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Mandragore (1952)
"Alraune" (original title)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  February 1957 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 170 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

A scientist creates a beautiful "perfect woman", but since she is artificial, she seems soul-less and with no sense of morality, she brings ruin to all around her.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Jacob ten Brinken
Karlheinz Böhm ...
Frank Braun (as Karl Boehm)
Harry Meyen ...
Count Geroldingen
Rolf Henniger ...
Wolf Goutram (Ralph Goutram - US)
Harry Halm ...
Doctor Mohn
Hans Cossy ...
Mathieu, the coachman
Gardy Brombacher ...
Lisbeth, the maid
Trude Hesterberg ...
Fuerstin Wolkonska (Princess Wolkonski - US)
Julia Koschka ...
Olga Wolkonska (Wolkonski - US)
Denise Vernac ...
Mlle. Duvaliere, The Governess
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arno Ebert
Willem Holsboer
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Storyline

A scientist creates a beautiful "perfect woman", but since she is artificial, she seems soul-less and with no sense of morality, she brings ruin to all around her.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born outside the laws of God and man!

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unnatural  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Alraune und der Golem (1919) See more »

Soundtracks

Heut' gefall' ich mir
Written by Werner R. Heymann and Jean Gilbert
Performed by Hildegard Knef
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The evils of artificial insemination
23 October 2011 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

Brooding scientist Professor ten Brinken (a stern Erich von Stroheim), thrown out of Uni for his blasphemous beliefs, creates a "daughter" (Hildegarde Knef) from the sperm of a double murderer and the egg of a prostitute in his castle laboratory and raises her under the gallows, where the mandrake root grows. It's an experiment in genetic theory but true to the plant's legend, Alraune will bring good fortune just before death and destruction as the movie opens with the girl escaping from a convent and making her father rich when she divines a mineral spring on land he bought. Falling for her cousin (Karlheinz "Peeping Tom" Boehm), Alraune feels something for the first time but luck won't last long and although her "evil" isn't premeditated (much), she's responsible for an attempted suicide, a framing for theft, a fatal accident, a duel, death from exposure, bankruptcy, and public disgrace. The story ends with the inevitable: Alraune, crying tears she never could before, gives up the man she loves lest he be cursed, too, and her "father", who gave her life, takes it away and goes to the gallows in a fitting twist of fate. The film equates artificial insemination with the crimes of Viktor Frankenstein but blames the creator since love is what gives us our souls and Alraune had become human.

The German production's a handsomely mounted, atmospheric period piece with an Expressionism the original 1928 silent lacked, especially in the gloomy castle, and some thunder, wind, and rain are there to underscore a point or two. Obviously THE BAD SEED, a hit Broadway play and Hollywod movie about hereditary evil that came out a few years later, wasn't exactly innovative. The dubbed U.S. version, UNNATURAL: THE FRUIT OF EVIL, is missing ten minutes and eliminates any reference to artificial insemination.


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