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Der müde Tod (1921)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller | 30 January 1922 (Finland)
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When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director:

Fritz Lang
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lil Dagover ... Young Woman / Das junge Mädchen / Zobeide / Monna Fiametta / Tiao Tsien
Walter Janssen ... Young Man / Der junge Mann / Franke / Giovan Francesco / Liang
Bernhard Goetzke ... Death / Der Tod / El Mot / Bogner / Archer
Hans Sternberg Hans Sternberg ... Mayor / Bürgermeister
Karl Rückert Karl Rückert ... Reverend (as Carl Rückert)
Max Adalbert ... Notary / Notar / Schatzmeister / Chancellor
Wilhelm Diegelmann ... Doctor / Arzt
Erich Pabst Erich Pabst ... Teacher / Lehrer
Karl Platen Karl Platen ... Pharmacist / Apotheker
Hermann Picha Hermann Picha ... Taylor / Schneider
Paul Rehkopf Paul Rehkopf ... Grave-Digger / Küster
Max Pfeiffer Max Pfeiffer
Georg John ... Beggar / Bettler
Lydia Potechina Lydia Potechina ... Landlady / Wirtin
Grete Berger Grete Berger ... Mother / Mutter
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Storyline

As a young couple stops and rests in a small village inn, the man is abducted by Death and is sequestered behind a huge doorless, windowless wall. The woman finds a mystic entrance and is met by Death, who tells her three separate stories set in exotic locales, all involving circumstances similar to hers. In each story, a woman, trying to save her lover from his ultimate tragic fate, fails. The young lady realizes the meaning of the tales and takes the only step she can to reunite herself with her lover. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Movie That Inspired Hitchcock and Bunuel! (2016)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

30 January 1922 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Weary Death See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,334, 22 May 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,156, 19 August 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Decla-Bioscop AG See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (2016 restoration)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film that first sparked surrealist director Luis Buñuel's interest in film. See more »

Quotes

Junge Maedchen: You dread, awful cactus, you!
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD "Destiny (Der müd Tod)" (c) 2000 by Film Preservation Associates, with English titles and inter-titles by Ulrich Ruedel, tinted with added musical score, running at 99 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Encounter with Fritz Lang (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Otherworldly
11 October 2005 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

The films of Weimer Germany are an interesting and exciting period to study. They share a rich cultural heritage, similar themes and revolutionary film styles and techniques. "Destiny" (Der Müde Tod) is the earliest mature work I've seen from Fritz Lang, one of the period's principal filmmakers--much better than the Spiders films. It's expressionistic, in the loose sense usually applied to these films, which is to say it's thematically dark and, occasionally, photographed and designed intentionally to affect mood and express emotions. An exceptional crew of cinematographers and art directors, as in many of the best films of the period, support the director.

Yet, I think the narrative has its faults; the frame narrative is great, but only the last of the three episodes within was entertaining--for its light and magical treatment. In the film, a girl's young lover dies, and Death offers her three tries to resurrect his life. The episodes are flimsy at times, but some impressive imagery and powerful performances by Lil Dagover and Bernhard Goetzke make up for much of that. Additionally, the exotic Arabian, historical Venetian and Chinese settings for the three inner episodes are well rendered, surely, but it's the haunting graveyard scenes and the meetings with Death, especially the room of candles scenes, that I'll remember. They're not merely exotic; they're otherworldly--the atmospheric, moving and imaginative places I want movies to take me.


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