50 Greatest Silent Films From Germany

by vivian_baum_cabral | created - 25 Dec 2013 | updated - 25 Dec 2013 | Public

Few films periods had greater influence as the silent films from Germany Here are fifty of them,some known masterpieces,while others are great films unknown to film audiences. P.S. Sadly,few of them are lost.

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1. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Unrated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Gertrud Arnold

Votes: 4,207

The greatest german film ever made. Before Sauron's ring,there was Siegfried's ring

2. Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924)

Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.9
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After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Margarete Schön, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos, Hans Carl Mueller

Votes: 3,174

The most unforgettable and violent revenge ever set on film

3. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 126,052 | Gross: $0.03M

The most influencional sci-fi milm ever done. After this,all mad scientists are carbon copy of Rotwang.

4. Nosferatu (1922)

Unrated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

8.0
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Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 74,587

The greatest horror film in history.

5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Unrated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

8.1
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Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 44,610

The expressionist film par excelence.

6. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

8.0
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The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 8,100 | Gross: $0.01M

Forever Lulu

7. The Student of Prague (1913)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

6.6
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A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye | Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova, John Gottowt

Votes: 1,349

First great german film

8. The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)

110 min | Drama, Horror

7.2
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For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »

Director: Henrik Galeen | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Elizza La Porta, Fritz Alberti, Ágnes Eszterházy

Votes: 462

Great first german remake

9. The Haunted Castle (1921)

69 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

6.3
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In the castle Vogeloed, a few aristocrats are awaiting baroness Safferstätt. But first count Oetsch invites himself.. Everyone thinks he murdered his brother, baroness Safferstat's first ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Arnold Korff, Lulu Kyser-Korff, Lothar Mehnert, Paul Hartmann

Votes: 1,034

To all the world unknown,personally,my Murnau favorite.

10. Der Andere (1913)

Drama, Thriller

5.8
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A man has an accident while out riding his horse one day. He soon discovers that he now has a split personality, and that his alternate is helping a criminal to rob his house.

Director: Max Mack | Stars: Albert Bassermann, Emmerich Hanus, Nelly Ridon, Hanni Weisse

Votes: 43

Albert Bassermann,the first german male star

11. The Joyless Street (1925)

125 min | Drama

7.4
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Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Asta Nielsen, Greta Garbo, Ágnes Eszterházy, Werner Krauss

Votes: 1,124

The fading of the first female star,the born of another

12. Der müde Tod (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

7.7
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When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 3,919 | Gross: $0.01M

The Inspiration for Bergman

13. Schatten - Eine nächtliche Halluzination (1923)

Unrated | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.0
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A wealthy man invites the local wealthy bachelors over for a puppet show about men who covet another man's wife. The puppeteer is actually a witch and gives the men nightmares about what could happen if they date the lady of the house.

Director: Arthur Robison | Stars: Alexander Granach, Max Gülstorff, Lilli Herder, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 664

14. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

7.9
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Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 5,897

First greatest villain

15. Torgus (1921)

64 min | Drama, History

6.1
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John, a young man raised by his aunt, is in love with Anna, a servant girl who is going to have his baby. He is willing to marry her but his stern aunt wants him to marry a rich girl. To ... See full synopsis »

Director: Hanns Kobe | Stars: Gerd Fricke, Ferdinand Gregori, Eugen Klöpfer, Marija Leiko

Votes: 22

A.K.A Torgus,a forgotten masterpiece

16. Phantom (1922)

TV-PG | 125 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

7.0
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A shiftless young man becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman and yearns to find her again.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Alfred Abel, Frida Richard, Aud Egede-Nissen, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

Votes: 1,211

17. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama

8.0
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After falling pregnant to a pharmacist and refusing to marry, a young woman is thrown from her home and sent to a scrict girls' reform school.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp, André Roanne

Votes: 3,303

18. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

8.1
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An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 10,081

Emil Jannings in his prime

19. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

8.1
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The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 11,558

20. People on Sunday (1930)

Not Rated | 73 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.5
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Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Rochus Gliese, Curt Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen, Christl Ehlers

Votes: 2,133

Billy Wilder's premiere

21. Anders als die Andern (1919)

Not Rated | 50 min | Crime, Drama, History

6.9
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Two male musicians fall in love, but blackmail and scandal makes the affair take a tragic turn.

