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Critic Reviews for Sumurun
The madcap facial expressions of the hard-working head eunuch, (Jakob Tiedke), the guardian of the harem, makes it worth watching this classic silent from the old country.
Audience Reviews for Sumurun
A reconstructed version of this is available on Netflix. An opening title card says, "An Oriental Play in Six Acts Based on the Pantomime by Friedrich Freksa." It is also known as One Arabian Night, as in one of the tales from the 1,001 Arabian Nights. The six acts divide the story into nice manageable portions. Though Pola Negri is top billed on most marketing materials, she is not the character Sumurun. Sumurun, played by Hasselqvist, is the favorite member of an old Sheikh's harem. There is also a younger Sheikh, who has eyes for her, or really any attractive female who crosses his line of sight. Sumurun secretly loves a young cloth merchant (Liedtke) though. She is protected by a kind of den mother and a head eunuch (Kupfer and Tiedtke, respectively). The other part of the story involves Pola Negri as a seductive young dancer working with a traveling minstrel show. Ernst Lubitsch himself is a hunchback clown with the troupe, who's love for the dancer is not returned. The dancer, whether she can attract the old Sheikh's attention herself or use the know-how of a slave trader, wishes to be a part of the harem. She really wishes for the comfort and wealth that goes with being in the Sheikh's palace. Well, Sumurun would rather escape to live a simple life with her love, thus leaving an opening for the dancer. Things don't go as planned for everyone. The different rooms of the palace and the scenes that take place outside the palace are represented by different colors tinting the frames. The orientation and size of some of the shots shifts in a way that I hadn't seen before. There is slapstick humor, romance, tragedy, and an early look at how the Middle East was portrayed.
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