At the Edge of the World (1927)

Article #1426 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-8-2005
Posting Date: 7-8-2005
Directed by Karl Grune
Featuring Jean Bradin, William Dieterle, Edwin Faber

A mill situated on the border between two unnamed countries and the residents therein become pawns in a future war.

This summary is at least partially based on plot descriptions, though for once my inability to grasp the details of a movie is not due to its having been seen only in its native language. No, the titles of this German movie are indeed in English; the trouble is that the print is in such poor condition that not only are some of the titles illegible, but it’s even hard to identify faces from one scene to the next. This is a bit of a shame; there are some scenes I’d really like to get a good look at, particularly those which feature shots of the windmill and those that take place during a festival. I’d also like to see some of the cast members clearly, which include future director William Dieterle, famous silent actress Brigitte Helm, and Nosferatu himself, Max Schreck. The plot may be partially fantasy in the sense that the movie may be an allegory of sorts, though the future war description puts it in the category of marginal science fiction; whichever it is, it’s very hard to discern when you can’t make out any details. Chalk this one up as another one that deserves some sort of restoration.


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