starring Paul Richter, Hanna Ralph and Hans Adalbert Schlettow
September 12, 1925

"Siegfried"- 90%
Reviewed by Tommie Gene Browne

"Siegfried" the screen version of the Norse and Nibelungen myth, is a production that attains true artistry in characterization, photography and in direction. This lavish German production follows in detail the old saga even more closely that does Wagner in his immortal opera. "Siegfried", the second of the Rinegold Trilology. The story of Siegfried the dauntless, fearless knight, who conquers the terrors of the mythological forest of Woden, the win the hand of Kreimhild, the beautiful sister of Gunther, King of Burgundy, is beautifully and authentically told. Though the ending is tragic it merely fulfills the motivation of the early reels. While bathing in the blood of the giant he slays, a lime leaf flutters to Siegfried's shoulder. The spot covered by this leaf is the only spot left vulnerable by the dragon's blood. And of course death must come to him because of this spot, even though it means the shattering of his idyllic romance with Kriemhild. The director is to be commended upon the direct way in which he presents the story; he avoids the pitfalls usually present in such productions as this. There are many unusual photographic effects and many gripping sequences. The cast is excellent.

The cast includes: Paul Richer, Margarette Schon, Hanna Ralph, Theodore Loos and Hans Schlettow. It was directed by Fritz Lang

Contributed by Eryn Merwart

starring Paul Richter, Hanna Ralph and Hans Adalbert Schlettow
August, 1925

The Berlin-made production of "Siegfried," produced by the Ufa forces, is bound to arouse a great deal of discussion upon its New York presentation. "Siegfried" already has achieved a position of cinematic importance in various cities of the Continent, in London, and even at the famous Art Theater in Moscow.

I have my personal doubts about its popularity in America, however. If "The Last Laugh" could not interest America at large, "Siegfried" would seem hardly likely to turn the trick.

"Siegfried" may be described briefly as possessing many moments of great beauty, as a noteworthy technical achievement (possibly the greatest studio effort to date), and yet something of a bore.

Based Upon Siegfried Legends
The German novelist, Thea von Harbou, went back to the basic legends in constructing her scenario. The adventures of the Siegfried of the film differ from those of he operatic Nibelungen Siegfried of Wagner. The German composer built for what he considered great operatic scenes; Frau von Harbou constructed for scenario efficiency, as she saw it. Right here I might add that Wagner easily gets the decision on points.
One of the radical changes concerns the introduction of the Church and the partial exclusion of the paganism. The film "Siefried" moves before a cathedral background. Yet much of the magic and a deal of the eerie spirit of enchantment remain. The two elements are rather disconcerting together.

The celluloid Siegfried starts out to find - and win - Kriemhild, a fabled beauty. After combating much dire magic, he comes face to face with Kriemhild. Her brother, King Gunther, has loved a queen, Brunhilda., but loved in vain. He promises Siegfried, the hand of his sister if he can aid him in winning the elusive Brunhilda.

Brunhilda is conquered and broughtr back to Gunther's court. Her glowering resentment brings about a break in the friendship of Siegfried and Gunther, and ends in Siegfried's murder.

Many Beautiful Moments
This story moves before a panorama of striking effectiveness. There are many beautiful moments. One, in the enchanted forest, is unforgettable. This reveals Siegfried riding his white horse and groping his way thru the mists among the gnarled trees. The architecture of the period, as revealed in the film, is very Max Reinhardtish. It seems to me that there is too much of the newer stagecraft in the settings. Anyway, "Siegfried" has a tendency to be very arty.

The direction of Fritz Lang is interesting. Siegfried is admirably done by Paul Richter, the German matinee idol. Richter realizes this tremendously difficult role in splendid fashion. Brunhilda, too, is finely played by Hanna Ralph. Here is an actress of unusual emotional stature. A highly effective performance is contributed by Hans Adalbert Schlettow as the towering Hagen Tronje. His Hagen seems to step right out of the mythical past.

"Siegfried" is worth seeing, if only as an interesting study in technical achievement.

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