6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Artistic silent masterpiece,
This review is from: Faust - Masters of Cinema series [DVD]  (DVD)
This astounding film by F W Murnau made in 1926 is at the very pinnacle of silent film making, probably the pinnacle of artistic presentation plus an almost unique movement of light and shade across the static framing of the scenes.
Like Gounod's opera the film dramatises the first part of Goethe's epic, with the key difference that Faust initially makes his pact with Mephistopheles to prevent a plague, and not solely to regain his youth, this comes later.
Gosta Ekman is equally convincing in his portray of both the old and young Faust but the great performance in the film is Emil Jannings as Mephisto as he slowly persuades and cajoles Faust into his power and eternal damnation.
Although a dancer and not an actress Camilla Horn is a competent Gretchen, and William Dieterle is passable as her brother Valentin.
But the value of this eighty year old film is the painterly way (Rembrant comes to mind) all of the scenes are constructed and acted, It is really as an artistic masterpiece that it excels.