5.9/10
287
13 user 8 critic

Mandragore (1952)

Alraune (original title)
A scientist creates a beautiful "perfect woman", but since she is artificial, she seems soul-less and with no sense of morality, she brings ruin to all around her.

Writers:

Hanns Heinz Ewers (novel), Kurt Heuser
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hildegard Knef ... Alraune
Erich von Stroheim ... Jacob ten Brinken
Karlheinz Böhm ... Frank Braun (as Karl Boehm)
Harry Meyen ... Count Geroldingen
Rolf Henniger ... Wolf Goutram (Ralph Goutram - US)
Harry Halm ... Doctor Mohn
Hans Cossy Hans Cossy ... Mathieu, the coachman
Gardy Brombacher Gardy Brombacher ... Lisbeth, the maid
Trude Hesterberg Trude Hesterberg ... Fuerstin Wolkonska (Princess Wolkonski - US)
Julia Koschka Julia Koschka ... Olga Wolkonska (Wolkonski - US)
Denise Vernac Denise Vernac ... Mlle. Duvaliere, The Governess
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arno Ebert Arno Ebert
Willem Holsboer Willem Holsboer
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Storyline

A scientist creates a beautiful "perfect woman", but since she is artificial, she seems soul-less and with no sense of morality, she brings ruin to all around her.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born outside the laws of God and man!

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

February 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Unnatural See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was not released in the United States until almost five years later when it was picked up by DCA (Distributors Corporation of America) and released in an edited and English dubbed version under the title "Unnatural...The Fruit of Evil." See more »

Connections

Version of Alraune und der Golem (1919) See more »

Soundtracks

Heut' gefall' ich mir
Written by Werner R. Heymann and Jean Gilbert
Performed by Hildegard Knef
See more »

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User Reviews

 
ALRAUNE (Arthur Maria Rabenalt, 1952) ***
14 October 2013 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I had watched the best-regarded (if still rare) 1928 Silent version of this much-filmed German melodrama with Sci-Fi undertones during a previous Halloween challenge; while I recall precious little of that one at this juncture, having re-read my review of it, I know the remake features a different conclusion – as well as a different method of creation for the titular figure (the more realistic one of artificial insemination here instead of her emanating from the mandrake root, though the plant remains much in evidence throughout even now). Still, offhand, I would say that both films are equally effective – with the lead roles being especially well-filled: Erich von Stroheim and Hildegarde Knef (at her loveliest) in this adaptation replacing Paul Wegener and Brigitte Helm respectively in the earlier movie; leading the supporting cast, however, is Karl Boehm (who would excel in his later genre role in the British-made PEEPING TOM [1959]). As I said, events are not exactly fantastic – indeed, leaning more towards romance in the vein of two other much-filmed and horror-tinged classics, namely "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" and "Trilby" (often filmed as SVENGALI and whose 1954 British version, incidentally, also had Knef as its leading lady!) – but, then, Stroheim does keep a caged ape (which comes to no use other than as an added bizarre touch!) in his laboratory and, in any case, the result is no less stylish for that; all in all, this is ample proof that the Germans did not lose their touch for the Expressionistic with the advent of WWII! The premise, too, of a femme fatale turning the heads of several men, all of whom know one another and naturally fall out over her, is interesting for its distinct film noir trappings – in this case, extending to the rethought doom-laden climax that includes a murder and subsequent execution steeped in irony.


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