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L'Atlantide (1932)

 |  Drama, Fantasy  |  1932 (Turkey)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 174 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 5 critic

Antinea. the Queen of Atlantis, rules her secret kingdom hidden beneath the Sahara Desert. One day two lost explorers stumble into her kingdom, and soon realize that they haven't really ... See full summary »


(as G.W. Pabst)


(novel), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: L'Atlantide (1932)

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Complete credited cast:
Tela Tchaï ...
Georges Tourreil ...
Lt. Ferrières
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
L'hetman de Jitomir (as Vl. Sokoloff)
Mathias Wieman ...
Ivar Torstenson (as M. Wieman)
Jean Angelo ...
Florelle ...
Gertrude Pabst ...
Rositta Severus-Liedernit ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martha von Konssatzki


Antinea. the Queen of Atlantis, rules her secret kingdom hidden beneath the Sahara Desert. One day two lost explorers stumble into her kingdom, and soon realize that they haven't really been saved--Antinea has a habit of taking men as lovers, then when she's done with them, she kills them and keeps them mummified. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy






Release Date:

1932 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Atlântida  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade as Journey Beneath the Desert (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Sand-particles of truth
21 September 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is beautiful and strange. It seems nuts, because it is from so far back it doesn't register for what it really is. Tell me I am wrong when elsewhere in my posts I say we need new viewing- and by extension reasoning skills, see this then find those reviews that compare it to Jess Franco as basically crazy or claim the only truth is in the clearly fictional part.

The novel it was based on is apparently a piece of exoticist fluff, popular then - a time of archeology and excavations. This is much more. The pursuit of truth in myth is the hook.

This equal parts disjointed, meandering and intoxicating journey of Saharan intrigue, is worthy of Josef Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich in their own escapades into sensual , opiate dreaming.

You have a fantastical story of Saharan intrigue and adventure. There are hooded Tuareg figures, a pet leopard, a binge-drinking impresario, lots of feverish wandering about in rooms, a prophecy of death, and a memory inside memory that flashes back to Paris and the Folies Bergeres.

But it's all what an unreliable narrator presents to us of his supposed discovery of the lost city of Atlantis, elusive sand-particles of a story.

Your first clue is that there is a woman in the early stages of the lost expedition who writes an account - a script - of the narrative. The film is from that French tradition of layered fiction most notably expressed in Rivette and Ruiz, but predates them all with the exception of Epstein, that mage of fluid dreaming.

It is not immensely effective. Sternberg made it work because he was so madly in love he could make us dream of that woman, the kind of love that bends reality. Pabst isn't, so there are no strong currents around his woman. He needed his muse, Louise Brooks. His brilliance is that he doesn't film big and gaudy, it's a piece of erotic fantasy after all, in an exotic place. And it's a story being recalled, a piece of sunbaked imagination.

The magic is not in the sets and costumes the way Lang did for Metropolis, though some of them impress the overall feel is earthy and makeshift, like something the narrator and listener may have walked through in their patrols and have the images for. And they are both military minds who can imagine for us only so far.

No, Pabst sustains the fantasy in the uncanny drafts of desert wind between something resembling reality and feverish dream, with fragile (for the time) borders between memory and fiction, the mind captive in its own world of stories.

The point here is that we set out in the desert in search of the hard limits of truth instead of adventure.

Celine and Julie Go Boating instead of Lawrence.

Eventually it is all swallowed up by the sands and time, every answer we had hoped for. There was a woman desired, possibly a cabaret dancer and that's all we can glean - consider the subplot in Rivette's film about a vaudeville tour in the middle east. The rest is gauzy and half-glimpsed.

And the prospect that Pabst has modeled the Queen after Leni Riefenstahl is too tantalizing to ignore; cold beauty, a dancer, surrounded with mystical pageantry, plus the actress looks like her.

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