6.8/10
575
14 user 13 critic

Der heilige Berg (1926)

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 »

Director:

Arnold Fanck

Writer:

Arnold Fanck
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Cast

Credited cast:
Leni Riefenstahl ... Diotima
Luis Trenker ... Karl
Ernst Petersen Ernst Petersen ... Vigo
Frida Richard Frida Richard ... Mother
Friedrich Schneider Friedrich Schneider ... Colli
Hannes Schneider Hannes Schneider ... Mountain Guide
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leontine Sagan Leontine Sagan
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Storyline

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 her scarf. The infatuated Vigo mistakenly believes she is in love with him. Karl sees Diotima innocently caressing Vigo and he believes that Diotima is betraying him with his friend. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

November 1926 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

The Holy Mountain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2001 restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At the end a caption reads that loyalty was the highest virtue of a person. The motto of the German SS was, "meine ehre heist treue" or My Honor is Loyalty. A virtue taken to an extreme degree. See more »

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User Reviews

The Sea and the Stone
26 November 2009 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

Some superb cinematography is the only thing that saves this fairly turgid melodrama from being completely ordinary. Given the stunning scenery featured here it would be difficult for even the most workmanlike of cinematographers to come away without some spectacular shots, but in the hands of a veritable army of credited cinematographers we are left with a succession of images that will remain in the memory long after other details of the film have been forgotten.

Leni Riefenstahl, who would later become notorious for directing Nazi propaganda films for Hitler, plays the heroine, a dancer who falls in love with a dashing skier. The skier's young friend, also dashing but in a less mature way, also falls for her and both men mistakenly believe the young man's love is reciprocated – a misunderstanding that leads to tragedy.

When she's called upon to emote, Riefenstahl overacts horrendously, flinging her arms into the air, half-swooning against any nearby piece of furniture or wall, and hysterically biting her hands when she's not throwing her head into them. She really is shocking and, given everyone else's more naturalistic style, she ends up coming across as a highly-strung diva who's misplaced her happy pills, which I don't believe is what the director is looking for.

Anyway, it's nature, and not Riefenstahl, who is the real star. The film heavily symbolises the links her character (the sea) and her lover (the stone) share with nature, scenes of which the camera seems to gorge itself on, suggesting a reverence that lends the most natural of phenomenon an almost mythical quality. The director juxtaposes the vast open spaces of the mountains and the sea with extreme close-ups of the principal's faces to offer an insight into their emotions and emphasise the disparities that will drive them apart.

And if you happen to catch this film, bear in mind – as the film beseeches you to – that there is no trick photography in use here: that man really is peering over the edge of a sheer cliff with the front of his skis in mid-air, and the cameraman really is hurtling down the ski-slopes with his subjects as he captures how it feels to take part in a rugged ski race. Forget the dreary romance, these scenes – and the breathtaking shots in which we see climbers pinned to mountains at the far left of the picture and silhouetted against a vast sky - are the moments that breathe life into this film.


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