Pandora's Box (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pandora's Box (1929)

Pandora's Box (1929)

Pandora's Box



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Pandora's Box Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

German filmmaker G.W. Pabst's late-silent classic Pandora's Box (Die Büchse der Pandora) stars the hauntingly beautiful Louise Brooks as libertine dancer Lulu. Ever out for the "main chance," Lulu persuades her wealthy lover Dr. Schön (Fritz Kortner) to marry her. But in a fit of jealous rage, he pulls a gun, a scuffle ensues, and she shoots him. Eventually escaping to London with the doctor's moonstruck son Alwa (Francis Lederer), Lulu takes up residence with her "adopted" father Schigolch (Carl Götz), where she is reduced to walking the streets, with tragic consequences. Pandora's Box (based on two works by the controversial German writer Franz Wedekind) exudes smoky sensuality in every frame; regarded now as a masterpiece, the film received surprisingly scathing reviews, with most of the critical broadsides aimed at Louise Brooks (this was long before Brooks graduated from just another pretty Hollywood starlet to Cult Goddess). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Georg Wilhelm Pabst, Joseph Fleisler
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 28, 2006
Moviegraphs Inc.


Fritz Kortner
as Dr. Peter Schon
Francis Lederer
as Alwa Schoen
Alice Roberts
as Countess Anna Geschw...
Gustav Diessl
as Jack the Ripper
Michael von Newlinsk...
as Marquis Casti-Piani
Daisy D'Ora
as Charlotte M.A. von Z...
Carl Götz
as Schigolch (Papa Brom...
Krafft Raschig
as Rodrigo Quasi
Sig Arno
as Instructor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Pandora's Box

Critic Reviews for Pandora's Box

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11)

Louise Brooks, especially imported for the title role, does not pan out, due to no fault of hers. She is quite unsuited to the vamp type which was called for by the play from which the picture was made.

Full Review… | February 27, 2013
Top Critic

One of the classic films of the German silent era.

Full Review… | February 27, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Brooks overwhelms the lens with her magnetic eyes.

Full Review… | October 13, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

If you've never seen Brooks -- or Pandora's Box -- you've missed one of the most extraordinary personalities and films of the silent movie era.

Full Review… | October 12, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The movie remains one of the most insightful depictions of the elemental incongruity between man's nature and woman's.

Full Review… | July 7, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

2006 is the centennial of actress Louise Brooks, and to honor it, her greatest film, Pandora's Box, is being released in a new 35-mm print in New York's Film Forum before being taken around the country.

Full Review… | June 15, 2006
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pandora's Box


The original melodrama. Louise Brooks is sooo sexy.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Brooks plays a girl who plays around with men, she doesn't want to be thought of as a prostitute or anything though, she never goes with guys she doesn't like. She marries an older man, but he believes he has ruined his reputation by doing so, so he decides they must die together. She doesn't think that's a good idea, but he ends up killing himself anyway, and she is blamed for his murder. She goes on the run with the guy's son, and they gamble away all their money. I wanted to write my own summary of this movie because the one on Flixster tells you about Jack the Ripper as if he played an important part throughout the film, but really we only see him in the end, which I don't want to give away. I didn't like this movie much because the story was pretty confusing most of the time, I think mainly because there aren't enough title cards (the written dialogue shown). Also, I thought the ending was stupid. I did like the movie for Brooks' acting and the interesting characters, so it's not a bad movie. Overall, it's okay.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


it's hard to imagine the audience reaction to this when it premiered 80 (!) years ago. with frank sexual themes, lesbianism, prostitution and murder they couldn't have gone much further without lulu appearing stark naked. louise brooks looks amazing and gives a remarkable performance. lulu's not a bad girl really; she just wants to be loved. i liked the piano score too; very evocative

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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