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The Wild Cat (1921 film)

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Director  Ernst Lubitsch
Initial DVD release  December 5, 2006 (USA)
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country  Germany
The Wild Cat (1921 film) movie poster
Writer  Hanns Kraly, Ernst Lubitsch
Release date  12 April 1921
Screenplay  Ernst Lubitsch, Hanns Kraly
Cast  Pola Negri (Rischka), Victor Janson (Kommandant der Festung Tossenstein), Paul Heidemann (Leutnant Alexis), Wilhelm Diegelmann (Räuberhauptmann Claudius), Hermann Thimig (Pepo), Edith Meller (Lilli)
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die bergkatze the wildcat 1921

The Wild Cat (aka The Mountain Cat, German: Die Bergkatze), subtitled A Grotesque in Four Acts, is a 1921 German silent, farcical romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch.


The Wild Cat (1921 film) movie scenes

The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra premiered its new score for the film at the 2011 St. Louis International Film Festival.

The Wild Cat (1921 film) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen774Die

Act I

The commander of an isolated border fortress receives word that a Lieutenant Alexis has been assigned there as punishment. This delights his wife and daughter. Elsewhere, vast mobs of women line the streets to bid Alexis goodbye (as does a horde of young children who call him Daddy).

Act II

The Wild Cat (1921 film) The Wildcat 1921 IMDb

On the sleigh ride to his new posting, Alexis is pelted by a snowball by a young woman. When he gets out of the sleigh, he is surrounded by armed men, part of a gang of feared robbers nominally led by Claudius, but in reality under the bidding of his daughter, Rischka. Rischka forces Alexis to take off his uniform. He nonchalantly kisses her hand anyway. When one of the men draws his dagger, Rischka intervenes and lets Alexis go unharmed, in his "underclothes".


The Wild Cat (1921 film) The Wildcat 1921 A Silent Film Review Movies Silently

When Alexis arrives at the fort, Lilli, the commander's daughter, likes what she sees. The commander sends Alexis with a large musical band and a smaller detachment of soldiers to punish the robbers, but despite being outnumbered, Rischka and her men have little trouble routing their attackers. When the soldiers return to the fort, their commander assumes they have been victorious and gives Alexis Lilli's hand in marriage as a reward. None of the men bother to correct him.

The Wild Cat (1921 film) Die Bergkatze The wildcat 1921 YouTube

There is a great celebration, with fireworks, an orchestra, dancing and drinking. Rischka sneaks into the fortress with some of the robbers and proceeds to loot a bedroom. She puts on a dress she finds there, and the men don uniforms; then they all join the party. Alexis spots her and gives chase, finally trapping her in a room. They embrace, but then he decides his duty requires him to turn her in. He locks her in, but a jealous Lilli later opens the room and makes Rischka leave before Alexis returns with soldiers.

Act IV

The Wild Cat (1921 film) Die BergkatzeThe Wildcat 1921 The party at the fort and the

Claudius also decides it is time for his daughter to marry. The robbers remind him that he promised one of them the honor. When Rischka demands to know who it will be, all but one slink away. Only Pepo remains. Rischka does not take him seriously, until he unexpectedly knocks her down and drags her away by her legs. Shocked at first by this atypical behavior, she eventually showers him with kisses, and they embrace in the snow. As part of the wedding ceremony, Claudius chains the couple together at the wrist. However, Rischka becomes sad when she reads of the betrothal of Alexis and Lilli. Seeing this, Pepo unchains her.

The Wild Cat (1921 film) Die BergkatzeThe Wildcat 1921 Rischkas dream and wedding YouTube

She goes to Alexi's suite. He is glad to see her, and goes to change into something more comfortable. While he is gone, Lilli arrives. Seeing her rival, she bursts into tears, causing Rischka to promise to make things right (though she does steal Lilli's necklace while comforting her). When Alexis returns, Rischka acts so boorishly that he becomes disgusted. She returns to Pepo, while Alexis greets Lilli more warmly.


  • Victor Janson as Fortress Commander
  • Marge Köhler as His Wife
  • Edith Meller as Their Daughter [Lilli]
  • Paul Heidemann as Lieutenant Alexis
  • Wilhelm Diegelmann as Claudius
  • Pola Negri as Rischka
  • Hermann Thimig as Pepo, a shy thief
  • Paul Biensfeldt as Dafko
  • Paul Grätz as Zofano
  • Max Kronert as Masilio
  • Erwin Kropp as Tripio
  • Restoration

    The film was restored in 2000 from an original negative. The intertitles were lost, but were reconstructed from surviving censor notes.

    DVD releases

    The film was released with German intertitles by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and the Transit Film GmbH in 2006 in the 6-CD box set "Ernst Lubitsch Collection" with original music composed by Marco Dalpane and performed by the Ensemble Playground in 2000. The film was released in the US by Kino Lorber as part of the box set "Lubitsch in Berlin" in 2007 with English intertitles. It was also released in the UK by Eureka's Masters of Cinema series as part of the box set "Lubitsch in Berlin: Fairy-Tales, Melodramas, and Sex Comedies" in 2010 with German intertitles and English subtitles.


    The Wild Cat (1921 film) Wikipedia
    The Wild Cat (1921 film) IMDb The Wild Cat (1921 film)