Proletarian kitsch from a director who subsequently proved himself more at home in the field of Viennese operetta. The film was quite ambitious for its time (the sets and costumes are lavish period reconstructions), but its main claim to cultural legitimacy was its derivation from a Gerhart Hauptmann play; this attracted a starrier cast than was usual, including Paul Golem Wegener and director-to-be Dieterle. The result was the most picturesque presentation of poverty and squalor until Hollywood discovered the visual possibilities of the Depression. Its main interest now is that it serves as a reminder of the fact that German cinema of the late '20s turned to 'left wing' subjects as much for reasons of fashion as from political commitment.
Cast and crew
Hans von Twardowski