Subject: Curt Bois and Heinz Engelmann on sale for limited time


Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti
Starring Curt Bois and Heinz Engelmann

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti is based on the same-named play by Bertoldt Brecht. Curt Bois, best remembered as the oily pickpocket in Casablanca, stars as Puntila, a nasty Finnish landlord who turns into a nice guy whenever he's drunk (shades of Chaplin's City Lights). Puntila's chauffeur Matti (Heinz Engelmann) shares several ribald adventures with his master, and at one point finds himself engaged to Puntila's nubile daughter Eva (Maria Emo). Brecht's merciless satire of class distinctions isn't quite as pungent as in the original, but audiences will get the point. Herr Puntila und sein Knect Matti was adapted for the screen by Vladimir Pozner (yes, that Vladimir Pozner!)
Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Writers: Bertolt Brecht, Hella Wuolijoki, Vladimir Pozner, Ruth Wieden

Stars: Curt Bois, Heinz Engelmann, Maria Emo, Erika Pelikowsky, Elena Polewitzkaja, Inge Holzleitner
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 1956

Best Film

Fine film adaptation of Brecht's 1940 exile play; Brecht himself (who helped the director with the film) thought it the only adequate filming of his work ever produced. Note that the music is by Hans Eisler, an important film composer who worked with T.W. Adorno on "Composition for the Film;" and Curt Bois, who plays Puntila, acted in this role under Brecht's own direction. This film can be compared with Hans-Juergen Syberberg's documentary film ("Syberberg filmt bei Brecht") of Brecht's own stage production with Curt Bois. One only misses DEFA film actor Erwin Geschonneck, who was Matti in the play. An important film for 20th century theater history. Cavalcanti's added framing sequences with sung commentary by the female servants is very much in Brechtian spirit. Much of the dialogue of the play is preserved unchanged. Cavalcanti's added scenes of Finnish nature are also completely in the spirit of the original play, where the beauty of the countryside was meant to contrast with lopsided human relations.
It was made at the Soviet-controlled Rosenhügel Studios in Vienna. Production began in 1955, but wasn't completed until 1960.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
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