A fashion photographer and seven models travel to a South American island fortress, ostensibly to do a fashion shoot. In reality, the photographer is a mercenary and their job is to free an... See full summary »
Aliens from a dying world plot to conquer earth by praying on man's superstitions. Bringing two dead scientists (Michael Rennie and Karin Dor) back to life, they use their knowledge to ... See full summary »
Jane, a young French woman, pregnant and unmarried, takes a room in a seedy London boarding house, which is inhabited by an assortment of misfits. She considers getting an abortion, but is ... See full summary »
Zenable, a young woman from a humble background, discovers that she is actually the daughter of a Spanish nobleman who was killed by a ruthless don, Alonso, who took the title. So Zenable ... See full summary »
In order to collect inheritance money, a slacker tries to induce a heart attack in his invalid grandmother by convincing her that she's become the target of youth supremacists who want to enact a genocide on the elderly.
In 1903 Kenya, tough colonist John Gale is leading a safari to bring in escaped murderer Abel McCracken, who is stirring up the Nukumbi tribe and endangering Gale's holdings. En route, he ... See full summary »
Worth a look, even if only for its unusual premise.
ALRAUNE (aka UNNATURAL), is based on the popular Hanns Heinz Ewers novel. This version made in 1952, is the fifth and last version filmed. Many sources state that this film is lost in its English language version, but since the version I saw everyone spoke English, I can assure you they are wrong.
This film is unusual, if only for its premise. Erich Von Stroheim plays Ten Brinken, a scientist who has created a women by means of artificial insemination. Ten Brinken used the sperm from a hanged murderer and the egg from a prostitute. Ten Brinken raises the girl (whom he has named Alraune, German for "mandrake") as his daughter, but is convinced because she was created artificially, she will inherit all the unsavory characteristics of her "parents". Only evil will befall all those who may fall in love with her. And tragic circumstances do follow all the men she tries to fall in love with. There is an odd element thrown in which suggests Alraune has supernatural powers. She convinces Ten Brinken to by a worthless parcel of land. She then commands some workers to start digging where they discover a spring whose waters contain healing properties. Ten Brinken and a wealthy woman invest in it but the spring runs dry and Ten Brinken ends up almost financially ruined.
Despite the films very adult premise, I could not help thinking that this film has the feel of a film belonging in era much older than the 1950's. The few American critics who reviewed the film when it was released in America in 1957 also noted an old fashioned air fatalism throughout the film. Karl Boehm (later of PEEPING TOM) is convincing as the young man who falls in love with Alraune, despite being aware of her ghastly origin and is the only man Alraune finds true love. Critics said he was to naive and boyish for the part, but I think that was what was right for the role.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?