Ann Harding wrote:Yesterday I watched Fräulein Else (Miss Else, 1929), a Paul Czinner silent based on Arthur Schnitzler. Else (Elisabeth Bergner) is the teenage daughter of a Viennese businessman. She goes to St Moritz with her aunt and friends for a holiday. But while she is away, her father faces bankrupcy. Her mother asks her to intercede with Von Dorsday who could help them... This spendid silent shows the great talent of Paul Czinner as a director. He captures brilliantly the effervescence of the upper-classes in St Moritz. The teenager Else is excellently played by Elisabeth Bergner. She is an innocent young girl just having fun until her life changes radically when her mother asks her to bear the burden of the family financial problems. Schnitzler always liked to show what happened below the surface of polite society. And here, what we see is not pretty. Else becomes an object in a bargain to help her family and she is destroyed in the process. The cameraman was Karl Freund who produced some incredibly smooth travelling shots. The film contains some superb location shots of the Alps. Overall a brilliant film that deserves to be better known.
I've always been intrigued by Czinner's and Bergner's (husband and wife in real life) films and their reputation seems completely deserved. Thanks for the review Christine.
Hedvig, the Swedish film from 1916 starring Sjöström also sounds fantastic. Thanks to you I was able to see "The Phantom Carriage"