Faust (1926) - Rotten Tomatoes

Faust (1926)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Faust was the mammoth German production which won F. W. Murnau his contract with Hollywood's Fox Studios. Emil Jannings glowers his way through the role of Mephistopholes, who offers the aging Faust (Gosta Eckman) an opportunity to relive his youth, the price being Faust's soul. Though highly stylized, the film is unsettlingly realistic at times, especially during the execution of the unfortunate Gretchen. Even in old age, actress Camilla Horn could recall how close she came to genuine immolation when Murnau burned her at the stake. An American version of Faust had been planned earlier as a Mary Pickford vehicle, but Pickford's mother wanted no part of a film in which her darling daughter strangled her own baby. The scenario for Faust touches lightly upon the previous retellings by Goethe and Marlowe, but is more heavily reliant on the paintings of Pietr Breughel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Horror, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Hans Kyser
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 5, 2001

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Emil Jannings
as Mephisto
Camilla Horn
as Marguerite
Eric Barclay
as Duke of Parma
Hanna Ralph
as Duchess of Parma
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Faust

Critic Reviews for Faust

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

This extraordinary piece of artistry and craftsmanship integrates its dazzling special effects so seamlessly that they're indistinguishable from the film's narrative, poetry, and, above all, metaphysics.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

As atmospheric and menacing a work as the expressionist movement ever produced.

Full Review… | September 25, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Here is a picture which is as far removed from the ordinary movie as a Tintoretto painting.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Murnau's version of the story of the man who sold his soul to the Devil (Jannings) in return for youth is visually extraordinary but dismally uneven in terms of its dramatic effect.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

I sometimes feel, in this age of expert CGI, that I am being shown too much -- that technique is pushing aside artistry and imagination. The world of Faust is never intended to define a physical universe, but is a landscape of nightmares.

Full Review… | January 20, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Still a classic example of eye-popping excess at a time when German filmmakers were among the most innovative in the world.

April 15, 2005
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Faust


Yes, this movie has cool special effects and a classic tale, but I didn't really enjoy it. The story is great and it could have been much more exciting than what Murnau did with it. I've seen many movies with this same story, so you kinda get bored with it after a while, I suppose.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


For people who can still appreciate something made in the prior century (and those numbers are dwindling), Murnau's vision of "Faust" begins with what was at the time a revolutionary visual, and still today is a provacative and effective image. There are any many variations on Faust, and I like the plot details of this one the best. The Faust and Mephistopheles are well acted; I particularly like the facial expressions of this Faust.

_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

F.W Murnau's crafty direction and Emil Jenning's disturbing charm gives us a plunge into men's most dark ambition, sin and redemption.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

Faust Quotes

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