Maurice Elvey

Sog.: dalla pièce The Wandering Jew (1921) di E. Temple Thurston; Scen.: H. Fowler Mear; F.: Sydney Blythe; Mo.: Jack Harris; Scgf.: James A. Carter; Co.: Lady Queensberry; Mu.: Hugo Riesenfeld; Int.: Conrad Veidt (l’ebreo errante), Primo episodio: Maria Ney  (Judith), Cicely Oates (Rachel), Basil Gill (Ponzio Pilato), Secondo episodio: Anne Grey (Joanne De Beaudricourt), Bertram Wallis (Principe Boemund), Hector Abras (Issachar), Dennis Hoey (de Beaudricourt), Jack Livesey (Duca Godfrey), [Kenji] Takase (Phirous), Terzo episodio: Joan Maude (Gianella), John Stuart (Pietro Morelli), Arnold Lucy (Andrea Michelotti), Quarto episodio: Peggy Ashcroft (Olalla Quintana), Francis L. Sullivan (Juan de Texada), Felix Aylmer (Ferara), Ivor Barnard (Castro), Abraham Sofaer (Zapportas),  Stafford Hilliard (Juan), Robert Gilbert (primo monaco), Conway Dixon (secondo monaco); Prod.: Julius Hagen per Twickenham Film Studios Productions; 20 novembre 1933 (Londra) 
35mm. L.: 3018 m. D.: 110′. Bn

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

The Wandering Jew, based on the popular play by E. Thurston, deals with the atonement of an individual Jew but sets this against four different historical settings which feature periods of crisis in the relationship between Jewish and Christian Society and The Wandering Jew becomes a representative of his race. Elvey had previously made a very successful silent version of the Temple Thurston work, but recent events in Europe had made the theme a matter of far greater sensitivity than it had been in the Twenties. Details of what was happening in Hitler’s Germany were being brought out by the steady flow of refugees who included many film personnel. Given the film’s themes of religious intolerance and racial hatred, the absence of any reference to their reappearance in a particularly virulent form was seen at the time to detract from its credibility. However, this absence was undoubtely due to political pressure, albeit of an indirect and passive kind. Jeffrey Richards, in his book The Age of the Dream Palace examines the treatment of Germany in pre-World War II films by the British Board of Film Censors and clearly demonstrates that this organisation allowed no contemporary allusion to the situation on Germany. He sites the instance that when the Ostrers made Jew Süss (also starring Conrad Veidt and made in 1933) the only reference allowed to present day Germany was a reference on the titles: “1730-1830-1930. They will always persecute us”. And with Jew Süss any references to anti-Semiticism were confined to specific, historical contexts; it was left to the audience to relate the past to the present. (…) The first three stories, which make up the film, develop slowly and lack narrative drive and dramatic tension; the final episode is quite moving, but it comes too near the end to compensate for the poorness of what precedes it. At times the film conveys the impression of being a silent film with dialogue attached. It did however, give Conrad Veidt the opportunity to display his complete mastery of the art of acting for the camera and he delivers a convincing portrayal of a man in the throws of spiritual torment.
Linda Wood, The Commercial Imperative in the British Film Industry: Maurice Elvey, a Case Study, British Film Institute, London 1987

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