Geheimnisse einer Seele (1925)

Geheimnisse einer Seele

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Movie Info

Deep-rooted anger and jealousies plague a mentally disturbed scientist as he contends with the irresistible urge to do away with his wife's recently returned cousin. Secrets of a Soul was the English language title of this exercise in psychological dread, replete with effectively conceived Freudian dream sequences.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: David Colin Ross, Karl Abraham, Hanns Sachs, Hans Neumann
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 19, 2008
Runtime:

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Cast


as Dr. Charles Orth

as Martin Feliman

as Fellmans Assistentin

as Dienstmaedchen

as His wife

as The mother
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Critic Reviews for Geheimnisse einer Seele

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Happy hour at Sigmund's

Full Review… | April 1, 2010
CinePassion

It's one of the first films to cover Freudian territory.

Full Review… | March 30, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Hey, Pabst! Blue ribbon!

July 21, 2004
New Times

June 17, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Full Review… | May 24, 2003
Film4

Audience Reviews for Geheimnisse einer Seele

½

G.W. Pabst's "Secrets of a Soul" is somewhat dated in its simplistic embrace of Freudian psychology, but it's still a stylish, entertaining work from a visionary director.

This 1926 silent opens with dumpy, middle-aged Martin Fellman and his young wife at home, alarmed by news of a grisly murder across the street. Later that night, Martin (a chemist by trade) has a terrifying dream that lasts about seven minutes onscreen. Easily the best reason to see this film, the dream sequence is a convincing simulation and boasts all sorts of radical jumps, clever effects and ominous images. Chess boards, stairways, dolls, train crossings, snare drums, a statue with a living face, women's heads ringing like church bells, a village that unfolds out of the ground...plenty of elusive symbolism to chew upon.

The dream climaxes with Martin slashing at his beloved wife with a large knife. Understandably, he wakes up screaming in horror. And there's a curious, lingering side effect: As days pass, he finds that he can't bear to touch any knives or blades. This extreme phobia gets in the way of eating, shaving and even opening letters.

His malady quickly becomes intolerable, and Martin pursues therapy after meeting a psychoanalyst by chance. Months of treatment follow, and eventually the doctor dissects the all-important dream and uncovers Martin's inner conflict. The answer is not as exciting as one might hope, but it does make narrative sense.

The story wraps up within a tidy 75 minutes. Its influence on Hitchcock's "Spellbound" is obvious, and it even pre-dates Bunuel's "Un Chien Andalou" and "L'Age d'Or."

(Wow...I'm surprised that, as of this posting, only 72 Flixster users have rated this film. I guess Werner Krauss's star power doesn't quite measure up to Louise Brooks'.)

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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