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"Pandora's Box"
(Die Büchse der Pandora)
1929 Silent Movie

still photograph of Lulu & Schön from "Pandora's Box" [1929]           

synopsis & history

stageplays & author

the movie


earlier & later works

"[Pandora's Box is] expressionism put to use with unerring skill as a commentary on the social
hypocrisy of the time." — Derek Malcolm, reviewer in the U.K. Guardian, in July 1999


           Beautiful Lulu is the mistress of a newspaper publisher, Schön, who decides to marry a countess; Lulu is offered a starring role in Schön's son's musical play, but when she sees her rival the countess in attendance, she refuses to perform; she seduces Schön in a storeroom, and they are caught by the countess.
           Schön resigns himself to marrying Lulu, but on their wedding day finds her cavorting with two men; he gets his gun and insists that she kill herself; in the struggle the gun fires and Schön is dead. On trial for murder, Lulu is sentenced to five years for manslaughter, but two men friends set her free and they flee the country.
           They hide out on a gambling ship; Lulu is sold to the Egyptian owner of a brothel, one friend is caught cheating at cards, the other friend kills the Egyptian, and they again flee. Living in a drafty London garret, Lulu is forced into prostitution, and her first customer is Jack The Ripper . . .

History of The Film
           Days after

Stageplays & Author
Frank Wedekind [1864-1918] was born in Hanover, Germany. He specialized in shocking plays, as an artistic comment on the realities of German & European culture at the Turn of the Century. In the original 1894 manuscript, the 'Lulu' drama was in five acts and subtitled 'A Monster Tragedy'. Wedekind's "Erdgeist (Earth Spirit)" [1895] was banned in Germany during his lifetime; he published the second part as "Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box)" [1904]. Wedekind served nine months in prison (1898-99) for publishing a series of anti-government poems, then became a dramaturg in Munich until his death in 1918. He was a major influence on the Expressionist and satirical theatre of the Weimar Republic Era in Germany.

The Lulu Plays in English by Frank Wedekind  "The Lulu Plays" by Frank Wedekind,
English translation by Eric Bentley

Kindle Edition from Applause Books [2000 edition] for $9.99
Applause Books 7¾x5¼ pb [4/2000] for $14.95
"The Lulu Plays and Other Sex Tragedies"
by Frank Wedekind [1864-1918]

Calder Publns 7½x5 pb [10/80] out of print/used

"Pandora's  Box"
silent feature [Germany January 1929]
film credits at Internet Movie Database
film entry at Wikipedia

Co-written & directed by G.W. Pabst; co-written by Ladislaus Vajda, loosely based on two shocking plays by Frank Wedekind; starring Louise Brooks,
Fritz Kortner, Carl Goetz, Krafft-Raschig, Francis Lederer, Gustav Diessl, Daisy D'Ora, Alice Roberts & Michael von Newlinsky

Criterion Collection digitally-restored b&w silent DVD [11/2006] 2 disks for $27.99
DVD extras include 4 musical soundtrack options, interview film "Lulu In Berlin" [1984], documentary
"Looking For Lulu" [1998], Kenneth Tynan's famous essay, and more

Moviegraphsb&w silent VHS [6/2000] for $12.00

·            ·

German-language "Die Büchse der Pandora" poster  French-language "Lou Lou" poster no longer available  

pink French-language 'LouLou' poster
{at near left}
no longer available

Pandora's Box screenplay  
"Pandora's Box" screenplay [Simon & Schuster 1971]
includes essay "Pabst and Lulu" by Louise Brooks
Ungar Publng, U.K. 8¼x5¾ pb [6/88] out of print/used
Lorrimer Publng, U.K. pb [1971] out of print/used
Simon & Schuster pb [1971] out of print/used


playwright Benjamin Franklin 'Frank' Wedekind [1864-1918]

director Georg Wilhelm 'G.W.' Pabst [1885–1967]

American actress Louise 'Lulu' Brooks [1906-85]

