The Love of Jeanne Ney

Germany 1927, 105 min. | HD-s/w-restored version

The Love of Jeanne Ney tells a love story in the turmoil of the time shortly after the October Revolution and is set between the Crimea and Paris. The film was made in 1927 based on the novel of the same name by Ilja Ehrenburg, and was shot on many original locations in Paris. With his revolutionary editing technique, director G. W. Pabst created an ultra-modern film drama, half melodrama, half political thriller. In the first-class restoration and with the newly orchestrated music, this classic of Weimar cinema is finally available in an adequate version.

Film clip "The Love of Jeanne Ney"

When the Red Army occupies Crimea during the Russian Civil War, the French agent and journalist Alfred Ney is shot. His daughter Jeanne, who has fallen in love with the young Bolshevik Andreas of all people, has no choice but to leave the country and flee to Paris: There she finds accommodation with her uncle, who runs a private detective agency in Paris, and his blind daughter. Andreas manages to get himself transferred to Paris on a communist mission and finds Jeanne again, but their happiness in love does not last long.  The sleazy Chalybieff, an informer for the White Guards, has his eye on the pretty girl and has travelled to Paris. Not only does he pester her with his importunity, but he is also after her uncle's fortune. Chalybieff will stop at nothing to achieve his goals and eliminate his rival Andreas.

There is a historical piano compilation of the film in the MoMA music collection, which was presumably made in the 1930s when the curator at the time, Iris Barry, acquired a copy of the film from the Reichsfilmarchiv in Berlin. The piano compilation was arranged for the restored version and newly orchestrated by Bernd Thewes for the Funkhaus Orchestra with its strong wind section. The result is a highly interesting film score which, with the motifs of the historical piano score, does justice to convention, but which, in its modern orchestration, provides the film with a musical version on a par with the original.

The Love of Jeanne Ney

Music for the silent film of the same name by Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1927). Orchestration and synchronisation by Bernd Thewes (2016).



2 Flöte/Picc (2. auch Altflöte).2 Oboe.2 Klarinette (1. auch es-Klarinette, Alt-Sax, 2. auch BKla, Tenor-Sax).2 Fagott (2. auch KFag) - 4 Horn.3 Trompete (1.u.2. auch Piccolo, Kornett, 3. auch Flügelhorn, Kornett).3 Posaune (3. BPos).0 - Pauken.3 Schlagzeug (3. Drum Set) - Harfe, Klavier (auch Hammond/Keyboard-E-Bass) -   Streicher (

The source material for the current restoration is a copy that the Museum of Modern Art purchased from the Reichsfilmarchiv in the 1930s. This copy probably corresponds to the original German version and comes from the so-called B negative, which has not survived. During the restoration, the English intertitles were replaced with the German texts according to the censorship card and shots were replaced with technically better material from other copies. The main titles and inserts were taken from the historical MoMA print, and the new German intertitles were designed accordingly. For the digital reconstruction of the film carried out by the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation in 2016, the source material was scanned in 2K resolution.

Bernd Thewes (*1957)

studied school music in Saarbrücken and musicology in Mainz, self-taught composer. Numerous compositions for solo and orchestral ensembles, radiophonic projects, self-made instruments, opera, sound installations and electronic music. 1985 co-founder and (until 1990) conductor of the New Music Society Illingen. 1988-97, together with the trumpeter Michael Gross, organiser and director of the Illingen Castle Festival for New Music. 1995 Scholarship of the state capital Saarbrücken. 1997 Scholarship from the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Collaboration with musicians such as Dirk Rothbrust, Mike Svoboda, Dietmar Wiesner, Ueli Wiget, Uwe Dierksen, William Foreman, Teodoro Anzellotti, Stefan Hussong, Hermann Kretschmar and Cathy Milliken. Performances of his works at the International Theatre Days Villach, the Musikfestspiele Saar, the Festival Musik im 20. Jahrhundert of the SR, at the klangaktionen Munich, at ars nova of the SWR, at the Forum Neue Musik of the SR and the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, at the Saarbrücker Kammermusiktage, at the Forum Neue Musik of the hr, at the European Music Festival Sofia, at musica viva Munich and Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart. Collaboration with ensembles such as the Trio Recherche, the Ensemble Aventure, the Ensemble musikFabrik, the Schlagquartett Köln, the Minguet Quartett and the Auryn Quartett. In the field of film music, he has realised several projects for Arte in recent years: New compositions for silent films (including films by Hans Richter and Carl Th. Dreyer) as well as arrangements of historical film music such as the new orchestral versions of Edmund Meisel's Berlin: Symphony of a Great City for the film of the same name by Walther Ruttmann and October, the music for the film version of the Russian October Revolution by Sergei Eisenstein or the large orchestral music for La Roue by Abel Gance, which lasts over 7 hours.

The director Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1885 - 1967) came to film via the theatre and made his first film Der Schatz at the age of 38. He became internationally known in 1925 with the social drama Die Freudlose Gasse with Greta Garbo and Asta Nielsen. Until 1929, he directed a film every year that was influential in the style of Weimar cinema, such as Secrets of a Soul (1926), The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927), Deviations (1928) and, with Louise Brooks, Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Woman (1929). In the sound film era, too, Pabst directed a series of films typical of the time until 1933, with which he distinguished himself as a representative of the political left: the anti-war film Westfront 1918 (1939), Die Dreigroschenoper and Kameradschaft. From 1933 Pabst worked mainly in France. Under the difficult conditions of an exile existence, he still made artistically high-quality films such as Mademoiselle Docteur with Dita Parlo, but the power and idiosyncrasy of his style-forming silent and sound films could hardly be matched. Pabst planned to move to the USA, but had to stay in Germany from 1939 when he was surprised by the outbreak of war during a stay in Vienna, where he directed two historical films. In the post-war period, he made films such as The Trial (1947) and in 1955 The Last Act and It Happened on July 20, in which he dealt with explosive themes such as anti-Semitism and resistance to the Nazi regime and with which he tried to build on the great artistic successes of the pre-war period. Due to his Parkinson's disease, Pabst's directing activities ended in 1957; he died in Vienna in May 1967 at the age of 82.


  • Direction:
    Georg Wilhelm Pabst
  • Screenplay:
    Ilja Ehrenburg, Ladislaus Vajda, Rudolf Leonhard
  • Camera:
    Fritz Arno Wagner, Walter Robert Lach
  • Actor's:
    Édith Jéhanne (Jeanne Ney), Brigitte Helm (Cousin Gabriele Ney), Hertha von Walther (Margot), Uno Henning (Sovjet agent Andreas), Fritz Rasp (White Guard spy Chalybieff), Adolf Edgar Licho (Uncle Raymond Ney), Eugen Jensen (Vather Alfred Ney), Hans Járay (Emile Poitras), Wladimir Sokoloff (Zacharkiewicz), Siegfried Arno (Detective Gaston) u.v.a.
  • Film restoration (2016):
  • Score music:
    Bernd Thewes (Arrangement, Orchestration)
  • Editorial:
    Nina Goslar
  • Production:
    Thomas Schmölz, 2eleven music film

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