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Die Nibelungen [Import]

Paul Richter , Margarete Sch÷n , Fritz Lang    Unrated   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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One Of The Greatest Artistic And Technical Achievements Of The German Silent Cinema. Fritz Lang'S Monumental Die Nibelungen Is A Passionate Retelling Of Nordic Legend, Invested With All The Resources Of The Colossal Ufa Studios. Scripted By Lang'S Wife At The Time, Thea Von Harbou (Metropolis), Siegfried Establishes Larger-Than-Life Heroic Characters Who Are Defined By Tests Of Valor And Rigid Codes Of Honor. In Order To Win The Hand Of Kriemhild (Margarete Schoen), Siegfried (Paul Richter) Must Win A Bride For Her Brother, King Gunther (Theodor Loos). Kriemhild'S Revenge Begins After The Death Of Siegfried, And Weaves The Treacherous Tale Of His Widow'S Ungodly Vengeance Upon His Murderers. The Noble Qualities Of The First Film Become Liabilities In The Second, As The Blood Oaths And Vows Of Loyalty Bring About A Maelstrom Of Violence That Results In The Slaughter Of Entire Armies (Lang Would Continue To Explore The Theme Of Bloodlust And Revenge In Such Films As Fury, The Big Heat And Rancho Notorious, Buy Never With Such Ferocity).

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5.0 out of 5 stars A mythical icon June 20 2004
Format:DVD
With this movie Fritz Lang show once more why the movies can be a genuine proof of art in its purest expression.
Think just fifty years before when Wagner built Bayreuth for showing us all his works.
And the most powerful of them , the quintessential of the set was precisely The Ring .
Lang made a sublime adaptation of this work . 1924 was the year of this landmark picture.
Inspired in the powerful mythologic essence , Lang keeps the expressiveness, the force and the soul of this legend.
Believe or not , but I've always thought that you never will be capable to appreciate in his wholeness Metropolis , if you are not involved by the mythical spirit of this film.
A must for all the viewers really interested not only in the cinema evolution , but in the soul of the art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Films, Great DVD May 13 2003
Format:DVD
These are fascinating films, and it is great to have them widely available in this format. The prints are in very good shape, the scores for both films are excellent. The DVD transfers are admirable, and the extras are worth a look.
But ultimately what makes these DVDs worth owning are the films. Fascinating, entertaining, disturbing, and sure to repay multiple viewings.
Much has been made of the still dazzling special effects and huge sets, and that rather clunky but impressive dragon. Don't let that fool you. Die Nibelungen is a film about people, and it is to director Fritz Lang's considerable credit that the acting is across the board excellent, with Rudolph Klein-Rogge turning in an astonishing performance as Attila the Hun. Klein-Rogge's work is one of the highlights of silent film acting. He never goes too far, never over-emotes in that stereotypical "silent film acting" kind of way. His Attila is a fascinating lovesick warrior wanting to please his wife but still bound by traditions that he just can't break.
If you care at all about silent films, or films in general, you should buy this set. It is worth every penny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Enchanted Forest Jan. 31 2003
Format:DVD
Long before "Lord of the Rings" and "Gladiator" there was "Die Nibelungen". The great German director of "Die Nibelungen" was Fritz Lang, who stated that only he and Erich von Stroheim made movies for art; not money. And 1924's "Die Nibelungen" made money. A Nordic legend, "Die Nibelungen" is the story of Siegfried, son of King Siegmund, who seeks the hand of lovely Kriemhild. First, he must tour a strange, primevil forest and wrestle mountain gnomes, mystical dwarfs, and a fire-breathing dragon. He wins the true love of Kriemhild, only to fall victim to jealous murder. His widow's vendetta of revenge comprises the rest of this massive 5-hour epic. This enchanting fantasy features stark symbolism and brilliant animation. Stop-motion, animatronics, and in-camera dissolves(never done today) are among the many special effects. Filmed mostly on the massive Berlin UFI studio sets, "Die Nibelungen" is Lang's first great masterpiece of mise-en-scene; a treat for the eyes, a numbing of the senses. Raised eyebrows,... and rolling eyes dominate the dated(but classical) Germanic acting. A leading role is played by Rudolph Klein-Rogge, who joined Lang 5 years later for "Metropolis". The magical cinema ambience is aided by veteran producer Erich Pommer. Kino's gorgeous new DVD of "Die Nibelungen" contains 100 minutes of film never seen before in the modern world. Despite some artifact damage and minor pixelation, scenes are so clear and pristine as to be disturbing. When Siegfried dies, DVD clarity reveals the trembling of the spear in his back; as the very much alive actor continues to breath. The DVD offers several amazing special features, including scene selections, an original color storyboard, miniature-set production notes, actual footage of Lang shooting the movie, and a photo gallery. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Quibble re Film Speed Jan. 24 2003
Format:DVD
I saw the restored print of this film shown over two nights at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago in 1988 or 1989, with the original orchestral score transcribed for the theatre's immense pipe organ. It was one of the most enjoyable moviegoing experiences I've ever had, and I put off purchasing any version of this film until I found one based on that print. This DVD was therefore the end of a long wait for me, and well worth it.
