Varieté (Variety) (Jealousy) (1925) - Rotten Tomatoes

Varieté (Variety) (Jealousy) (1925)





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Varieté (Variety) (Jealousy) Photos

Movie Info

When American audiences were permitted to see German filmmaker E.A. Dupont's silent masterpiece Variety, it was the story of a carnival concessionaire (Emil Jannings), his alluring wife (Lya de Putti), and the handsome acrobat (Warwick Ward) who comes between them. Feeling doubly impotent because he himself had been a famous aerialist before suffering a crippling accident, Jannings fantasizes about killing his rival -- and, finally, does so. After serving a long prison term, Jannings is released by a compassionate warden, who feels as though the poor cuckold has suffered enough. This, again, is what Americans saw. In the original European version of Variety, which ran nearly twice as long as the U.S. print, Jannings deserts his wife (Maly Delschaft) when de Putti enters the scene. Moreover, he never marries de Putti, meaning that his only hold over her when Ward steals her away is an emotional one. Dupont had fashioned an ironic tale of a man suffering betrayal after having himself betrayed. The American censors wouldn't swallow that, nor would they pass the charming domestic scene wherein Jannings helps de Putti disrobe, unless the prologue involving Delschaft was chopped out and de Putti was transformed from mistress to wife. Though this sort of bowdlerization might seem like an artistic outrage, the American version of Variety is in fact superior to the original, especially in terms of pace; what seemed interminable in the German version zips along at an entertaining clip in the revised print.
Art House & International , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Kurt Gerron
as Harbourworker
Maly Delschaft
as The wife of Boss
Georg John
as Sailor
Emil Jannings
as Boss Huller
Lya De Putti
as Bertha
Warwick Ward
as Artinelli
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Varieté (Variety) (Jealousy)

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (1)

The way emotions play across [Jannings'] wide face it could practically be a movie screen itself.

Full Review… | September 22, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Varieté (Variety) (Jealousy)


Boss is a washed up trapeze artist who gets a second lease on life once he abandons his wife and child to go on the road with a younger woman. The adulterous pair are taken in by a renowned and successful acrobat, but his lecherous designs bring out Boss' homicidal jealousy. Variety's frank depictions of lust and violence resulted in it being cut, censored, and edited into an incomprehensible mess for its initial American release. Overlooked for decades, a 2014 restoration of this film shed new light on its daring cinematography, cool stunts, and intense storytelling. As a whole, Variety is an underrated gem of German Expressionism and it's worth tracking down.

Ryan Valentine
Ryan Valentine

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