Director: Richard Oswald | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Leo Connard, Ilse von Tasso-Lind, Alexandra Willegh

Votes: 838

The first homossexual film.

22. Emerald of Death (1919)

54 min | Drama

7.9
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Add a Plot

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Ernst Hofmann, Blandine Ebinger, Margit Barnay, Karl Platen

Votes: 27

The lost Murnau's premiere

23. Halbblut (1919)

Fantasy

7.4
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The story of a man destroyed by love.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Ressel Orla, Carl de Vogt, Gilda Langer, Paul Morgan

Votes: 37

The lost Lang's premiere

24. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

65 min | Documentary

7.7
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This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director: Walter Ruttmann | Star: Paul von Hindenburg

Votes: 3,103

One of the greatest documentary ever made.

25. Hintertreppe (1921)

50 min | Drama

6.9
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A crippled mailman is in love with a maid who lives in the same building he does in one of the city's poor neighborhoods. She, however, is in love with a wealthy, handsome young man. ... See full summary »

Directors: Leopold Jessner, Paul Leni | Stars: Henny Porten, Fritz Kortner, William Dieterle, Eugene Dieterle

Votes: 158

The best Kammerspiel,with Fritz Kortner in one of the best performance of the era.

26. Scherben (1921)

50 min | Drama

6.5
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Set during the winter, the story tells the tale of a track checker and his family who live a poverty-stricken life next to a railway line. They receive a telegram announcing the arrival of ... See full summary »

Director: Lupu Pick | Stars: Werner Krauss, Edith Posca, Hermine Straßmann-Witt, Paul Otto

Votes: 175

The first kammerspiel

27. Crown of Thorns (1923)

102 min | Drama

6.0
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By the director of Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, this is the Passion embedded in a contemporary story. An anarchist jailed for an attempted assassination is told the Passion story by the prison ... See full synopsis »

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Gregori Chmara, Henny Porten, Asta Nielsen, Werner Krauss

Votes: 24

Germany's contribution to religious movies

28. Madame DuBarry (1919)

85 min | Biography, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Madame DuBarry, the mistress of Louis XV of France, and her loves in the time of the French revolution.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke, Eduard von Winterstein

Votes: 565

Ernst Lubitsch's german masterpiece.

29. Die elf Teufel (1927)

98 min | Drama

6.7
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Add a Plot

Directors: Zoltan Korda, Carl Boese | Stars: Gustav Fröhlich, Evelyn Holt, Lissy Arna, Fritz Alberti

Votes: 41

First sport's film

30. Hamlet (1921)

131 min | Drama

7.1
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Danish silent movie-star Asta Nielsen formed her own production company to make this film, in which new elements are combined with features (and a few lines) familiar from Shakespeare's ... See full summary »

Directors: Svend Gade, Heinz Schall | Stars: Asta Nielsen, Paul Conradi, Mathilde Brandt, Eduard von Winterstein

Votes: 287

Hamlet as a woman

31. The Doll (1919)

Not Rated | 48 min | Comedy, Fantasy

7.3
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Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Ossi Oswalda, Hermann Thimig, Victor Janson, Max Kronert

Votes: 1,277

The best Lubitsch's german comedy

32. The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927)

100 min | Drama, Romance

7.5
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In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Édith Jéhanne, Uno Henning, Fritz Rasp, Brigitte Helm

Votes: 517

Fritz Rasp as the scoundrel all the women love to hate

33. Friedrich Schiller - Eine Dichterjugend (1923)

111 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

5.7
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Despite his wish to become a pastor, Friedrich Schiller is ordered to join a military school. There, he begins to write poetry...

