Opium (1918/19)


Personal opinion: “Opium” is a fascinating film, not only for its exotic background, but also for the complicated plot. In addition to the triangle of love (that is quite common in the film industry), we have the unique opportunity of seeing Conrad in the role of a doctor – a role that fits him perfectly well, even more because he is only 25 here. It is a miracle that this film has survived over the time, and even if the copy is poor, we still have the chance to see a glimpse of the glorious times of the German silent cinema. There are several good scenes in “Opium” in which Conrad is involved, such as the scene where he is falling over the piano in despair after the separation from his lover (a married woman and the wife of his mentor). Another great scene is the one where Conrad is shown riding a horse, as his character is suffering a serious accident. And, of course, I am always impressed by the scene from the photo above, where Connie is convincing an adorable little girl (the daughter of his lover) to make her mother come and visit him to hospital. Even if Connie has a small role here (but never a minor one), he is just wonderful to look at, because he manages to convey through his expressiveness and gestures great emotions, that certainly had an impact on the public back in those times. “Opium” has also another major asset: the brilliant actor Werner Krauss, who re-teamed with Connie in other several good silent films.


2 thoughts on “Opium (1918/19)

  1. Esta es una película fascinante que tuve que ver varias veces y cada vez me gustó más. La trama tiene muchos giros y los personajes están realmente logrados y muy bien caracterizados. El personaje de Conrad es muy intenso, con su lucha emocional entre el amor que siente por la insulsa y antipática María, y su lealtad hacia el hombre que lo ama como a un hijo. Richard es muy superior a su amante en el aspecto moral, él se asemeja bastante a su media hermana Magdalena, tan encantadora. Ambos hermanos reconocen la superioridad de Gesellius, que desea la felicidad de toda la humanidad, mientras que María y Richard sólo se preocupan por su placer personal. La comprensión de esto es lo que sumerge a Richard en la depresión y luego lo lleva al suicidio, que de alguna manera lo redime de su romance moralmente incestuoso.
    Una película superior por donde se la mire.

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