I Don't Want to Be a Man

1918

Comedy / Romance

45
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 1,100

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
416.42 MB
1280*720
German 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
45 min
P/S N/A / N/A
773.56 MB
1920×1080
German 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
45 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by movingpicturegal 9 / 10 / 10

The Cross-Dressing Cutie

Very entertaining silent film about cute, lively young Ossi, a tomboy full of a fun-loving spirit, she likes to smoke, drink booze, stick out her tongue, and play poker with her male chums - but her guardian and governess want her to behave like a "proper young lady". Wishing she were "born a boy" she heads to a local men's store and has herself fitted for an evening suit. Soon she's out on the streets in top hat, white tie, and tails, her hair groomed like a boy's, she rides the street car, and goes to a ballroom where she's soon drinking champagne and smoking cigars, flirting with (and even kissing) her own guardian - and he think's she's a fellow! This film is full of charm and loads of fun, in many ways due to the delightful and well done performance given by Ossi Oswalda, a very likable young actress, totally tops in cute and charming! The DVD of this has a nice looking black and white print and includes an extremely appealing, lively piano score by Neil Brand that is the perfect accompaniment to this film.

Reviewed by Steffi_P 6 / 10 / 10

"I beg to differ"

You wouldn't think there was a war on, with pictures like this being produced. But in spite of, or perhaps because of the ongoing conflict in Europe, the mid-to-late teens saw a veritable revolution in screen comedy. Notably there was Charlie Chaplin in Hollywood, but outside the states the most important figure was surely director Ernst Lubitsch. What is astonishing is that due to the war the German film industry was isolated for foreign imports, and Lubitsch's approach flourished independently without influence from abroad. This picture comes from a transitional point in Lubitsch's development, moving from his earliest character-based farces, which were not particularly special, to spectacular comedies where the gags were in the staging and arrangements. Essentially, Lubitsch realised that simple things can appear very funny if they are done simultaneously by lots of people. There are a couple of early examples of this here – the mass of serenading suitors, or the gaggle of love-struck tailors. These little moments are comic highpoints, but Lubitsch does not yet appear to have the confidence to spin them into a consistent style. Other than this, we have a series of gags based around Ossi Oswalda's dragged-up escapades. It's interesting to see this frank flirtation with cross-dressing and homosexuality (although not very surprising – remember this was the era of Magnus Hirschfield), but as comedy it soon gets a little tedious. But leaving the comedy aside for the moment, there is evidence here for Lubitsch's emergence as a real craftsman of the cinema. The young director seems to have been really fascinated by the field of depth (an aspect of cinema often forgotten in an age of widescreen), panning shots and rapid editing. Most of the movement in I Don't Want to Be a Man is either towards or away from the camera, rather than across the frame. He often has a corridor leading off somewhere at the back of the shot, giving the space more definition (an honourable mention here goes to set designer Kurt Richter, whose slightly oddball creations were perfect for Lubitsch's world), and there are some very cunning uses of these. One example is when the governess meets the disguised Ossi at the bottom of the staircase. When Ossi exits, the camera pans a little to the right, suddenly framing the governess with the depth of the room behind her and subtly realigning our focus onto her reaction. There is another factor that makes Lubitsch's German comedies distinctively different, and that is the presence of Ossi Oswalda herself. Although she was dubbed "the German Mary Pickford", Hollywood didn't really have anyone quite like her; a female star who could carry a comedy, and be the originator of the humour rather than just an element within a humorous film. Unfortunately for her, Lubitsch's pictures would get ever more elaborate in style, and would be less and less about the individual performances. If nothing else, I Don't Want to Be a Man shows Oswalda at her best.

