The Wandering Jew (1935) A People Eternal דאס אייביגע פאלק
January 14, 1935 A Dramatized Legend. F.S.N. Published: January 14, 1935
The film of 'The Wandering Jew,'based on the play by the late E. Temple Thurston, has come to the Criterion's screen in a rich and well-photographed production that moves steadily, if slowly, to a strongly dramatic climax.
It tells the legend, whose source never has been established, of the Jew who spat upon Christ as He was carrying the cross up Calvary. For this he was doomed to live until Christ should come to him again. The film shows him then in three later periods?as an unknown knight in the First Crusade, as a merchant in Sicily during the thirteenth century, and finally as a physician in Seville during the days of the Inquisition. During the passing of the centuries you see the gradual change in the man's character, his searching for a spiritual atonement for what?in Christian eyes?was his crime. And with that, through a subtle shading of characterization, you sense his pride of being a Jew, the arrogance of an unyielding spirit, the proud refusal to accept the Christianity as represented by the clergy of his centuries.
It is this blend of character that gives life and dramatic weight to the penultimate episode when he, as the kindly philosopher-physician of Seville, is brought before the tribunal of the inquisition and accused of heresy. He sees, in the hall, a jewel-studded crucifix and, still proud of his Judaism, flails his judges with the memory of that other cross of rough sycamore and asks how they, with their cruelty and stupidity, can sit in judgment as representatives of Christ. For this he is sentenced to burn at the stake, but the flames die as they are kindled and a black pall descends on the public square as the Jew waits in an agony of hope for death. Then a single ray of light falls upon him and he dies. Conrad Veidt's moving portrayal of the Jew, perfectly attuned to each of the four phases of his wanderings and conveying, by delicate implication, the changes in the character during the intervening centuries, is the life and essence of the film. He is supported by a generally competent cast, with special praise for the work of Peggy Ashcroft.
THE WANDERING JEW, adapted from the late E. Temple Thurston's play,musical setting by Hugo Riesenfeld,directed by Maurice Elvey,produced by Julius Hagen for Twickenham Film Studios. At the Criterion. The Jew . . . . . Conrad Veidt Judith . . . . . Marie Ney Joanne de Beaudricourt . . . . . Bertram Wallis de Beaudricourt . . . . . Dennis Hoey Duke of Normandy . . . . . Jack Livesey Gianella . . . . . Joan Maude The Priest . . . . . John Stuart Olalla Quintana . . . . . Peggy Ashcroft Inquisitor-General . . . . . Francis L. Sullivan Ferera . . . . . Felix Aylmer Castro . . . . . Ivor Barnard Zapportas . . . . . Abraham Sofaer
Please note: These classical Yiddish Movies have been electronically enhanced to get the best possible video and sound quality. Due to the age and condition of the original movies, it was not always possible to have perfect results.