Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Scen: Carl Mayer, dal romanzo di Rudolf Stratz; F.: Fritz Arno Wagner, Laszlo Schäffer; Scgf.: Hermann Warm, Robert Herlth; Int.: Arnold Korff (Signore del Castello di Vogelschrey), Lulu Kyser-Korff (Centa von Vogelschrey, sua moglie), Lothar Mehnert (Conte Johann Oetsch), Paul Hartmann (Conte Peter Paul Oetsch), Paul Bildt (Barone Safferstätt), Olga Tschechowa (Baronessa Safferstätt), Hermann Vallentin (Consigliere), Julius Falkenstein (signore spaventato), Georg Zawatzky (cuoco), Robert Leffler (maggiordomo), Victor Blütner (Peter Faramund), Walter Kurt Kuhle, Loni Nest; Prod.: Uco-Film per Decla-Bioscop; 35mm. L.: 1666 m. D.: 81’ a 18 f/s.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

For the restoration of Schloss Vogelöd we started from an original nitrate negative held at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, and a color nitrate print with Portuguese intertitles from the twenties when the film was distributed in Brazil. The Brazilian print, called Sentença de Deus, was held by the Fundaçao Cinemateca Brasileña, which sent it to the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz several years ago. The two sources are similar, and come from the same version of the film, which means that they contain the same shots. The Brazilian copy was printed in Germany in 1921, thus its color must be original. The intertitles were produced in Brazil by the distributor Rombauer & Cia and printed on American Kodak film in 1921. These intertitles correspond to the translation of an intertitle list that the production company Decla-Bioscop sent to Brazil with the print of the film. A copy of this list, dated 31 March 1921 and addressed to F.W. Murnau, is held together with a copy of the screenplay in the director’s estate. Murnau made many notes on the list regarding changes in the intertitles. The Brazilian print does not take these changes into account, meaning that the list dated 31 March was considered definitive by the producer and was used to cut the original negative. The intertitles were marked on the negative in ink on scratched frames to indicate where to cut in the intertitles produced in the various languages by the distributors in each country. The film was screened just a few days later in Berlin (on 7 April 1921), after obtaining its censorship certificate four days after the date of the list (hence, on April 4th). We can thus deduce that the film was shown with the intertitles on the list because there would not have been time to change them.
 However, in the preserved original negative, we found original flash titles with the Decla-Bioscop logo which showed that some of the changes from Murnau’s annotated list had been made, as well as further modifications, such as combining two intertitles into one. In these cases, we noted that in place of the second, by now useless intertitle, a scratched frame is still present with the text of the earlier intertitle written in ink. This frame is red in color so that it would be visible during printing. We thus deduced that only one original negative of the film existed, which was used to print both the German version with the corrected intertitles, as well as the copies destined for foreign distribution that used the intertitles from the first title list.
By the time we received it, the negative had undergone much manipulation and reediting during the twenties and thirties, and later in Russia where the flash titles were replaced with Russian intertitles and then preserved in a separate film can. Over the course of these changes, about thirty intertitles were lost, which we reproduced based on the script and the original title list. We imitated the style of writing used at that time, but we put the acronym F.W.M.S. (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung) in one corner so they would be easy to distinguish from the original intertitles. The presence of many of these intertitles in Portuguese in the Brazilian print facilitated location of their exact placement. In the Brazilian print, we also found a scene that was missing from the original negative, which was otherwise complete. This restored version of Schloss Vogelöd, allows us to see the film for the first time with all the intertitles and with the original color.

Luciano Berriatúa, Camille Blot-Wellens

Copy From