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Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to win Krimhild, a mask that makes him invisible proves to be very useful. But because Brunhild is cursing Kriemhild, she tells her what really happened. Now Brunhild wants Siegfried's head. Is Gunther going to do her that favor?Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am not especially an aficionado of silent films though I have long loved Lang's 'Metropolis'. Being an opera lover, especially Wagner, it is to my shame that it has taken me decade to get around to watching Lang's masterpiece 'Siegfried'.
Even more than Richard Wagner's 4 Ring operas in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' Lang's films tie in many of the ancient Nordic and Teutonic legends that contributed to Wagner's monumental creation.
Brunhild is a powerful Icelandic Queen, Siegfried the son of King Siegmund, all this quite different from the operas in that Siegmund was not a king in those. Also, Hagen, the evil deus ex machina is portrayed here as a Wotan like figure, with patched eye and horned helmet. Otherwise, the basic story is the same but more believable as drama than Wagner's highly fantastic story line.
This film is going to last a lifetime with me. And it is especially wonderful that the great musical score by Gottfried Huppertz has been included in the DVD release on Kino films. Its a haunting score and very much its own character. It doesn't try to imitate Wagnerianism but there are what Wagner called leitmotivs to represent the various characters and mood.
Even if you aren't a Wagner fan this film by Fritz Lang displays so many amazing innovations for 1924 that it puts the computerized f/x of our day quite in the shade in terms of novelty and human artistry.
I can't recommend 'Siegfried' highly enough. Haunting and beautiful, even in black and white. The Kino picture is quite clear and the acting superb.
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