Earlier & Later Works

"Lulu" [1917] starring Erna Morena & Emil Jannings /tt0008232/

"Die Büchse der Pandora" [1921] starring Asta Nielsen /tt0255020/

"Erdgeist" [1923] starring Asta Nielsen /tt0014022/

1962 Lulu
1978 Lulu
1978 Lulu (TV movie)
1979 Lulu (TV movie)
1980 Lulu
Loulou (1980)
1985 Lulu (TV movie)
2002 Lulu (TV movie)
Loulou (2003)
Lulu (TV 2006)

®           ®

"Lulu: Opera in 3 Acts" by Alban Berg
Unfinished when the composer Alban Berg [1885-1935] died; first performed by the Zurich Opera in an incomplete
form in 1937, later by the Santa Fe Opera in 1963; described as "Berg's most important twelve-tone work",
the opera was ultimately completed by composer Friedrich Cerha, based on Berg's nearly-completed manuscripts;
the full three-act version was first performed in 1979 in Paris, France under the musical direction of Pierre Boulez
opera entry at Wikipedia

Metropolitan Opera 1980 performance of Alban Berg's operas Lulu  "Lulu" performance on 'The Metropolitan Opera Presents' program
[P.B.S./WNET-TV March 1977]

full-length staging conducted by James Levine; sung by Julia Migenes, Franz Mazura, Kenneth Riegel, Evelyn Lear & Andrew Foldi
The Metropolitan Opera color DVD [12/80] out of prodn/rare
full credits at IMDb
Cambridge Opera Handbook for Alban Berg's opera "Lulu"  "Alban Berg: Lulu (Cambridge Opera Handbooks)" [1991]
by Douglas Jarman

Cambridge Univ Press 8½x5½ pb [2/91] for $31.99
Cambridge Univ Press 8½x5½ hardcover [2/91] out of print/used
Alban Berg's Lulu opera  "Alban Berg's Lulu" [U.K. Channel 4 1996]
3-hour telefilm made of the 1996 performance of Alban Berg's "Lulu" opera at the Glyndebourne Festival at Lewes, East Sussex, U.K.
Directed by Humphrey Burton; music conducted by Andrew Davis; sung by Christine Schäfer, Wolfgang Schöne, Kathryn Harries, Norman Bailey & David Kuebler
Kultur Video color DVD [1/2004] for $26.99
full credits at IMDb
View of Berg's Lulu book by Patricia Hall  
"A View of Berg's Lulu: Through The Autograph Sources" [1997]
by Patricia Hall

Univ CA Press 9x6 hardcover [6/97] out of print/used

conducted by James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera in 2001

performed at the Metropolitan Opera in May 2010

performed at the Salzburg Festival in Summer 2010
sung by coloratura soprano Patricia Petibon (as Lulu} & baritone Michael Volle {as Dr. Schön}
color photos & German-language review at Kultur Fibel Online-Magazin

Berg's opera Lulu filmed in 2010 by the B.B.C.  Alban Berg's opera "Lulu" [2010]
205-minute performance at The Royal Opera House in London, U.K.; directed
by Christof Loy, conducted by Antonio Pappano; sung by Agneta Eichenholz
& baritone Michael Volle; won Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording
B.B.C./Opus color Blu-ray [7/2010] for $35.49
B.B.C./Opus color DVD [7/2010] 2 disks for $35.99
@         ?

Underground cartoonist John Linton Roberson is adapting "Lulu" as a series of graphic stories
official website • no entry at Wikipedia

This Sickness, Volume 6 graphic anthology by John Linton Roberson  the first chapter was published in the anthology
"This Sickness, Volume 6" [Spring 2010]

CreateSpace 9¾x7½ 48-page comic book [3/2010] for $9.03
the second chapter was published in the anthology
"This Sickness, Volume 7" [Summer 2011]

CreateSpace 9¾x7½ 48-page comic book [5/2011] for $9.03
Lulu Book 1 graphic story by John Linton Roberson   "LULU Book 1" [2013]
by John Linton Roberson, Introduction by Martin Pasko

CreateSpace 90-page 9¾x7½ pb [3/2013] for $12.44

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