The pièce de résistance of Darinoff’s dance routine is shooting a gun at his partner. The dastardly deed is part of a dramatic dance that he performs with great success in music halls. When he secretly visits his former partner, Enrica, in the villa where she now lives with her rich, older husband, Darinoff also draws his pistol during a dance. But this time the weapon actually discharges and police inspector Lund has a complicated murder mystery on his hands; one in which Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” provides an important clue … For his suspenseful thriller, director Kurt Gerron could draw on his own experiences in music hall (films) and thrillers (Der weiße Dämon, 1932). The camerawork is also influenced by the moonlight of the title. Using only natural light, the DP has created stark contrast between light and dark, in which characters operate in ways comparably questionable to F. W. Murnau’s detective tale Schloss Vogelöd (1921). German emigrants worked on 36 of the 37 narrative films made in Holland between 1934 and 1940. However, the country was unable to provide permanent sanctuary for Kurt Gerron, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.
by Kurt Gerron
with Wiesje van Tuinen, Louis Saalborn, Louis de Bree