Produced by Renowned Pictures Corp; Released 3/9/18 by Universal/Jewel; Director: Rupert Julian; Screenplay: Rupert Julian and Elliott J. Clawson; Cinematography: Edward Kull; 7 reels
CAST: Rupert Julian (Kaiser Wilhelm II), Elmo Lincoln (Marcas), Allan Sears (Captain von Wohlbold), Nigel de Brulier (Capt. von Neigle), Lon Chaney (von Bethmann-Hollweg), Marc Fenton (Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz), Jay Smith (Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg), Harry Carter (General Alexander von Kluck), William H. Bainbridge (Colonel Schmiedcke), Harry von Meter (Capt. von Hancke), Walter Belasco (Admiral von Pliscott), Ed Clark (General Erich von Falkenhayn), K. Painter (General Hans von Beseler), W. Coburn (General Rüdiger von der Goltz), F. Beauregard (General von Weddingen), E. Corcoran (General von Hoetzendorf), Wadsworth Harris (General von Ruesselheim), Captain Anderson (Captain Kovisch), Winter Hall (Dr. von Gressler), Robert Gordon (Louis Lomenie), Orlo Eastman (President Woodrow Wilson), Joseph Girard (Ambassador Gerard), Alfred Allen (General John Pershing), Henry Barrows (General Douglas Haig), Harry Holden (General Joseph Joffre), Pedro Soso (General Armando Diaz), Jack MacDonald (King Albert), Georgie Hupp (Little Jean), Frankie Lee (Hansel), Ruth Clifford (Gabrielle), Betty Carpenter (The New-Made Bride), Ruby Lafayette (Grandmother Marcas), Gretchen Lederer (Bertha von Neigel), Zoe Rae (Gretel)
SYNOPSIS: Marcas, a mighty blacksmith, lives with his daughter Gabrielle, his son Jean, and old Grandmother Marcas in the town of Louvain, Belgium. Far away in Berlin lives Emperor William II, the Kaiser of Germany. The Kaiser is in a foul mood and hurls numerous insults at Captain von Wohlbold. The Captain, able to endure no more, strikes the Kaiser, then commits suicide to atone for his disgrace. The Kaiser soon after declares war, announcing his intention to invade Belgium. Marcas tries to calm the fears of his townspeople, saying that Belgium has signed a treaty of neutrality with Germany, but the Kaiser has torn up the treaty, and soon troops march into Louvain. When a soldier seizes Gabrielle, Marcas kills the men, then throws the body into a burning building to hide his crime. The Lusitania is sunk and the Kaiser bestows on the U-boat captain a special medal, but the thoughts of the women and children he drowned haunts the officer and he goes mad. The President of the United States declares war on Germany, whereupon great troops of soldiers begin to march. The Kaiser is brought the news of the American entrance into the war and is stunned. An end to the war soon comes, and the Kaiser becomes a prisoner of the Belgians.
"The main intent of the producers, and they have adhered to it admirably, was to give the observer a look at the private and public life of this human monster...Mr. Julian's personal dilineation of the Kaiser is a splendid bit of acting all told...There are any number of bold and vigorous characterizations in the piece (including) Lon Chaney as Admiral von Tirpitz." --- Moving Picture World
"THE KAISER is less a photoplay than a dramatic presentation of the crimes of Germany dominated by the Satanic sneer of her leader. It shows the invasion of Belgium, the wreck of the Lusitania and the attempted drive toward Paris all guided by a fiend in a royal helmet and spiked moustache who does everything but snort fire. Rupert Julian impersonates this master- villain so successfully that his entrance is greeted with spontaneous hisses." --- Photoplay
NOTES: Although frequently listed as a Universal production, THE KAISER, THE BEAST OF BERLIN was an independent production produced by Rupert Julian for Renowned Pictures. Julian licensed the distribution rights to Renowned, who in turn sold the rights to Universal Jewel for world-wide distribution. Julian was such a convincing Kaiser that he was asked to reprise the role in many subsequent films.
The film was a blockbuster when it was released, and Universal spared no expense in advertising their megahit. Carl Laemmle pushed the film to the theater owners as hard as he sold it to the viewing public. "A whirlwind of Applause--A Landslide of Money," "Unparalleled Receipts," and "The Picture That Blocked Traffic on Broadway" were some of the headlines for ads run in trade publications in an attempt to get theater owners to book the picture.
Sadly, prints of the film no longer survive, and this title is on the American Film Institute's list of the "Ten Most Wanted" lost films. The film was also known as THE KAISER. In 1919, a short parody of the film was released titled THE GEEZER OF BERLIN.
There are numerous discrepancies among sources as to the characters in the cast. Among the most significant, some sources list Henry Barrows as playing the role of General Pershing and Lon Chaney as playing Admiral von Tirpitz. Erich von Stroheim is said to have written the screenplay and to have appeared, unbilled, as a German general.
Also, check out this program cover on my Poster Gallery.
© 1997,2008 Jon C. Mirsalis
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