771. OTHELLO (1922-Germany). With EMIL JANNINGS, WERNER KRAUS, LYA DE PUTTI. Directed by DIMITRI BUSCHOWETZKI. At first glance, the very last literary properties to be filmed before the inÂvention Of sound films should be the works Of William Shakespeare: Yet among the very first films featuring Emil Jannings in his native Germany is a silent version Of Shakespeare! Is it madness? How do you convert the greatest poet and playwright in the English language to a mute medium? It is poetic pentameter reduced to occasional title cards with none Of the Bards’ gift. For example: “At the Palace Of the Duke Of Venice, Senate and Nobility have gathered to welcome Othello, the Moor, returning in glory from the War”. But lest you think the attempt should have waited a mere five years for the adÂvent Of sound (at least one other silent version was made in 1914), you will be surprised to discover that this is a very successful translation to film. Despite the awkwardness Of silence, using memorable quotes from the play, elaborate costumes and sets, and a considerable number Of fine performances, the flavor Of the tragedy comes across very well indeed. The towering presence Of Jannings, world famous even at that time before his arrival in Hollywood, dominates the film. Why not a silent “Othello”? The mime’s art is a pure one. As Mr. Shakespeare said, “The rest is silence”. Silent film with music score and titles in English, correct projection speed. 98 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Drama