Genuine (film)

Genuine (original German title: Genuine, die Tragödie eines seltsamen Hauses; literally: Genuine, the tragedy of a strange house) is a 1920 German silent horror film directed by Robert Wiene. It was also released as Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire. Director Wiene created Genuine as a follow-up to his massively successful 1919 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, using the same writer and cinematographer who had worked on the earlier film. Production designer Cesar Klein even returned to contribute his bizarre Caligari-like imagery to the film.[2].

Genuine
Directed byRobert Wiene
Produced byRudolf Meinert
Erich Pommer
Written byCarl Mayer
StarringFern Andra
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
Albert Bennefeld
John Gottowt
Louis Brody
CinematographyWilly Hameister
Distributed byDecla-Bioscop
Release date
  • 2 September 1920 (1920-09-02) (Berlin)

  • 12 December 1921 (1921-12-12) (Finland)
Running time
88 minutes (43 minutes extant condensed version)[1]
CountryWeimar Republic
LanguageSilent film
German intertitles

Genuine is not actually a vampire in the film, but rather a vamp (succubus) who uses her powers of seduction to torment and control the men who love her. There is a bit of surprising nudity in the slave market sequence. The plot utilizes the old it was all just a dream-type ending, as the proceedings are revealed to be a dream suffered by a man who falls asleep while reading a scary book. The film did not do well at the box office, but Wiene returned to form with his 1924 opus The Hands of Orlac[3]. Genuine was edited down into a 43-minute condensed version, which is the only cut available today unfortunately, making it very hard to judge the film[4].

Plot

Since completing a portrait of Genuine, a high priestess, Percy becomes irritable and withdrawn. He loses interest in painting and refuses to see his friends, preferring to spend his time alone with the portrait in his study. After turning down a wealthy patron's offer to buy the picture, Percy falls asleep while reading stories of Genuine's life. Genuine comes to life from the painting and escapes.

Genuine is purchased at a slave market by an old eccentric named Lord Melo. He learns that she had been sold into slavery when her people were conquered by a rival tribe. Melo locks her in an opulent chamber beneath his house, though she begs to be set free.

Guyard the barber visits Lord Melo every day at noon, though today he sends his young nephew Florian in his place. Meanwhile, Genuine breaks out of her underground prison, climbs the immense staircase to find Florian shaving the sleeping Lord Melo. She bewitches him into slitting Melo's throat with a straight razor. Florian falls under Genuine's spell, but when she demands that he prove his love for her by taking his own life, he cannot go through with it and is forced to make his escape.

Melo's grandson Percy arrives at the house. He too becomes infatuated with Genuine, quickly forgetting any questions he has about his grandfather's sudden death. Although Genuine loves Percy in return, their romance is destined to be short-lived. Guyard, stirred up by Florian's tales of murder and witchcraft, arms a mob with scythes and bludgeons and storms Melo's house. Florian, still infatuated with Genuine, secretly makes his own way inside, determined that he shall have her, or no one will.

Cast

  • Albert Bennefeld as Curzon

Release

Home media

On November 18, 2014, Kino Lorber released a restoration of Wiene's earlier film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. A tinted 43-minute abridgement of Genuine was included as a part of the film's special features.[5][6] A black-and-white transfer of the same abridgement was released on DVD by Alpha Video in 2015, supplemented by the 1928 American short film The Fall of the House of Usher.[7] The complete 88-minute version of Genuine has never had a home video release.

References

  1. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 219.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 219.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 219.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  4. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 219.ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  5. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2014 restoration) - Kino Lorber Theatrical". Kino Lorber.com. Kino Lorber. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  6. Anton Kaes (2 October 2011). Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War. Princeton University Press. p. 253. ISBN 0-691-00850-7.
  7. "Genuine (1920) - Robert Wiene". Allmovie.com. AllMovie. Retrieved 26 June 2018.


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