The Love of Jeanne Ney

In DVD/Blu-ray by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

An epic of Weimar silent cinema, The Love Of Jeanne Ney follows the adventures of a young French woman amidst the chaos of post-World War I Europe.

Blending  ‘American style’ big-studio blockbuster, with the eerie camerawork and shadowy perspectives of German expressionism, Jeanne Ney is a forgotten classic, now brought to new audiences as part of Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series. 

Originally released in the UK with the rather lurid title, Lusts Of The Flesh, Jeanne Ney is based on the novel by Ilya Ehrenburg—one of the most prolific authors of Soviet-era Russia. Not surprisingly, then, both film and book focus heavily on plot and politics—with much scheming and dirty-deeds being done.

Brigitte Helm of Metropolis fame stars as the titular Jeanne but is sadly underused in a film that, at times, seems to be all about style over substance. But, ah, but what style! In the hands of the ever-reliable G.W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box), what Jeanne Ney lacks in believable and fully-fleshed characters, it more than makes up for with stunning visuals, surprising angles, clever compositions and startlingly modern imagery.

Eureka’s 1080p blu-ray presentation is the first time that this silent drama has been available in the UK. Fully-restored, with a score by Bernard Thewes, it also includes the alternative US release with a score by Andrew Earle Simpson.