands out as the most eccentric and unforgettable character of the entire film.

One of the main things which struck me about "Sumurun" was first of all its style and sophistication which seem to be far superior to many films of the same year, 1920. Germans, in fact, were quite sophisticated in the 1920s and were particularly fascinated by exotic settings and places, so little wonder that "Sumurun" with its Arabian Nights sets and costumes was a big success, and not only in Germany but also in the USA.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alberto M. Barral on April 20, 2010
Format: DVD
All one can remember from the complex plot of this movie which is yet another "Arabian" fantasy is the presence of Pola Negri. She plays a dancer in a traveling troupe that is forced to get the attention of the local sheik to protect her fellow performers, and allow the troupe to work the streets of the city.

She plays the role of the dancer-courtesan to the hilt and her wild and frenzied dance sequence alone is already worth the price of admission. The settings and costumes are clearly influenced by the aesthetics of Diaghelev's Ballet Russes that were still the hot ticket in Paris when this film was made. Particularly it reminded me of "Scheherazade" choreographed by Mikhail Fokine with Ida Rubenstein and Vaslav Nijinski in the title roles, which I have seen produced by the Marinski Ballet and has similar costumes,(Leon Bakst designed the original costumes and his designs have been preserved) particularly for the eunuch, as the ones in the film. The ballet caused a great sensation when it premiered in 1910 as it turned out to have one of Nijinsky's most memorable roles as the slave.

In this film Pola Negri is exquisite in her sultry, sensuous persona and one understands her star status from watching her go for it in this film. She is the seductress-gypsy par excellence and it is only when we see her that the movie really comes alive.
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By Billiam C. on January 15, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Video not quite as sharp as I had hoped, but quite good. Interesting story. Pola Negri's attempts to be sexy were unintentionally funny.
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