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Die Pest in Florenz (1919)

Suddenly appearing in Florence, an evil seductress causes Cesare, the city's ruler, and his son to both fall madly in love with her. The son, killing his father before an order to torture ... See full summary »

Director:

Otto Rippert

Writers:

Fritz Lang, Edgar Allan Poe (story "The Masque of the Red Death")
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Theodor Becker Theodor Becker ... Franciscan Monk
Karl Bernhard Karl Bernhard ... Lorenzos Vertrauter
Julietta Brandt Julietta Brandt ... Death (as Julie Brandt)
Erner Huebsch Erner Huebsch ... Mönch
Franz Knaak Franz Knaak ... Kardinal
Otto Mannstaedt Otto Mannstaedt ... Cesare
Auguste Prasch-Grevenberg Auguste Prasch-Grevenberg ... Julias erste Bedienerin
Marga von Kierska Marga von Kierska ... Evil Woman
Hans Walter Hans Walter ... Julias Vertrauter
Anders Wikman Anders Wikman ... Cesare's Son
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Storyline

Suddenly appearing in Florence, an evil seductress causes Cesare, the city's ruler, and his son to both fall madly in love with her. The son, killing his father before an order to torture the woman can be carried out, then turns the city's churches into dens of sexual debauchery. Acts of evil and corruption continue unabated until the arrival of Death, who brings with her a horrible plague which she is about to loose upon the city. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Horror

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Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

23 October 1919 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Plague in Florence See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Decla-Bioscop AG See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Masque of the Red Death (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Plague On Their Houses

Die Pest in Florenz (aka The Plague in Florence) (1919) is an early adaptation of Edgar Alan Poe's Masque of the Red Death made all the more intriguing by a script from Fritz Lang that foreshadows many of his later, more famous motifs. Telling the tale of a rich temptress who enters Florence and immediately starts corrupting its piety and peasants, she casts her bewitching spell of lust and revelry on the leaders of the city, not to mention the local hermit monk. After the church leaves town the place literally goes to hell (where Lang gets his first crack at a dragon), ultimately becoming the target of a vengeful black death to settle the score for the papists back in the Vatican.

More D.W.Griffith that Robert Wiene, it's clear that director Otto Rippert (of Homunculus fame) is no Lang but there are some elements that keep one entertained. Visually, there is some shot 'matting' that is quite well developed and adds interest but, for me, the most fun was had seeing all the elemental story prototypes that Lang would develop more fully in his own Niebelungen films or Metropolis, particularly the lone woman coming in and destroying the well-ordered society by driving the men nuts. The Murnau restoration is first rate and, while it might not be everybody's cup of mead, I thoroughly enjoyed the modernist score by Uwe Dierksen.


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