“Four amusing acts from a toy-chest” — so reads the opening title of the comic masterpiece Die Puppe. [The Doll.] adapted by Lubitsch and co-scenarist Hanns Kräly from a libretto by A. M. Wilner (based in turn on a tale from E. T. A. Hoffmann). Ossi Oswalda stars in a double-role as both the mischievous daughter, and automatonic creation, of a wildly coiffed “dollmaker”. When a wealthy baron decides the time has come for his prudish nephew to take a wife, an uproariously ribald plot unwinds into what is perhaps the world’s first-ever sex-doll comedy. —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