Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mistress of Atlantis|
Actors: Brigitte Helm, John Stuart, Jean Angelo, Gibb McLaughlin
Genres: Action & Adventure
A film classic. An explorer discovers the legendary lost kingdom under the sands of the Sahara.
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Unusual, intriguing, fascinating and unpredictable
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 06/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This forgotten film of the early sound era was directed by G.W. Pabst, who is considered by many to be the greatest director of German cinema in his time, namely from the 1920s to mid `50s. His most famous contributions to the silent era of films were making Greta Garbo famous by directing her in "Joyless Street" and Louise Brooks in "Pandora's Box" and "Diary of a Lost Girl". With such outstanding classics of the 1920s to his name, one might have grand expectations of this 1932 sound film starring one of Germany's most stunning and mysterious actresses, Brigitte Helm. Yet the advent of sound brought other changes in movies besides an audible dialogue. A whole new structure and way of presenting a story had to be developed all over again, resulting in many films of the 1930s appearing to falter and stumble, especially when compared with the smooth and sophisticated films which reached its pinnacle of expressive beauty and artistry at the end of the silent era in 1929. Taking this into consideration, "The Mistress of Atlantis" feels more like what we today would call a B-Grade movie, but even as such it is still quite entertaining and offers several features that make this film well worth viewing.
First of all, it is actually a remake of an outstanding silent film made in 1921 called "Queen of Atlantis", directed by Jacques Feyder, the `French Film Master' (available from amazon.com in a set of three Feyder films entitled "Rediscover Jacques Feyder"). The film is based on a French novel which must be quite long and involving, as Feyder's version of "Queen of Atlantis" is nearly three hours long! This compact early sound film, however, is less than 90 minutes in length, although it does seems to leap over pivotal points in the plot, leaving the uninitiated viewer somewhat dazed and perplexed. Even so, it is an entertaining ride through the Sahara Desert where an officer of the French Foreign Legion awakens to find himself in a bizarre world of tunnels and mazes hidden somewhere in the desert. Legend has it that this is the lost city of Atlantis; a topic that was widely discussed a century ago with many suggestions and theories, placing the city in many places all over the world, including the mysterious Sahara Desert. Queen of this strange world is the exotic Antinea, played by Brigitte Helm who first came to fame in the classic German silent film, "Metropolis". Her striking features make her the perfect choice for the alluring and enigmatic Mistress of Atlantis, and even though her role is relatively small, she exudes a presence and power which make up for any of the film's shortcomings. Other aspects that are worth seeing are the unusual sets and an authentic-looking Saharan village. Interestingly, Pabst directed three versions of this film; German, French and English, in anticipation of international success, and this English version is in very good condition with only the usual background noise common in early sound films.