I do have one minor complaint, though. During the exhibition in Chicago, there was some explicit discussion by the curators about the difficulty of setting the film speed. (At that time, it was based on Lang's descriptive statements about the proper pace of a procession of Burgundian knights shown early in the film.) So I was very conscious of that speed when I watched this DVD, and it seems to me it clearly has been set too fast here. The actors' bodies move through space in an unnatural way, and it does reduce the effectiveness of some scenes. Particularly, it robs Siegfried's exaggeratedly formal, dancelike Delsarte-based postures of some of the dignity they maintained when the film didn't seem undercranked. The film would have fit on the two discs just as easily at a slower speed, so I'm not sure why this poor choice was made.
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Format:DVD
I have been a fan of Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen since my purchase of the BETA tape version many years ago. I have anticipated this release for some time and have been thoroughly rewarded with the wait. Based on the 1861 play by Hebbel, it ignores Wagner's treatment of the story to present us with mythical characters set in a medieval background. For many, Die Nibelungen myth is the foundation of Germanic Kultur. It is a story of love, honor, betrayal, loyalty, and revenge which culminates in the destruction of family bonds.
So, who will be interested in Die Nibelungen? Lovers of Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen will be familiar with the story and will no doubt enjoy seeing a variation of the Nibelungen myth. Wagner's Brunnhilde will be seen as an amalgamation of Kriemhild and Brunhild. Lovers of fantasy will no doubt find much to enjoy here. The 60 foot dragon is a marvel to behold when you consider when the film was produced (1924). Lovers of drama will not be disappointed in the complex story that weaves it's way towards the catastrophic finale of Kreimhild's Revenge. And finally, lovers of movies, in general, and movie history will truly want to see one of the major motion pictures that have ever been produced.
What does this DVD version offer that the BETA and VHS versions do not? Plenty! We will start with Gottfried Huppertz score. I was initially concerned that I would hear a hackneyed reworking of Wagnerian themes. Thankfully Wagner is avoided which is at is should be. As noted, this version does not copy the Ring story, so it is right that the music should be as original as the screenplay. If you are a lover of early 20th century German romanticism, such as the composers Schrecker and Zemlinsky, you will like this score.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed dragon
Die Nibelungen (1924) filmed at UFA (The UFA Story ISBN: 0809094835). Director Fritz Lang, the original story "Siegfried's Tod" I have seen it with German subtitles and other... Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats
A truly great silent film, here very well presented with footage that most of us have never seen before. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2003 by Stanley Hauer
5.0 out of 5 stars the real deal!
Buy this DVD set. Whether you're a Fritz Lang fan, sort of interested in German cinema, curious about the aryan mythos that Hitler would later subvert, whatever got you here, this... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2003 by Heavy Theta
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, okay DVD
This masterpiece of silent German cinema receives a solid, meat-and-potatoes treatment on DVD. Image quality varies greatly from scene to scene, but the new digital recording of... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2003 by Timothy Hulsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film(s)
Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen can definitely be called the Lord of the Rings of the silent era. Siegfried and Kriemhild's Revenge are stunning films in an epic scale; visually lush... Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2003 by Sren Thomsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Before LORD OF THE RINGS there was...
DIE NIEBELUNGEN (The Nibelung Saga). This 1924 epic from Fritz Lang is the Grandaddy of all fantasy epics and now it can be seen as it was first presented with over 100 minutes of... Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002 by Chip Kaufmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Greatest German National Classic
Dir. Fritz Lang. Germany. 1924. Total time: 291 mins. B&W. Full-frame (1.33:1) Original 1924 score by Gottfried Huppertz, performed by the Munich Radio Orchestra. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2002 by Boo Cross
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