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8.4
/10
21 Ratings

Tonka of the Gallows

Tonka Šibenice

Directed by Karl Anton
Czechoslovakia, Germany, 1930
Drama

Synopsis

Country girl Tonka, after arriving in Prague, becomes a prostitute in a brothel. But she misses home. When she gets time off she goes back to see her mother.

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Tonka of the Gallows Directed by Karl Anton

Critics reviews

The director, Karel Anton, soon moved on to a career directing comedies, which this film most assuredly is not. Based on a novel by Egon Erwin Kisch, it’s a melodrama that takes the hoariest of plots (country girl turns prostitute and can’t escape the life) and lifts it to another dimension altogether. As poor Tonka’s life spirals downward after she commits an act of generosity that turns her luck sour, Anton contrasts countryside and city in a way that is indeed very like Murnau’s masterpiece.
April 19, 2017
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This may sound like the usual ground-to-bits-by-the-gears-of-fate setup, but together Rina and Anton lend the material a harrowing conviction, and the last reel is a real running of the gauntlet, as those friendly peasant faces turn ghoulish and jeering, and Tonka swings between doss house and snow-swept streets, finally granted the happy ending that’s evaded her in an extended, shimmering death’s-doorstep hallucination.
April 10, 2017
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