Two inmates are on their break in the jail courtyard when one of them, Boss, is called to the director’s office. Boss’ wife has appealed his case, asking for a pardon. Sentenced for murder, Boss has been in prison for ten years, but he has never revealed the motives of his crime. Finally, he explains what happened back then.
He used to be a famous trapeze artist, but after a horrible accident he can no longer perform. His will broken, he scrapes through life as the owner of a show booth in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district. One day, a sailor brings a beautiful young dancer to his booth. Boss falls in love with the sultry Berta-Marie and leaves his wife and child for her. Together, they get jobs with another circus performer and enjoy great success as a trio. But when Boss finds out that Berta-Marie is betraying him with their partner, he kills his rival and reports himself to the police. After ten years, Boss is released. —German Film Archive
Ewald André Dupont (25 December 1891, Zeitz, Saxony, Germany – 12 December 1956, Hollywood) was a German film director, one of the founders of the German film industry. He was frequently credited as E. A. Dupont.
A newspaper columnist in 1916, Dupont became a screenwriter and began directing his own crime-story scripts in 1918. After several successes in his native Germany in silent films, he worked in London and in Hollywood, California. One of his greatest successes was the silent film Varieté (1925). This film, about an ex-trapeze artist, was noted for its innovative camerawork with highly expressive movement through space, accomplished by the prolific expressionist cinematographer Karl Freund. Varieté even did well in the United States, screening for 12 weeks at New York’s Rialto Theatre. Dupont’s success was noticed by Carl Laemmle at Universal, who offered Dupont a lucrative contract. His first project was Love Me and the World Is Mine in the early summer of 1926, which… read more
In E.A. Dupont’s Varieté, Emil Jannings plays an acrobat recalling the circumstances that made him a murderer.