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In San Francisco, the sportsman Kay Hoog tells to the members of a club that he has found a message in a bottle with a map from a Harvard's missing professor telling about a treasure of an Inca lost civilization still alive. He decides to go to Peru to seek the gold. However, members of the secret criminal organization "The Spiders" leaded by Lio Sha break in Kay's mansion during the night and steal the map. Kay Hoog travels to Peru, where he retrieves his map and a document about the Diamond Ship from The Spiders. Later he saves the Priestess of the Sun Naela and brings her to San Francisco. However, The Spiders kill Naela and Kay Hoog promises revenge for the death of his love. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Entertaining Adventure Story With Imaginative Settings & Visuals
This first episode of Fritz Lang's "The Spiders" is an entertaining adventure story, and it is particularly notable for its imaginative settings and visuals, and for the way that each sequence leads smoothly into the next. The story is far-fetched, of course, but Lang tells it quite well, and it makes for enjoyable viewing.
The basic setup of the sinister organization of "Spiders" involves some of the themes that Lang used in more detailed form in his Dr. Mabuse movies. Here, the story is strictly for entertainment purposes, and as such it works well. Ressel Orla is suitably elegant as the leader of the "Spiders", and she usually makes the best of her opportunities.
The opening message-in-a-bottle scene sets the tone, establishing tension and mystery right away. From there, Lang builds up the story nicely, as the characters learn about the hidden treasure and compete with each other and with other adversaries to find it. His style here is similar to that in some of the best of contemporary action movies, such as the Indiana Jones films. Most of the scenes work well in themselves, and once it gets going, each scene also moves the story ahead immediately to the next scene, without letting you pause for breath.
Lil Dagover also adds a lot in her role as the priestess. Carl de Vogt is adequate as the hero Hoog, but he does not have a lot of presence or charisma, and most of the energy level in the characters comes from the female leads.
This episode got "The Spiders" off to a good start, and it is the best of the two segments that Lang actually filmed. It does not have the deep themes found in Lang's best movies, but as entertainment it works quite well.
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