Der Raub der Mona Lisa (1931)

vt The Theft of the Mona Lisa

Germany / 87 minutes / bw / Tobis-Klangfilm, Super-Film Dir: Géza von Bolváry Pr: Julius Haimann Scr: Walter Reisch Cine: Willi Goldberger Cast: Willi Forst, Trude von Molo, Gustav Gründgens, Max Gülstorff, Anton Pointner, Rosa Valetti, Fritz Odemar, Roda-Roda, Fritz Grünbaum, Paul Kemp, Fritz Alberti, Paul Wagner, Fritz Greiner, Paul Vincenti, Ernst Reicher, Hugo Döblin, Angelo Ferrari, Hubert von Meyerinck, Bruno Ziener, Teddy Bill, Elfried Jerra, Hermine Sterler, Molino von Kluck, Lilian Ellis, Alexander Granach, Max Linder, Ferdinand von Alten.

A quirky crime movie, (very) loosely based on real events, for which Antoine Laurain or Martin Suter should definitely be commissioned to write a much belated novelization.

Humble glazier Vincenzo Peruggia (Forst), an Italian expat working in Paris, is given the job by the Louvre of adding glass to the frame of the Mona Lisa, whose colors are beginning to fade because of its direct exposure to the light.

As he performs the task he falls in love with the painting and its famous smile, and on his way home he buys a print of it to hang on his wall. Imagine his delight when he throws open the window of his shabby apartment to see a living version of La Gioconda framed in the wall opposite. In fact it’s a chambermaid, Mathilde (von Molo), who works in the neighboring hotel; the “frame” is that of the window out of which she’s shaking a cloth.

Willi Forst as Vincenzo

Vincenzo is instantly smitten. Clued in by his landlady (Valetti, in a wonderful supporting role) to the fact that Mathilde habitually goes to a small local cinema on her night off, he strikes up an acquaintance with the girl, takes her out for an evening of dancing and imbibing, then lures her to his apartment.

Trude von Molo as Mathilde

The suspicions of a less love-blinded lad than Vincenzo might have been raised not just by the ease with which he maneuvered her back to his place but by Continue reading

Seven Sinners (1936)

vt Doomed Cargo
UK / 69 minutes / bw / Gaumont–British Dir: Albert de Courville Scr: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder, L. du Garde Peach, Austin Melford Story: The Wrecker (1924 play) by Arnold Ridley and Bernard Merivale Cine: M. Greenbaum Cast: Edmund Lowe, Constance Cummings, Thomy Bourdelle, Henry Oscar, Felix Aylmer, Joyce Kennedy, O.B. Clarence, Mark Lester, Allan Jeayes, Anthony Holles, David Horne, Edwin Laurence, James Harcourt.

Seven Sinners 1936 - 0 opener

An entertaining comedy thriller in the same spirit as Hitchcock’s The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), complete with a couple thrown together at the outset who spend proceedings bickering and bantering until, inevitably, they finally declare undying love. There’s even a shootout in a theater at the end, although in this instance it’s in a cinema rather than a music hall. During that shootout the audience are watching a supposed Gaumont newsreel (akin to the Pathé newsreels and Pathé Pictorials) recounting many of the events of the plot; Seven Sinners begins in a similar vein, almost in the style of a Pathé Pictorial, headlined CARNIVAL AT NICE.

American PI Edward “Ed” Harwood (Lowe) of the Tankerton agency is playing hooky in Nice at the time of the Carnival when he should be in Scotland helping Caryl Fenton of the Worldwide Insurance Co. of New York to sort out a case there. Dressed as the Devil, in keeping with the carnival spirit, Ed gets loaded and consequently Continue reading