Junta is hated by the people in the village where she lives, especially by the women, who suspect her of being a witch. Only she can climb the nearby mountains to a cave high up, whence a ... See full summary »
In the Mont Blanc Observatory works Hannes. The only contact to the outside world is a pilot and Hella over the morse-code-radio. As Hella climbs the mountain with her father, the father ... See full summary »
The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »
Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith, Victory of Faith, or Victory of the Faith) (1933) is the first propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Her film recounts the ... See full summary »
This film, in English, and S.O.S. Eisberg (1933), in German, were filmed simultaneously by Universal. The rise of the Nazi party in Germany brought an end to U.S. and German co-productions such as these films. See more »
sweepings from the cutting floor. Watch the German film.
I am astonished that anyone can find these two versions equivalent in quality since the difference between them seems to be so glaring.
Fanck's German version is a very handsome film, told almost entirely by the camera, of men surviving in a hostile but beautiful environment. Garnett's US version, by continually adding material shot quite patently in the studio, by enlarging the Gibson Gowland part to have a western-type bad guy makes for a completely incoherent mish-mash that entirely ruins the consistent and transfixing visual beauty of the German film and undermines its grave and melancholy tone. The beautiful work of Fanck's team is all that is interesting in the US version but it is to be seen only in patches with irrelevant and uninteresting padding all over the place. It may be only ten minutes shorter but it must lack nearly half of the wonderful footage.
It is a rather typical example of the inability of the US cinema industry to make such co-productions with European film-makers or to reproduce the effects of European or Japanese films because of the almost incomprehension of the production values involved. The ghastly US version of the classic Japanese "monster film" Godzilla in the fifties shows an almost exactly similar lack of sensitivity.
In general where films exist in both European and US versions or in both Japanese and US versions, the rule of thumb is clear. Ignore the US version. Even where a clear remake is involved and even when the remake is relatively well done, the US version is almost invariably worse. The Magnificent Seven is a lot of fun but it bear no comparison with the Japanese original.
By contrast European co-productions of this period frequently produced two different but equally good films because there was no real cultural or cinematographic incompatibility. The French and German versions of Pabst's Threepenny Opera are both worth watching although surprisingly different as are the French and English (but not US) versions of his Atlantis. German/English co-productions were in fact common in the early thirties and produced some excellent films in both languages but this much rarer German/US collaboration produced only one excellent film and one collection of sweepings from the cutting-floor.
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