BROKEN LULLABY - LE
(Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
Release date: 27 March 2023
Limited Edition Blu-ray (UK premiere)
Often overlooked amongst director Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies and musicals, Broken Lullaby is a riveting and brilliant romantic drama from the pre-Code era, starring Lionel Barrymore (It’s a Wonderful Life), Nancy Carroll (The Kiss Before the Mirror), and Phillips Holmes (The Criminal Code).
Musician Paul Renard is haunted by the memory of Walter, a German soldier he killed during the First World War. He travels to Walter’s home town, and, passing himself off as a friend of the deceased, is taken in by his grieving family. But when he finds himself falling in love with Elsa, Walter’s fiancée, he becomes worried that the truth will emerge...
With a screenplay by regular Lubitsch collaborator Samson Raphaelson (The Shop Around the Corner, Heaven Can Wait), Broken Lullaby was rapturously received by critics at the time, with one describing it as ‘the most unusual and dramatic situation the screen has presented’.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- 2021 restoration from a 2K scan
- Original mono audio
- Audio commentary with author and film historian Joseph McBride (2021)
- The Films of Ernst Lubitsch (2001, 69 mins): archival audio recording of a talk by Scott Eyman, author of Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise, originally presented as part the British Film Institute’s 2001 Lubitsch retrospective at the National Film Theatre, London
- The Men I Killed (2023, 14 mins): video essay on Broken Lullaby and François Ozon’s 2016 film Frantz, comparing their different cinematic approaches to adapting Maurice Rostand’s 1930 play, L’Homme que j’ai tué, and its 1931 English-language translation, The Man I Killed, by Reginald Berkeley
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Christina Newland, contemporary profiles of producer-director Ernst Lubitsch and star Lionel Barrymore, a brief look at the career of screenwriter Samson Raphaelson, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and full film credits
- UK premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies for the UK
BBFC cert: PG