32 user 36 critic

Der müde Tod (1921)

1:09 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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


1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    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
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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
Spies (1928)
Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Kay Hoog wants to stop the organisation "Die Spinnen" to get a certain diamond, that will give the owning woman the crown of Asia, but the man, who should be the owner of that diamond, ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Gustav Diessl
Phantom (1922)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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
Faust (1926)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Karel Zeman
Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small town learns that it is to be bypassed by a new freeway that is due for construction. In a meeting attended by local government officials, town residents, state highway officials and... See full summary »

Director: Jack Daniels
Stars: Huntington Park Calif. Youth Band, Diane Brewster, James Chandler


Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Woman / Das junge Mädchen / Zobeide / Monna Fiametta / Tiao Tsien
Young Man / Der junge Mann / Franke / Giovan Francesco / Liang
Death / Der Tod / El Mot / Bogner / Archer
Hans Sternberg ...
Mayor / Bürgermeister
Karl Rückert ...
Reverend (as Carl Rückert)
Notary / Notar / Schatzmeister / Chancellor
Doctor / Arzt
Erich Pabst ...
Teacher / Lehrer
Karl Platen ...
Pharmacist / Apotheker
Hermann Picha ...
Taylor / Schneider
Paul Rehkopf ...
Grave-Digger / Küster
Max Pfeiffer
Georg John ...
Beggar / Bettler
Lydia Potechina ...
Landlady / Wirtin
Grete Berger ...
Mother / Mutter


As a young couple stops and rests in a small village inn, the man is abducted by Death and is sequestered behind a huge doorless, windowless wall. The woman finds a mystic entrance and is met by Death, who tells her three separate stories set in exotic locales, all involving circumstances similar to hers. In each story, a woman, trying to save her lover from his ultimate tragic fate, fails. The young lady realizes the meaning of the tales and takes the only step she can to reunite herself with her lover. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Movie That Inspired Hitchcock and Bunuel! (2016)


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 January 1922 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Between Two Worlds  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,334 (USA) (20 May 2016)


$12,156 (USA) (19 August 2016)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2016 restoration)

Sound Mix:


| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film that first sparked surrealist director Luis Buñuel's interest in film. See more »


Junge Maedchen: You dread, awful cactus, you!
See more »


Featured in Regarding Buñuel (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fritz Lang's First Great Film
2 November 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Der Mude Tod/Destiny(1921) was the film where Fritz Lang began sharpening his trademarks of emotional and visual motifs. Focuses on themes Fritz Lang obsessed over in film and life. For instance, the conflict between love and death is faced by many protagonists(male or female) in numerous Fritz Lang pics. From Destiny(1921) to the director's final film, 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse(1960), Fritz Lang was occupied in his work by philosophies on death, life, love, notion of the after life, and redemption. The visual brilliance of Lang's later Silent films can be traced to this feature.

Figure of death is a compelling and sympathetic Lang character whose task is not an easy one. The character of death in Destiny(1921) does what is required of him without any subjective bias on the people he has to collect. Bernhard Goetzke puts on screen with his performance the most fascinating portrayal of death in a motion picture. The figure of death in Destiny(1921) is a lonely and sad figure whose wish is to do something else. The title of the film refers to death's inability to move outside of his destiny.

Der Mude Tod/Destiny(1921) was influential to directors of the silent and sound eras. Luis Bunuel was impressed by its amazing visual and sad qualities(thus the film became an influential force in most of Bunuel's work). It wouldn't be surprising that Destiny(1921) also influenced Ingmar Bergman especially with The Seventh Seal(1957). Other filmmakers influenced includes Enzo G.Castellari, Mario Bava, Roger Corman, and Terry Gilliam. The film's influences can be looked at in films as Lisa and the Devil(1972), Masque of the Red Death(1964), Keoma(1976), and Brazil(1985).

Candleroom sequence is a moment of floating beauty and surreal grace. The candleroom is an extraordinary visual set with a great deal of imagination put into it. The Candleroom is symbolic of the place where the Grim reaper watches over to see whose candle(life) will be put out. An excellent effect involves a candle glow dissolving into a baby. The Candleroom sequence has some terrific visual effects that blow away the CGI of today's motion pictures.

Contains a slateful of extraordinary visuals typical of a German Expressionistic film of that time. In films such as Destiny(1921), Fritz Lang used an aura of expressionistic imagery to display different emotions from his main characters. Visual use of the camera reaches its climatic level during the three tales. An example of why silent films where for the most part a great visual experience compared to many sound pictures. Destiny(1921) matches the astonishing imagery of Die Nibelungen(1924), Metropolis(1927), and Dr. Mabuse Der Spieler(1922) with excellent visuals of its own.

Out of Sympathy for a woman whose beloved died, the grim reaper gives her a chance to save one of three lives as exchange of return of beloved. Tale one takes place in Persia with forbidden love affair between Arab woman and Western adventurer. Tragic tale that benefits from director's imaginary use of Persian locations. The female protagonist attempts to save the adventurer to no avail. Least interesting of the three tales and most slow moving.

Second tale involves a love triangle with the city of Venice as the story's backdrop. The woman of this tale is promised to a man of well known prestige who she doesn't love. Her love is to someone who is not popular and the opposite of her finace. Includes an ingenious death plot that is similar to a situation in Marquis De Sade story, ERNESTINE:A SWEDISH TALE. Her plans ends up in a manner that the woman least hoped for.

The Imperial China tale is the third and best of the three tales. Magnificent camera effects gives it a mythical quality that creates a feel for the spectacle. An astonishing effect and maybe the director's most amazing effect in his silent films involves the creation by a magician of an army of toy sized soldiers. Deals with the Emperor of China who wants the magician's female assistent who is loved by the male assistent. Magical feeling of the amazing and bizarre is what makes the third tale something fantastic.

"Love is Stronger than death" is a good title for a potential documentary of the life and film works of Fritz Lang. More than any other line in a Fritz Lang film, "Love is Stronger than death" represents a summary of Fritz Lang's filmography. "Love is Stronger than death" deals with Fritz Lang's ideals about metaphysical love that goes beyond the confines of the mortal world. Destiny(1921) deals with this notion with use of abstract and metaphysical imagery. "Love is Stronger than death" can also be applied to the films of Mario Bava because of his similar fatalistic take on the topic of love.

After watching it for the first time, I consider Destiny(1921) among the director's finest silent films. An act of courage is performed by the heroine thus making her a tragic figure. Acting from the cast shines with moments of expressionistic beauty. Magificently envisioned by a master of expressionistic filmmaking. Destiny(1921) shows Fritz Lang's growth as an artist and his capabilites to become a legendary film director.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: