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The Student of Prague (1913)

Der Student von Prag (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | September 1913 (USA)
Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »


Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye (co-director)


Hanns Heinz Ewers (story), Hanns Heinz Ewers (adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Paul Wegener ... Balduin, a Student
Grete Berger ... Countess Margit von Schwarzenberg
Lyda Salmonova ... Lyduschka, a Gypsy Girl (as L. Salmonowa)
John Gottowt ... Scapinelli, an Old Sorcerer
Lothar Körner Lothar Körner ... Count von Schwarzenberg, Margit's Father
Fritz Weidemann Fritz Weidemann ... Baron Waldis-Schwarzenberg, Margit's Cousin, betrothed


Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a hideous, shriveled-up old man taps him upon the shoulder and whispers vaguely of a big inheritance for Prague's finest swordsman and wildest student if he will enter into a certain agreement. Balduin rebuffs him, satirically asking his weird companion to procure him "the luckiest ticket in a lottery or a doweried wife." The old man goes off chuckling and thence onward persistently shadows Balduin, exerting a sinister influence over him, while Balduin is still disconsolate under the frowns of fortune. The Countess Margit Schwarzenberg, hunting with her cousin, to whom her father has betrothed her, meets with an accident. She is thrown over her horse's head into a river, but Balduin, who has been directed to the spot by his evil genius, plunges in and rescues her. Subsequently Balduin calls to inquire as ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is sometimes considered to be the first horror film ever made. See more »


Balduin, a Student: Ruined am I! Procure for me the luckiest ticket in the lottery or a dowered wife.
See more »


Remade as The Man Who Cheated Life (1926) See more »

User Reviews

A milestone in the history of horror cinema
30 January 2018 | by InjunNoseSee all my reviews

Predating the German Expressionist movement in film (predating even World War I), this is the granddaddy of them all: the very first full-length horror movie. Being the first, we do not demand perfection from it; this film is as raw as William Burroughs's debut novel "Junky" or the first Stooges album, and suitably so. But the viewer will be pleasantly surprised that "The Student of Prague" still packs a punch after more than a century. From Paul Wegener's haunted, compelling performance as Balduin to the imposing backdrop of Prague with its spectral spires, there is much to appreciate in this film...and on its own terms, not just in its perceptible influence on numerous later productions. (Those who have seen "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", however, will note the visual debt that film's title villain owes to Scapinelli, the leering, top-hatted sorcerer portrayed by John Gottowt in "The Student of Prague".) A must-see for all students of film history.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Germany]




German | English

Release Date:

September 1913 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bargain with Satan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Bioscop GmbH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Alpha Video) | (restored) | (English Language Version) | (English Language Version)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

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