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Power (1920) More at IMDbPro »Algol - Tragödie der Macht (original title)

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Release Date:
7 November 1921 (Finland) See more »
An alien from the planet Algol gives a man a device that gives him superpowers. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Faustian Expressionism See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Emil Jannings ... Robert Herne
John Gottowt ... Algol

Hans Adalbert Schlettow ... Peter Hell

Hanna Ralph ... Maria Obal
Erna Morena ... Yella Ward
Ernst Hofmann ... Reginald Herne
Gertrude Welcker ... Leonore Nissen
Käthe Haack ... Magda Herne
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sebastian Droste ... Ein Tänzer

Directed by
Hans Werckmeister 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hans Brennert 
Friedel Köhne 

Cinematography by
Axel Graatkjær 
Hermann Kircheldorff 
Art Direction by
Walter Reimann 
Paul Scheerbart 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Algol - Tragödie der Macht" - Germany (original title)
See more »
Germany:99 min (18 fps) (2011 restored version)
Black and White (tinted and toned) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film takes place from 1920 to 1940.See more »


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Faustian Expressionism, 19 May 2015
Author: Hitchcoc from United States

I made it through this by dredging up a bit of my college German (the dialogue boxes are in German) and managing to get about a fourth of it and extrapolating the rest. This is more of a film about the evils of ambition than a science fiction film. Once the alien (devil) has had his way with Robert Herne, it now is about him. Herne is given immense power in the form of machine that can produce electricity for the world. Instead of seeing the potential for making things better for humanity, the former lowly coal miner becomes a boss, using his riches for outrageous purposes. He throws away all the relationships he has and pretty much turns his son into a monster. He doesn't seem to get much enjoyment out of the rich, who hang on his every word, but he can't let go. There is a little bit of Von Stroheim's "Greed" here, though that is quite another story. It does go on to tell a morality tale of the life on the farm versus the evils of usurping businesses, the bucolic winning out. But is it really about socialism being the answer? I really believe that this is more about personal evil. If there is anything unfair, it is a basic view of humanity. Here it is simplistic and outrageous. Is there no middle ground here. Apparently, there is no merchant class. People revel in Bacchanalian orgies when given the chance. Anyway, this is a groundbreaking movie whose intentions laid the foundation for future German expressionism, even if it failed at times.

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