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Ernst Lubitsch & the Transnational Twenties: The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (USA 1927)

  • Author(s): McCormick, Rick
  • et al.

Ernst Lubitsch epitomized the transnationalism of the cinema in the 1920s as the first German director to come to Hollywood and one who brought over a number of German film artists to Hollywood over the course of the decade. In America he followed developments in German cinema in terms of technical innovations and popular genres, and he published in the German film press. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg was meant to compete with similar silent operetta films being made in Germany, and making the film, Lubitsch had the chance to return to Germany for the first time since 1922. The film was transnational not only because of its connection to the movements of artists, technicians, ideas, styles, and genres back and forth across the Atlantic, but also for the ethnic, gender, and sexual politics of the film and its production itself: e.g., the “migration background” not just of Lubitsch but also of the film’s male star, Ramón Novarro.

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