Jew Süss (1934)


Personal opinion: “Jew Süss” is one of the films that aroused many discussions and contradictions among the critics, the press and the filmgoers. But, above all, it was a film that disturbed very much Hitler and the Nazi regime, because they considered Conrad’s performance trully an offence to the Fatherland, and a defence for the Jews from all over the world. In fact, the role of Connie as Joseph “Süss” Oppenheimer was overly acclaimed and it had in its favour a very extended publicity campaign. Part of Connie’s most outstanding publicity portraits come from this film. His powerful faith in this role and in the political message of the film – aspects that were more than visible throughout his performance in this British production, the first screen version of the novel by Lion Feuchtwanger – were not enough, unfortunately, to make “Jew Süss” a comercially successful film (the Nazis made a shameless, but successful replica in 1940). Even if the entire production was very expensive (the most expensive at that time), with lavish sets and elegant costumes, the direction of Lothar Mendes and the editing of the film itself were criticised. Many people found “Jew Süss” too long – the actual version is around two hours, but it must have been cut from the original. Still, I consider that there are many poignant sequences in the film, such as the trial and the execution of Süss. Connie lived the entire role, and even behind the scenes he would drop a tear or act as if he were indeed the character he was supposed to play on screen. This is the reason why me and other admirers of Conrad Veidt will always have memories about “Jew Süss”, which is, no matter what other people might say, a masterpiece owing to Connie’s superior acting.


One thought on “Jew Süss (1934)

  1. just finished watching Jew Suss. well considering the back story of detainment and threats, prior to filming, I think Conrad Veidt’s performance was outstanding.

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