Director: Curt Goetz | Stars: Theodor Loos, Hermann Vallentin, Isabel Heermann, Max Pategg

Votes: 40

The first writer's biograpy

34. Spies (1928)

Unrated | 90 min | Romance, Thriller

7.7
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The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gerda Maurus, Willy Fritsch, Lien Deyers

Votes: 2,484

Rudolf Klein-Rogge as the prototype of Bond's villains

35. Der heilige Berg (1926)

100 min | Drama

6.8
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The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Fanck | Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, Ernst Petersen, Frida Richard

Votes: 506

The birth of the myth Leni Riefensthal

36. The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

7.1
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A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn't know they once belonged to a murderer.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas

Votes: 1,603

37. Finances of the Grand Duke (1924)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy

6.6
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The likeable and carefree Grand Duke of Abacco is in dire straits. There is no money left to service the State's debt; the main creditor is looking forward to expropriating the entire Duchy... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Mady Christians, Harry Liedtke, Robert Scholtz, Alfred Abel

Votes: 567

38. Homunculus, 1. Teil (1916)

69 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

6.3
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Part of the artificial-creature series encompassing Der Golem (1914 and 1920), Alraune (1918, 1928, 1930) and Metropolis (1926), 'Homunculus' was the most popular serial in Germany during ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Rippert | Stars: Olaf Fønss, Ernst Ludwig, Adolf Paul, Albert Paul

Votes: 53

Germany' contribution to the serials genre

39. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 5,248

The father of James Whale's frankenstein

40. Secrets of a Soul (1926)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama

7.0
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A scientist is tormented by an irrational fear of knives and the irresistible compulsion to murder his wife.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Werner Krauss, Ruth Weyher, Ilka Grüning, Jack Trevor

Votes: 503

41. Nerven (1919)

110 min | Drama

7.1
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Doubt and uncertainty ensue when the figurehead of a rebellion goes to court for an alleged rape.

Director: Robert Reinert | Stars: Eduard von Winterstein, Lia Borré, Erna Morena, Paul Bender

Votes: 161

Unknown masterpieces about Germany's craziest years

42. Die Spinnen, 1. Teil - Der Goldene See (1919)

Not Rated | 130 min | Adventure, Western

6.6
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Kay Hoog finds a message that indicates that some Incas are still alive, but the secret organisation "Die Spinnen" wants the Incas' gold....

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John, Lil Dagover

Votes: 812

Fritz Lang's walk to his masterpieces

43. Woman in the Moon (1929)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.4
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A tenacious scientist blasts off for the moon in hopes of riches that may be found there.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gerda Maurus

Votes: 2,218

Lang's last silent

44. Waxworks (1924)

65 min | Fantasy, Horror

6.8
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A wax museum hires a writer to give the sculptures stories. The writer imagines himself and the museum owner's daughter in the stories.

Directors: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni | Stars: Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, William Dieterle

Votes: 1,313

45. Der Schatz (1923)

80 min | Drama, Romance

6.8
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In and around a bell maker near Marburg (today Slovenia) people tell the story of a treasure that was hidden during the Turki invasion of 1683, the year the Turkish Army was besieging ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Albert Steinrück, Lucie Mannheim, Ilka Grüning, Werner Krauss

Votes: 181

46. Othello (1922)

TV-PG | 79 min | Drama, Romance

6.5
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Based on Shakespeare's play: The treacherous Iago plans to ruin the life of Othello by provoking him to jealousy.

Director: Dimitri Buchowetzki | Stars: Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss, Ica von Lenkeffy, Theodor Loos

Votes: 202

Best Shakesperian german adaptation

47. The Merry-Go-Round (1920)

65 min

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Drama about street walker Elena who marries shop keeper Albert. When her former pimp Peter shows up, her life is ruined. She shoots him and poisons herself.

Director: Richard Oswald | Stars: Asta Nielsen, Conrad Veidt, Eduard von Winterstein, Irmgard Bern

Votes: 22

Asta Nielsen's prime

48. The Chronicles of the Gray House (1925)

110 min | Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hinrich, the son of a feudal German landowner, falls in love with the beautiful daughter of one of his father's serfs despite opposition from both families. But when he actually offers ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur von Gerlach | Stars: Arthur Kraußneck, Paul Hartmann, Rudolf Forster, Gertrude Welcker

Votes: 105

49. Die Weber (1927)

93 min | Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Frederic Zelnik | Stars: Paul Wegener, Valeska Stock, Hermann Picha, Hertha von Walther

Votes: 58

50. Michael (1924)

TV-14 | 93 min | Drama, Romance

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Triangle story: painter, his young male model, unscrupulous princess.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Walter Slezak, Max Auzinger, Nora Gregor, Robert Garrison

Votes: 1,253

German masterpiece from Denmark greatest director