Golden Butterfly

(Der Goldene Schmetterling)

Austria 1926. Dir Michael Curtiz.

With Lili Damita, Hermann Leffler. 77min

As in Red Heels, a tragic note is ever-present in Golden Butterfly. The dancer is a creature of the night, a moth driven to the glitter of the stage only to be blinded and burnt. Another one of Curtiz’s ambitious European co-productions designed to rival the dominance of Hollywood cinema in the mid-1920s (ironically, the director and his star left for Hollywood soon after), Golden Butterfly was shot in London, Cambridge and Berlin. It features some highly accomplished, spectacular dance routines under the art direction of the ‘master of atmospheric mysteries’ Paul Leni.