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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Germany on Trial . The scenario was tentatively known as "I Tried the Kaiser." The film was shot at the Biograph Studio in New York. It had its premiere in Detroit on 1 Jun 1919. James W. Gerard was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1913 until 1917. His book My Four Years in Germany was the basis of a 1918 film also produced by Warner Brothers. No information has been located to determine if cast member Herbert Standing was the actor born in 1846 or his son, of the same name, who was born in 1887. According to studio records, Gerard stipulated that ten percent of the gross taken in for exhibition of this film was to be given to ... More Less

The working title of this film was Germany on Trial . The scenario was tentatively known as "I Tried the Kaiser." The film was shot at the Biograph Studio in New York. It had its premiere in Detroit on 1 Jun 1919. James W. Gerard was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1913 until 1917. His book My Four Years in Germany was the basis of a 1918 film also produced by Warner Brothers. No information has been located to determine if cast member Herbert Standing was the actor born in 1846 or his son, of the same name, who was born in 1887. According to studio records, Gerard stipulated that ten percent of the gross taken in for exhibition of this film was to be given to charity. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Bio
29 Apr 20
p. 53.
DetFP
1 Jun 19
Pt. 4, p. 12.
DetFP
2 Jun 19
p. 10.
DetN
19 Jul 19
p. 413, 415
DetN
2 Jun 19
p. 14.
Variety
30 May 19
p. 76.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Germany on Trial
Release Date:
June 1919
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
8,486
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Kaiser Wilhelm, on trial before an international commission, defends himself by saying he was serving God and following his ancestors. One of these, William the Fat, provokes his son Frederick through terror into becoming the militarist leader later known as Frederick the Great. The barbarity of Attila the Hun is shown to be similar to that of the Kaiser. A German officer kills a French woman and her son, and rapes her daughter. Later, the daughter, who has become a Red Cross nurse, treats the officer and stops him from suicide. A deranged British soldier, tells of his POW experiences with an American and Frenchman, the Frenchman being knifed by a wounded German soldier he was helping. Documents are brought into evidence supporting the testimony. The German officer warns the court to beware of still-existing militaristic Prussianism. The Kaiser finally shows his true colors by yelling that God demands the destruction of all that oppose ... +


Kaiser Wilhelm, on trial before an international commission, defends himself by saying he was serving God and following his ancestors. One of these, William the Fat, provokes his son Frederick through terror into becoming the militarist leader later known as Frederick the Great. The barbarity of Attila the Hun is shown to be similar to that of the Kaiser. A German officer kills a French woman and her son, and rapes her daughter. Later, the daughter, who has become a Red Cross nurse, treats the officer and stops him from suicide. A deranged British soldier, tells of his POW experiences with an American and Frenchman, the Frenchman being knifed by a wounded German soldier he was helping. Documents are brought into evidence supporting the testimony. The German officer warns the court to beware of still-existing militaristic Prussianism. The Kaiser finally shows his true colors by yelling that God demands the destruction of all that oppose him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.