Movie InfoFaust 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, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Faust
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.
As atmospheric and menacing a work as the expressionist movement ever produced.
Here is a picture which is as far removed from the ordinary movie as a Tintoretto painting.
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.
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.
Still a classic example of eye-popping excess at a time when German filmmakers were among the most innovative in the world.
Faust is a tragedy drawn in magnificent images like paintings in light and shadow and is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful of Murnau's German films.
A great work by a great director, and one of the most instantly accessible silent films ever made.
Revisits the German legend of Dr. Faustus with an amazing use of expressionistic visuals.
Faust an extremely stylish horror fantasy in the best tradition of German silent cinema, featuring brilliant photography, magnificent art direction, and magical special effects which still have the power to amaze.
Films from the German Expressionism era are famous for their fiercely stylized mise-en-scene, and to Murnau the medium's very artificiality provided the keys to locating its truths.
A masterpiece of expressionistic filmmaking, a silent classic that is unfortunately deeply flawed by a maudlin second act.
Brilliant Murnau fantasy
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.More
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.More
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.More
The first half is off-the-wall spectacularly rendered both visually and aesthetically, and the second half is a somewhat silly romance between Mephisto and a witch and Faust and Gretchen. The finale makes up for the slow, meandering second half. Seems like it's true enough to Goethe's play, so I give it points for managing to retain its intelligence. F. W. Murnau is certainly one of the creative geniuses of cinema. For a 2 hour epic silent movie, I have to admit that it holds up pretty well. 100/100More
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