By turns melodramatic and grotesquely comic, Sumurun brings together performances by star-players Paul Wegener (Der Golem.), Pola Negri, Harry Liedtke, and Ernst Lubitsch himself (in the role of an ultra-pathetic hunchbacked minstrel) for this ensemble tale pulled from the milieu of The Arabian Nights. Featuring hundreds of extras milling through open-air set-pieces and dusky harem-chambers alike, Sumurun demonstrates Lubitsch’s ability to transfigure rote romance into vibrant pageant. —Eureka Entertainment
b. Jan. 29, 1892, Berlin. d. Nov. 30, 1947, Hollywood. The son of a prosperous tailor, he was drawn to the stage while participating in plays staged by his high school, which he quit at 16. To satisfy both his own urge to act and his father’s desire that he take over the family business, he began leading a double life, working as a bookkeeper at his father’s store by day and appearing in cabarets and music halls by night.
In 1911 he joined Max Reinhardt’s famous Deutsches Theater, where he rapidly advanced from bit parts to character leads. To supplement his income, he took a job in 1912 as an apprentice and general-purpose handyman at Berlin’s Bioscope film studios. The following year he began appearing in a series of film comedies, emphasizing ethnic Jewish humor, in which he played a character named Meyer. He became very successful as a comedian and soon began writing and directing his own films. Gradually, Lubitsch abandoned acting to concentrate on directing… read more