Sog.: dal romanzo di Victor Blüthgen. Scen.: Stellan Rye. Scgf.: Robert A . Dietrich. F.: Karl Hasselmann. Int.: Georg Molenar (gendarme Möbius), Lucie Höflich (Stina), Lothar Körner (Frans Lohmann), Victor Colani. Prod.: Deutsche Bioscop GmbH. 35mm. L.: 781 m. D.: 38′ a 18 f/s. Bn.
Stellan Rye is only known as the director of The Student from Prague nowadays, but he worked for many important films as the chief film director of Künstler-Filmserie of Deutsche Bioscop from 1913 to the first half of 1914. Born in Denmark, he worked as a scriptwriter for theater and film in Copenhagen. After causing a scandal and the subsequent imprisonment, he fleed from Denmark and settled in Berlin. There he started his new life as a film director. He directed for Eiko Film first and then he moved to Deutsche Bioscop where he exclusively worked for the Künstler-Filmserie, film series for the renowned stage actors, which closely linked to so-called Autorenfilm movement. As he died at a field hospital during the WWI, his career as a film director was very short. However he was quite a prolific director. He made at least fifteen films in less than two years. Most of them belonged more or less to the fantastic film genre, just like The Student from Prague shows. The author and scriptwriter Hanns Heinz Ewers’ taste was strongly impressed there. Gendarm Möbius was an exception. There is no fantastic elements here. Based on a Victor Blüthgen’s novel, the story tells the tragedy of Gendarm Möbius and his only daughter Stina. Having an affair with Lohmann, Stina gets pregnant. She secretly goes to the city to have her baby. But it is born dead. She comes back home. [The film starts from here.] She finds that her lover Lohmann got engaged and the wedding will be celebrated the next evening. Getting mad, Stina sets fire to Lohmann’s house in his wedding night. She is caught by her own father Gendarm Möbius: on account of the family honor, they choose their own death. The film was completed in 1913, but it was not released until June 1914 in Germany. In Japan, it was imported by Nierop Company and shown at Odeon Theater in Yokohama in November 1913. Because this story of honor is very much Japanese, Japanese audience liked it. The Japanese film critic Seiji Ogawa stated in “Kinema Record”, April 1914, that the passage toward death of the extremely faithful and serious gendarm Möbius was really similar to Japanese Bushido’s way.