The Films
Abend - Nacht - Morgen
director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
year: 1920
country: Germany
'Abend, Nacht, Morgen' (translated: Evening, Night, Morning) was filmed as part of a series of detective films for Decla Bioscop. The plot occurs within a period of less than 24 hours. Cheston, a millionaire, is looking after Maud, a beautiful woman from the 'demimonde'. Her brother, Brilburn, forces her to ask her rich admirer for an expensive piece of jewelry. Cheston buys a precious pearl necklace, which he proudly presents that evening. Prince, a bankrupt 'bon vivant', hatches a plan to steal the necklace. He breaks into the Cheston mansion, but is surprised by the owner. Prince strikes Cheston to the ground. To make the crime look like suicide, the robber hangs his victim and makes off with the necklace. That very same night, Brilburn breaks into the Cheston mansion with the intention of stealing the necklace himself. He finds Cheston hanging, and takes him down from the rope. While trying to flee the crime scene, he is caught by the police. Cheston, who had actually only fainted, calls Detective Ward. At first the detective suspects Brilburn, whose dagger was found on the crime scene. In the end, however, Ward uncovers a piece of evidence that leads to the discovery of the real criminal: the tobacco crumbs that Prince had left on the scene.
Adapted from sources presented on this website, with additional information from:
Lotte H. Eisner, 'Murnau: Der Klassiker des Deutschen Films', 1967
City of Bielefeld, 'Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau 1888 - 1988', Bielefeld: Bielefelder Verlagsanstalt, 1988
Fritz Göttler, Frieda Grafe, Wolfgang Jacobsen, Enno Patalas etc., 'Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau', Munich (etc.): Hanser, 1990
Hans Helmut Prinzler (ed.), 'Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau: ein Melancholiker des Films', Berlin: Bertz , 2003
Screenplay: Rudolf Schneider.
Director of Photography: Eugen Hamm.
Set Design: Robert Neppach.
Cast: Carl von Balla (Prince, a gambler), Otto Gebühr (Ward, a detective), Conrad Veidt (Brilburn, Maud's brother), Gertrude Welcker (Maud, a woman of the 'demi-monde'), Bruno Ziener (Cheston, a rich Lord, Maud's paramour).
Production Company: Helios-Film Erwin Rosner, Berlin.
Producer: Erwin Rosner.
Studio: Lixie-Atelier, Berlin-Weißensee.
Initial Distributor: Decla-Bioscop-Verleih GmbH, Berlin.
Length: 5 Acts, 1713 m.
Format: 35mm, 1:1.33.
Picture/Sound: b/w, silent.
Censorship details: 6 Sept 1920, B.00385, ban for young people.
Première: 24 Sept 1920, Berlin (Decla-Lichtspiele Unter den Linden).
Translated from:
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