Pinkus Shoe Palace

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Original title Pinkus Shoe Palace
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1916
length 60 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Ernst Lubitsch
script Hanns Kräly ,
Erich Schönfelder
production Paul Davidson
for projection group "Union"

Schuhpalast Pinkus is a German silent film comedy in three acts by Ernst Lubitsch from 1916.


first act

Sally Pinkus is a lazy student. He refuses to get up early (“I'll be late enough early”) and is not very interested in learning at school and all the more in his classmates. He likes to be the class clown. At home he claims in front of his father that he is studying for the final exam, but in reality he secretly smokes cigarettes. He cheats on the exam and is expelled from school for improper behavior. At home he confessed to his offense and flees from his angry father.

Second act

Sally tries unsuccessfully to find a job because of his bad school report. By chance he sees a beautiful young girl working in a small shoemaker's shop in Berlin . Since her father is looking for an apprentice and does not value Sally's report card, he is hired as an apprentice and has to wipe the floor wet, among other things. He brags in front of his parents that he now has a brilliant position and they are proud of their son. However, Sally quickly reveals his old self while at work: He's lazy, plays tricks - among other things, he adjusts the calendar by one day so that the weekend starts earlier - and refuses to serve certain customers. When he starts a relationship with the boss's daughter, he is fired.

Sally is hired by the businessman Meiersohn, who runs a large shoe store, through an advertisement. Besides the many saleswomen, he is now the cock in the basket and enjoys it. When he tickles the foot of a customer while trying on shoes and she leaves the shop indignantly, Sally is about to be fired. Meiersohn changes his mind when Sally succeeds in selling an expensive pair of shoes to the dancer Melitta Hervé. He brings her the shoes home himself and tricked Meiersohn who secretly wanted to do this himself. While Meiersohn's package, secretly packed by Sally, contains an old pair of men's shoes, Sally brings the dancer the right ones and flirts with her over tea afterwards. She lends him 30,000 marks so that he can open his own shoe shop, and Sally grandly announces to Meiersohn with a cigar in his mouth that he will quit.

Third act

Sally is now the boss of the "Pinkus Shoe Palace". He has over a dozen employees who are paid by Melitta, but no customers. He goes over to aggressive advertising: after Melitta has performed a dance in the theater, he calls out from the proscenium box that the shoes she is wearing are available in the Pinkus Shoe Palace. He also announces a shoe presentation in his shop for the next day and distributes flyers.

The show was a huge success and the newspapers were raging for Sally. He can now repay the borrowed money at the Melitta, but instead proposes to her because the money stays in the family. Melitta accepts the proposal and they both hug each other.


The shoes shown in the film were provided by the Berlin company Emil Jacobi , thanked in the opening credits. From the censorship has been Shoe Palace Pinkus assigned a Jugendverbot. The premiere of the film took place on June 9, 1916 in the UT Kurfürstendamm in Berlin .


Contemporary critics saw Schuhpalast Pinkus as "a really funny film [that is] full of humor from start to finish and [contains] an abundance of scenes [to be laughed at without reservation".

Schuhpalast Pinkus was shown in a series of early films by Ernst Lubitsch from 1916 onwards. The criticism of the film was negative:

“[This] film was considered an excellent achievement at the time; You don't understand it at all today and you wonder how the other films of that time must have looked when the technology from the Schuhpalast is unsurpassably naive. One did not understand how to illuminate, did not even know how to correctly lay out a manuscript, just as direction and representation would no longer meet today's requirements. "

- Cinematograph, 1926

For the clichéd and standardized representation of Jewish characters, for example in the figure of Sally Pinkus and Meiersohn, the film was partially accused of anti-Semitism or "self-hatred" in research.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Pinkus' Shoe Palace . In: Der Film , No. 21, June 17, 1916.
  2. ^ Lubitsch cycle . In: Kinematograph , No. 1015, August 1, 1926.
  3. Cf. Valerie Weinstein: Anti-Semitism or Jewish 'Camp'? Ernst Lubitsch's Schuhpalast Pinkus (1916) and Meyer Aus Berlin (1918) . In: German Life and Letters . Volume 59, Issue 1, 2006, pp. 101-121.