In collaboration with the Murnau Foundation, UCM.ONE is releasing the great German Murnau film classic, thought to have been lost, for the first time in a breathtaking restoration, just in time for the 100th anniversary of its premiere on 13 November 1922. Film “Phantom” as a Limited Mediabook (rescanned in HD, Blu-ray+DVD+24-page booklet) as well as at selected download portals.

The literary model for Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau‘s “Phantom” was created by the writer and playwright Gerhart Hauptmann. Gerhard Hauptmann turned 60 on 15 November 1922 The “Phantom” film adaptation was considered the German film industry’s official contribution to the “Hauptmann Year”. The film premiere on 13 November 1922 in Berlin’s Ufa-Palast am Zoo was thus given the status of a “respectable cultural event”. Gerhard Hauptmann himself wrote an appreciation of the cinema for the programme booklet.

Summary

Lorenz Lubota provides for his mother and siblings with his work as a town clerk. But he is also a dreamer and writes poetry. One day he is run over by the grey horse and cart of the rich ironmonger’s daughter, Veronika Harlan. This accident changes him. Because bookbinder Starke has promised to find him a publisher, he now considers himself a great poet, and in order to dress to suit his career, he borrows money from his aunt, the pawnbroker Schwabe. He then asks the ironmonger for the hand of his daughter. But the ironmonger throws him out without further ado. In a wine bar he meets Melitta, who bears a strong resemblance to Veronika, and spends a lot of money on her. But the “phantom” of Veronika does not let him go…

Comments about the movie

“After Nosferatu, The Phantom represents a clear evolution of Murnau’s talent.” (themoviewaffler.com)

“It’s been less than a decade since The Phantom, long thought lost, was rediscovered and restored. It’s overshadowed by its more famous predecessor, but even if it’s not the landmark Nosferatu it is, it should be seen.” (battleshippretension.com)

“F.W. Murnau’s Phantom, released the same year but filmed after Nosferatu, is not a fantasy film as its title suggests, but it sometimes approaches that genre for its recurring expressionist aesthetic and some “Murnauscher” thematic elements. The various monochrome tones of the picture were explicitly chosen by Murnau, who, however, wanted the dream and nightmare visions to remain in pure black and white.” (Francis Moury, juanasensio.com)

“Perhaps the most interesting feature of Phantom is that the main thematic nodes are all resolved through immediate visual gimmicks, i.e. fully functional on the narrative level and at the same time on the symbolic level.” (David Bax 2015 / garden-of-silence.com)

“Phantom, a poignant drama about unfortunate choices and the tragedy of a life lived in the shadow of failure.” (cinegrandiose.com)

Phantom | Trailer (German) ᴴᴰ

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Further information

More information about the movie: Phantom