Paracelsus (1945)

Article 3595 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-1-2011
Posting Date: 6-18-2011
Directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Featuring Werner Krauss, Harry Langewisch, Annelies Reinhold
Country: Germany
What it is: Biopic

A doctor who uses new methods of treatment runs into resistance from the establishment.

Though it’s nice that I was able to salvage this title from the “ones that got away” list, I have to admit that the fact that my copy is in unsubtitled German renders the movie almost unintelligible to me; what I have of the plot is based on other descriptions. As stated above, it is a biopic, but the fantastic content consists of one very striking moment when Death appears, whose scythe is deflected by the sword of Paracelsus. There are other interesting moments here, as the movie uses music and dance in very effective ways; between a bizarre dance in a tavern and a march of singing men flogging themselves, I really wish I knew what was going on enough to know the significance of the events. At least my inability to follow the story and the dialogue spares me the Nazi propaganda that no doubt is present. Nevertheless, I really wished that I could have followed this one.


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