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92 Ratings



Directed by Ewald André Dupont
Germany, 1925
Crime, Drama, Romance


Boss, a former trapeze artist, and his wife run a cheap side-show displaying ‘’erotic sensations’’. But he longs for his former life in the circus. When he meets the orphan Berta-Marie, he falls under her spell and leaves his wife and young son behind.
(Also known as Vaudeville or Jealousy.)

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Variety Directed by Ewald André Dupont
It was made towards the end of the German Expressionist movement, at a time when increasing advances in film technique could be used to tell disturbingly simple stories. Dupont and his celebrated cinematographer Karl Freund employ a web of complex camera movements to depict people who are fundamentally entrapped.
January 11, 2017
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The film is a technical marvel, and the sense of atmosphere easily bests the leaden theatrics of Benjamin Christensen’s THE DEVIL’S CIRCUS (1926). The razzle-dazzle is on par with Dupont’s subsequent PICADILLY (1929), but viewers today are more likely to view VARIETÉ in the context of Emil Jannings’ career rather than Dupont’s.
September 30, 2016
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What is most striking now is the film’s focus on voyeurism. One scene in which we see a topless acrobat reflected in the opera glasses of her rapt audience is strongly reminiscent of the opening sequence of Hitchcock’s debut film The Pleasure Garden (1925); others bring to mind The Ring (1927), Hitchcock’s first film for British International Pictures (where Dupont went on to make Piccadilly in 1929).
September 07, 2015

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