Silent, with Dennis James at the organ.
Taken from plays by Frank Wedekind, here is one of the greatest of silent films, and a seminal step in the history of the femme fatale. The Viennese director, G.W. Pabst, hired Louise Brooks away from Paramount to be Lulu, the fierce life force, dancing her way through a gallery of feeble men on her way to a meeting with Jack the Ripper. The film is loaded with Freudian insight into self-destructive behavior, but Brooks delivers a performance that remains a landmark in terms of emotional and sexual energy. Her acting career was soon over, but Lulu endures, a challenging model of cinematic seduction.—David Thomson