Special: Fritz Kortner

Abdul The Damned

Karl Grune
GBR 1935
111 min

Despotic­ Sultan­ Abdul ­Hamid­ commands­ his ­chief ­of ­police ­to ­undermine ­the­ Young ­Turks’ ­rebels, ­ensuring ­their ­discredit ­and ­eventually the ­assassination ­of ­the ­Turks ­leader ­Hassan ­Bey.
Kortner­ co-authored­ the­ script­ (uncredited)­ and­ wrote­ a­ rewarding double ­role ­for ­himself: ­both­ as­ the ­Sultan­ and ­a ­third-class ­actor, ­who ­is supposed­ to­ act­ as­ the­ Sultan’s­ double­ but­ fails­ miserably.­ The­ rumour spread ­among ­émigrés ­that ­Hitler ­had ­a­ doppelganger ­might ­have ­been the ­origin ­of ­the ­story –­ as­ it ­was ­for ­THE ­STRANGE ­DEATH­ OF ­ADOLF HITLER later­ on;­ but­ despite­ a­ few­ elements­ of­ conventional­ cliché, ABDUL­ THE­ DAMNED unveils­ the­ falseness­ and­ cynicism­ of­ all­ power politics.
“Though­ the­ story­ of­ the ­young­ Turks’­ rebellion­ took­ place­ in ­1908, Fritz­ Kortner’s­ Abdul­ looks­ like­ an­ allegorical­ representation­ of­ Hitler, while ­the ­massacre ­of ­the­ young ­Turks ­reminds ­us ­of­ the­ murder ­of ­Ernst Röhm ­and ­his ­SA ­leaders ­by ­members ­of ­the ­SS ­in ­1934.” ­(Richard­ Falcon)

  • Fritz Kortner - Abdul Hamid/Kislar
  • Nils Asther - Chief of Police
  • Adrienne Ames - Therese Alder
  • John Stuart - Captain Talak Pasha
  • Walter Rilla - Hassan Bey
  • Ashley Dukes
  • Roger Burford
  • Warren Chetham Strode and Curt Siodmak
  • Emeric Pressburger (uncredited) Fritz Kortner (uncredited)
  • Otto Kanturek
  • A.C. Hammond
  • Walter Stokvis
  • Hanns Eisler; Idris Lewis (Dirigent)
  • Clarence Elder; John Mead
  • Robert Neumann
British International Pictures, London; Capitol Film Corporation Ltd., London
35 mm
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