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Mysteries of a Barbershop

Mysteries of a Barbershop

Mysteries of a Barbershop is a comic, slapstick German film of 33 minutes, created by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Erich Engel, and starring the Munich cabaret clown Karl Valentin and leading stage actor Erwin Faber. Brecht reportedly did not write a complete shooting script, but rather produced "notes" and "parts of a manuscript" (according to Faber) for this short, silent film and intended the actors to improvise the action. Although the film was not considered a success by any of its creative team, and consequently never released as a profit making film to the public, it has been recognized and acknowledged—since its re-discovery in a Moscow archive in the 1970s—as a considerably important German film.

Plot

The plot revolves around Dr. Moras (Faber) who visits a barber (Valentin), who accidentally shaves Moras to look like a Chinese person, and then mistakenly cuts off Moras' rival's head (photo, above, right), which is sewn back on, and ends with a sword fight - "The Duel" - and in which Faber is triumphant, actually saved by the barber's assistant (Ebinger), and Ebinger and Faber embrace in a happy ending in a mysterious Senegalese Salon.