The Salvation Hunters (1925)

A poor family on the docks move to the city to find fulfillment.


Sternberg is one of my all time favorite director. The Salvation Hunters is his first film. It shows that he had a great visual eye from the beginning. The film is beautiful to look at, a mixture of avant garde and realism. The main problem with this film is how it desperately tries to be deep, give everything meaning and too willing to point out all the symbolism. If they had cut out the inter titles from the story teller then the film would have been poetic realism but instead it becomes preachy and pretentious. Thankfully Sternberg never made that mistake again. In all his latter films (those I have seen) he focuses on the visuals (and in some way on the story) and trusts the audience to find a meaning.

Only for the die hard Sternberg fans. 5/10. Those who want to watch his films chronologically should start with Underworld.

9 years ago


For his first film, Joseph von Sternberg is funny, melodramatic and naturalistic. Baroque in a sense… already baroque without being visually-baroque.

Read more in French on La Saveur des goûts amers.

3 years ago

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