Movie Diary 6/18/2018

The Kaiser’s Lackey (aka Der Undertan, Wolfgang Staudte, 1951). An East German adaptation of a satirical novel by Heinrich Mann (author of The Blue Angel and brother of Thomas), charting the career of a pathetically spineless, yet ambitious and cruel, German in the late 19th- early 20th century. Nationalism, bureaucracy, and authority of all kinds are gleefully mocked, and the film has no soft edges. Brilliant performance by Werner Peters in the lead role.