The Kaiser - The Beast of Berlin (lost propaganda film; 1918)
The Kaiser - The Beast of Berlin is a 1918 propaganda film that was produced by, directed by and starred the actor Rupert Julian. Julian played the title role, that of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, while Elmo Lincoln portrayed a blacksmith who is victimized by the Kaiser. The film is now considered lost and is on the American Film Institute's list of the "Ten Most Wanted" lost films. In 1919, a parody of the film, titled The Geezer of Berlin was released.
The film depicts the atrocities committed by the Kaiser against the Belgian people including Marcas, a blacksmith, who loses his wife to one of the Kaiser's attacks on his own people. Marcas is able to save his daughter from a German soldier. Eventually, the Kaiser is captured by the Allied generals and turned over to the Belgian people, who imprisoned him in a dungeon, guarded closely by the blacksmith.
The film was distributed by Jewel Productions (now Universal Pictures) and was an immediate hit. “Audiences were told that they could ‘hiss the Kaiser’ every time his mustachioed face appeared on the screen.” Riding on his success of the movie, Rupert Julian went on to play the role of the Kaiser in other films later on.
- AFI catalog page on The Kaiser aka The Beast of Berlin Retrieved 25 Sept ‘18
- American Film, Volume 5, Issues 1-10 Retrieved 25 Sept ‘18
- Michigan Film Review - Now Booking All NEW RELEASES of CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND PETROVA SUPER-PICTURES Retrieved 25 Sept ‘18
- The Films of Lon Chaney by Michael Blake Retrieved 25 Sept ‘18
- History News Network article on the effect of propaganda Retrieved 25 Sept ‘18