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  • Writer's pictureHenry K. Miller

Saturday 27 May

The London Evening News reports that Goldwyn will release ‘four of the biggest’ German films: Sumurun, Destiny, Othello, and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

The company’s press officer Charles Lapworth told the paper that they had rejected the films that ‘contain anti-British propaganda’. There was ‘talk in filmland of attempts to put out German-made pictures without disclosing their place of origin’.

The Evening Standard’s critic, a few weeks earlier, had written that ‘the lower strata of the cosmopolitan dealers’ – an almost certainly anti-Jewish characterization – were likely to flood the country with German films in this way.

Two days before the Goldwyn announcement, Kinematograph Weekly had published a long article giving details of what it believed were two German films that had been shown in a disguised form, one as French, one as Italian. Sidney Bernstein was quoted denouncing the practice, on the grounds that it had made the film trade ‘target for a lay Press attack’, probably a direct reference to the Evening Standard article.

Lapworth reassured readers that Goldwyn would not show films under a disguise. In the event, however, only two of the four films were to be distributed by Goldwyn, Othello and Sumurun, and they were not shown in Britain during 1922.

Lapworth at the time of his collaboration with Hitchcock in 1925

Lapworth worked with Hitchcock for a brief period in the mid-1920s, writing the script of his second film, The Mountain Eagle.


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