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Hilde Warren und der Tod (1917)

Hilde Warren, a famous actress, is impregnated by a convicted murderer and becomes plagued by visions of an extremely gaunt and sepulchral Death. Upon discovering her child is the image of ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Mia May ...
Bruno Kastner ...
Hector Roger
Georg John ...
Tod
Hans Mierendorff ...
Intendant Hans von Wengraf
Ernst Matray ...
Sohn Egon Warren
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Aud Egede-Nissen
Hermann Picha ...
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Storyline

Hilde Warren, a famous actress, is impregnated by a convicted murderer and becomes plagued by visions of an extremely gaunt and sepulchral Death. Upon discovering her child is the image of its criminal father, Hilde must decide whether to allow it to live or to kill it and risk the embrace of Death himself. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

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Horror

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31 August 1917 (Germany)  »

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Hilde Warren and Death  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Der Fall Metropolis (2003) See more »

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Cuel German Destiny

Continuing with these typical Christmas silent films, this German count last night screened at the Schloss theatre, "Hilde Warren Und Der Tod", a film directed by the great Austro-Hungarian director Herr Joe May and written by the well-known- and equally Austro-Hungarian-Herr Fritz Lang, so last evening was a totally Teutonic night at the Schloss.

The collaboration between those two Austro-Hungarians was complicated, even tormented during those early years; Fritz Lang worked for Herr May as a screen player but he always complained that his work wasn't properly credited or, as what happened with Joe May's "Das Indische Grabmal" (1921), he was not allowed to direct a film that had been promised to him ( at the end of his career, Herr Lang will direct finally a colourful and bad talkie remake of that film ).

"Hilde Warren Und Der Tod" depicts the Teutonic story in which Death sometimes pays a visit to Dame Hilde Warren,, a celebrated actress, in order to invite her to the ultimate voyage. Hilde, however is fond of the good things in life, especially groceries ( the latter is easily deduced by the sight of her zaftig German figure ). She rejects the love of Hans von Wengraf, a theatre director, but instead falls in love with a longhaired youngster, Hector Roger, and she ends up marrying him. But Herr Hector is a bandit and he will be shot by the police for holding up a bank; later Dame Hilde will find that her Germanic womb is nurturing the child of a murderer. Death reappears and renews his invitation but Hilde, decides to bring life to her child . Von Wengraf later reappears and still wants to marry her but under the condition that Dame Hilde must leave her child but our heroine refuses the offer and devotes herself to being a good mother. The child of Hilde grows to adolescence and becomes just like his father; that is to say: a criminal and an assassin. Just before the police come to arrest him, her mother kills him and is sent to the jail; in there once more the Death appears and offers her consolation and relief; Hilde this time cannot refuse.

The film stars Dame Mia May who does her best( which is not enough, alas) to play the afflicted and tormented woman. Some of the longhaired set have said that Herr Lang himself played Herr Death but this doesn't seem to be true( whoever did play the part did not look at all well… ).

There are obvious similarities in this Lang story to his later film "Der Müde Tod" (1921), a film that shares with "Hilde Warren…" the subject of the impossibility of their main characters to avoid their cruel destiny. The treatment seems frivolous in the May film ( due to the scenario and the settings ) but there is sometimes the same dark atmosphere, especially in the last part of the film.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count is trying to get into the Christmas spirit thanks to these Teutonic films.


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