11 January 2018

Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari (1917)

German film diva Erna Morena starred in the silent drama Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917), produced by Paul Davidson for Projektions-AG 'Union' (PAGU) in Berlin. Morena's co-stars were Emil Jannings and Harry Liedtke.

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1988. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke.

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1989. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke and Emil Jannings.

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1990. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke and Emil Jannings.

Two lives dramatically intertwined


In Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari (1917), Erna Morena plays Judith Arens, who is neglected and badly treated by her husband, an art painter. One day, at a fine art show, she even collapses from hunger. The rich patron Count Waldenau (Emil Jannings) takes care of the pretty, young woman and houses her in his home.

Judith lives well there, if not for the many adventures of the old count, while she is smitten with the count’s son (Harry Liedtke). In a moment of despair she opens a book, which fascinates her as it is similar to her own life: The Ring of Giuditta Foscari.

Judith owns a ring similar to the Giuditta (played by Morena as well) of Renaissance times. More and more Judith sees her life intertwined with that of Giuditta. Giuditta too is courted by an older man (Emil Jannings again), while she loves his son (Harry Liedtke again).

When her husband discovers his woman with her lover he stabs his rival, realising too late it is his own son. The father recognises on his son’s finger the ring he gave to Giuditta. Giuditta is condemned and executed.

Judith too prefers the son to the father and wants to marry him. The count is warned that Judith is seeing her old husband, the painter, again, and storms in, shooting his gun through a curtain. He discovers to have shot his own son. In the present story, though, matters turn out better: the young count survives, is cured and leaves the paternal house with Judith.

Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari was written and directed by Alfred Halm and shot in late 1917 in the Union studios in Berlin-Tempelhof. Sets were made by future director Paul Leni. On 26 Octobre 1917, Austrian reviewer Franz Paimann concluded in his review in his Film-Liste, no. 87: "Stoff, Spiel, Photos und Szenerie sehr gut." (Story, acting, photography and directing very good.)

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1991. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917).

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1992. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917).

Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1993. Photo: Union Film. Erna Morena in Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari/The Ring of Giuditta Foscari (Alfred Halm, 1917) with Harry Liedtke.

Sources: Franz Paimann (Film-Liste no. 87 - German), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German) and IMDb
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