Reviewed by agboone7 6 / 10 / 10

Oh, that Lubitsch…

Homoeroticism, transvestitism, gender confusion, dominance and submission, borderline pedophilia — there has never been another, and certainly will never be another like Ernst Lubitsch. No one who's familiar with his films could ever be surprised to see the myriad of taboo subjects covered in "I Don't Want To Be a Man", but even I was flabbergasted a few times in this one. You won't see many 1910s films like it. In fact, you won't see many 2010s films like it. And any you do see will certainly not have Lubitsch's inimitable gift for tackling such controversial material with such a light, innocuous hand ("the Lubitsch touch", as they call it). Lubitsch left Germany and came to Hollywood in 1923, and the American film industry would never be the same. He brought with him his sophistication, his innuendo, and his playful mischievousness. He introduced Hollywood to sex. He pioneered the cinematic musical, making the first ever truly modern musical with "The Love Parade" in '29. His influence on American cinema is as great as anyone's since Griffith. Most of us know Lubitsch from either his run of musicals — "The Love Parade", "Monte Carlo", "The Smiling Lieutenant", and "One Hour With You" — or his subsequent non-musicals, "Trouble in Paradise" and "Design for Living". That lattermost film was made in 1933, the last year before the Hays Code was enforced, and therefore, the last year that Lubitsch would ever be able to be the filmmaker he was born to be. Lubitsch's gift was to make comedy out of contentious subject matter, and so for a director who thrived off of suggestion and sexual innuendo, the Hays Code was effectively the end of Lubitsch. Of course, he made some good films after that — "To Be or Not To Be" and "Heaven Can Wait" came in the early '40s, and were both quality films — but Lubitsch would never again be able to make films that genuinely reflected his true nature as a filmmaker, and his unique sensibilities as an artist. I think a little bit of censorship, however, was good for Lubitsch. The Hays Code obviously involved far too much of it, but even before '34 when the code really kicked in, there was still censorship. The standards were much looser, but there were standards, nonetheless. And so Lubitsch was forced to express things implicitly that he might otherwise have expressed more explicitly, to much lesser effect. The waggish innuendo that was Lubitsch's bread and butter was necessitated by the presence of censorship. Without some degree of censorship, his films would probably lack some of the qualities he's now famous for. "I Don't Want To Be a Man" is a good example of this. The restrictions placed on filmmakers in the late 1910s in Germany were clearly even slacker than those in Hollywood's pre-code era, and so many of these early German silents by Lubitsch are more forthright and candid in their treatment of controversial subject matter than his American films were. In a way that makes them all the more riotously entertaining, but it also deprives them of that wink-of-the-eye style of suggestive humor that was Lubitsch's greatest asset as a filmmaker. There's another reason these early silents by Lubitsch are interesting: They were made prior to the expressionist movement in German cinema. All of the German films I've seen from the '20s can be classified as either part of the German expressionist movement or the New Objectivity movement (an early movement in cinematic social realism). These Lubitsch films, however, from the years before expressionism catapulted German cinema to new levels of popularity, belong to neither movement. So I'm happy to see some German silents that aren't so easily categorized. Truly, "I Don't Want To Be a Man" transcends classification. Almost never before have I seen such a plethora of taboo subjects in one film. We've seen some of these themes in other Lubitsch films, like the homoeroticism in "Design for Living" (though it was dialed down from Coward's source material), but to see so many of them crammed together into one 45-minute film was quite a ride. However controversial the subjects may have been, though, their treatment was as innocent as can be imagined. Everything in a Lubitsch film is lighthearted by nature. Saying that a filmmaker was "ahead of his time" is one of the most overused statements in all of film criticism, but here I have no reservations in saying that Lubitsch's films were truly as far ahead of their time, socially, as any films I've ever seen. He was openly and merrily conveying aspects of human socio-sexual tendencies that many individuals are sadly still struggling to come to grips with today, in the year 2015, almost a century later. His films have been accused of being sexist, and watching a movie like "The Smiling Lieutenant", we can see, to a certain extent, why that has been considered. There has certainly been much debate over the nature of Lubitsch's significant role in determining the treatment of female characters in Hollywood cinema. Consequently, some of his films may be more controversial now than they were in their own time. As open-minded and liberal as he was, Lubitsch was never even remotely concerned with being politically correct, and so his body of work remains a fascinating place to study the direction that cinema has taken. "I Don't Want To Be a Man" is a feverish assault of controversiality and taboo-breaking fun. It's not a great film, but it's a solid film and a joy to watch, and it's unlike anything else from its time (or from any other time, really). I would think that almost anyone would find it worth its 45 minutes, and fans of Lubitsch especially will, I'm sure, be quite satisfied with it. RATING: 6.00 out of 10 stars

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