Pandora's Box 1929

Pandora's Box

Critics Consensus

Marked by GW Pabst's innovative, atmospheric direction and a surprisingly modern storyline, Pandora's Box ultimately owes its power to Louise Brooks' monumental, iconic performance.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 41

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,993

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Movie Info

In this acclaimed German silent film, Lulu (Louise Brooks) is a young woman so beautiful and alluring that few can resist her siren charms. The men drawn into her web include respectable newspaper publisher Dr. Ludwig Schön (Fritz Kortner), his musical producer son Alwa (Franz Lederer), circus performer Rodrigo Quast (Krafft-Raschig) and Lulu's seedy old friend, Schigolch (Carl Goetz). When Lulu's charms inevitably lead to tragedy, the downward spiral encompasses them all.

Cast & Crew

Fritz Kortner
Dr. Ludwig Schön
Carl Goetz
Schigolch
Alice Roberts
Gräfin Geschwitz
Daisy D'Ora
Charlotte Marie Adelaide v. Zarnikow
Krafft-Raschig
Rodrigo Quast
Michael von Newlinsky
Marquis Casti-Piani
Sig Arno
Der inspizient
Gustav Diessl
Jack the Ripper
Heinz Landsmann
Producer
Günther Krampf
Cinematographer
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Pandora's Box

Critic Reviews for Pandora's Box

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (3)

  • The way the camera lingers on Brooks is voyeuristic; she, in turn, is oblivious to the fact we're there - the scene where she swings on the arm of muscle-head producer Rodrigo Quast is a classic example.

    June 16, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Pandora's Box is a richly atmospheric work, and Pabst is equally at home in Berlin high society or in London's impoverished East End, where Lulu encounters Jack the Ripper.

    June 16, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • GW Pabst's extraordinary, erotic and tragic adaptation/conflation of two Wedekind plays, 'Pandora's Box', owes to the electrifying, photogenic and iconic presence of Louise Brooks

    June 16, 2020 | Full Review…
  • There is something hypnotically unbridled about Brooks's performance.

    June 8, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's lightning in a bottle - remarkable, and endlessly fascinating.

    June 1, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • With Pandora's Box you forget that it's black and white. You forget that the internet has yet to happen... You forget that more than two hours have gone by. You forget because it's completely modern... 100 per cent gripping and involving.

    May 31, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pandora's Box

  • Nov 19, 2013
    Great film -- uncharacteristically for a silent film, I was glued to it for the whole duration. Brooks' performance (and her unmatched beauty) brought out emotions as I by turns sympathized with but also pitied Lulu, naive but unintentionally destructive by her sheer magnetism. Well directed, well lit, and well shot. And although no one can match Brooks' natural screen presence, the rest of the cast does an adequate job acting out their roles. The music accompaniment for my viewing was also quite superb -- the brief moments of Chopin and Christmas tinkle pulled my heart strings, almost as much as Brooks' tears. The film runs a bit long but all in all, a good film and ahead of its time in many respects. 4-4.5/5.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2011
    Pabst himself was ahead of his time. Louise Brooks plays a strikingly gorgeous, yet desperately manipulative young woman who, at some extent, can control the environment around her and shape the actions of men and the lives of women against their wills. Even if this expertly shot masterpiece brought in the end moral consequences, terrible for the immoral personas, ethical standards were challenged by that time, and Brooks acquired a cult femme fatale status. Even today, people who can see boring simplicity in silent features will be surprised by how intricate and developed this pre-Hitchcock crime/drama legend actually is. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2011
    The original melodrama. Louise Brooks is sooo sexy.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2010
    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

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