The Master

The Master

Der Herrscher (Original Title)

In Veit Harlan's interpretation of Gerhart Hauptmann's drama "Vor Sonnenuntergang", now muddied with National Socialist ideology, Emil Jannings plays one of the most prominent roles of his acting career: the industrial magnate Matthias Clausen, who, after the death of his wife, is confronted with the selfish maneuverings of his children, who couldn't give a rat's ass about what their plotting is doing to the company, to which Clausen dedicated his entire life. While his son-in-law Erich Klammroth is especially intriguing against the patriarch of the family, Clausen finds comfort in the company of his loyal, young secretary, Inken Peters. Together they must resist the plotting and schemes of the potential heirs to the throne to preserve Clausen's legacy for future generations.

1h 43min
April 28, 1937
Additional materials
Citizen Kane

Admin comments

Well-made and entertaining film. Jannings is brilliant as always. Excellent cast that doesn’t act but lives its parts. Nazi, in portraying a wealthy industrialist Clausen (Jannings), emphasized their view of a society as one family with no class divisions, where capitalists and their workers have common interests and share profits, where the main cause for a capitalist should be the welfare of his workers and the well-being of his country. Doesn’t look like the majority of the present American business elite would fit this description.

Compare with Hollywood’s Marxist “revolutionary” “best” movie ever “Citizen Kane”. I am not talking about the excellent production values, mostly poor one-dimensional acting, but the story and message. Here the rich is an egoistic tyrant, unloved, lonely, pathetic and despised character. The message-the rich are miserable and bad. Sort of characters in the contemporary Hollywood’s swill “Succession”.

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