7.3/10
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10 user 7 critic
A beautiful young drifter comes to a small village and battles Death itself to save the man she loves.

Director:

Frank Wisbar (as Frank Wysbar)

Writers:

Hans Jürgen Nierentz, Frank Wisbar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sybille Schmitz ... Maria
Aribert Mog ... The Young Man
Carl de Vogt ... The Minstrel
Peter Voß Peter Voß ... The Man in Black (Death)
Gerhard Bienert Gerhard Bienert ... The Wealthy Landowner
Eduard Wenck Eduard Wenck ... Mayor Hegemann
Karl Platen Karl Platen ... The Old Ferryman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernst Stimmel Ernst Stimmel ... Dorfschullehrer
Mimi Thoma Mimi Thoma ... Singer (Heidelied)
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Storyline

Maria, an enigmatic young drifter, takes over the job of piloting a tiny ferry in a small secluded village after the mysterious death of the former ferryman, and one night gives a ride to a wounded man. Later, when Death comes to claim his life, she tries to save him by engaging the Grim Reaper in a delirious dance of doom. Can true love triumph in the face of certain destiny? Written by Anonymous

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occult | See All (1) »


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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

23 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death and the Maiden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last classic German Expressionist film of its kind made in Germany before the film industry was swallowed up by the Third Reich. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elisabeth (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maria, a gem of the Weimar ocean
9 February 2013 | by lqualls-dchinSee all my reviews

Frank Wisbar was one of the many talented people working in the German film industry in the late 1920s-early 1930s. He was a producer, often working with Arnold Fanck; he produced MAEDCHEN IN UNIFORM (directed by Leontine Sagan), and assisted on the production of Dreyer's VAMPYR. Obviously, this was a person with an interest in "alternative" cinema; his own work as a director also revealed his interest in non-mainstream cinema.

FAHRMANN MARIA is a fable of the occult. As such, it follows VAMPYR in trying to tell a narrative in terms of atmosphere and metaphor. The moody, shadow-shrouded cinematography is just so marvelously evocative; the settings show the great influence of Expressionist design. Yet this design is used to enhance the performances, particularly those of Sybille Schmitz (also one of the leads in VAMPYR) and Peter Voss.

Wisbar's highly promising career was cut short, as he was one of the many who fled the Nazi regime and wound up in the US; though many of the German emigres would succeed, quite a few wound up toiling in the nether regions of low-budget fare for Poverty Row studios. Wisbar, like Edgar Ulmer, was one of those who never quite made the leap to success in the major studios. Wisbar would remake FAHRMANN MARIA as THE STRANGLER OF THE SWAMP, but, though atmospheric, the mythic dimensions of FAHRMANN MARIA are contracted in the American settings. But FAHRMANN MARIA is one of the true classics of the Weimar cinema.


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