Hintertreppe (1921)

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The German silent film Backstairs falls between the two schools of Expressionism and Naturalism. The story anticipates the more famous A Joyless Street by linking the disintegration of a family with the humiliations of slum life. Noted German stage and film star Fritz Kortner plays the central character, while appearing in support is future director Wilhelm (William) Dieterle. Heavily edited for American consumption, the film runs 44 minutes in its extant form. Backstairs was originally released as Die Hintertreppe. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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