Fritz Lang: The Silent Films Review and Giveaway (December)

Fritz Lang: The Silent Films
12-Blu-Ray Set Review and Giveaway (below)

I first became ‘acquainted’ with the silent films of Fritz Lang a few years back when I was lucky enough to see Metropolis on the Big Screen. I will never forget how intensely my heart was pounding throughout the film (I was literally on the edge of my seat) — and I just couldn’t stop talking about it to anyone who would listen. It left an indelible impression on me, and gave me a renewed and profound respect for the artistry of the classic Silents. So, imagine how happy I was when an unexpected package from Kino Lorber showed up at my door…Fritz Lang: The Silent Films… a 12-disc Blu-Ray set that contains all of Lang’s existing silent films, restored.

fritz lang: the silent films blu-ray set pack shot

Now, I am certainly no expert in German Expressionism, or for that matter, in silent films, but I am a fan, and I know what I like. And I am thoroughly enjoying, and immersed in,  this box set — these films are intense — riveting, heart-pounding, and thoroughly thought provoking, with lots of ‘aha’ and ‘oh no’ moments weaved in (what storytelling!). And – I almost have to laugh here – I became aware that, yes, once again I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat while watching (this time during Die Nibelungen, which I had never seen before). Wow.

Now in all honesty, I haven’t viewed all of the content in this set (yet), but it is certainly not from a lack of will. It is simply because, with over 30 hours of content, I just didn’t have enough time in a mere few days to do so, particularly because a number of these films are epic in scope. BUT, I really can’t wait to continue watching because these are exquisite and stinging films — with flawed characters and gripping themes — and they are visually beautiful with astonishing special effects.

This set is really quite beautiful in many respects, and I encourage you all to enter this contest, because this is a set of films worth owning!

That said, I want to thank my fine friends at Kino Lorber for sending me this incredible Set of films — and for also giving CMH a set to give away to one lucky winner!

And now for the giveaway contest…

fritz lang: the silent films blu-ray set

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In order to qualify to win this prize via this contest giveaway, you must complete the below entry task by Saturday, December 30 at 10PM EST. One lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced on twitter and/or this blog (depending how you entered) on Sunday Dec 31 at 10PM.

ENTRY TASK (2-parts) to be completed by Saturday, December 30 at 10PM EST…

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post

2) Then TWEET (not DM) the following message:
Just entered to win the “Fritz Lang: The Silent Films” 12-blu-ray box set #Giveaway courtesy of @KinoLorber and @ClassicMovieHub #CMHContest link: http://ow.ly/ef8830gZ6sh

THE QUESTION:
What is your favorite Fritz Lang film and why? And, if you’re not familiar with his work, why would you like to win this Blu-Ray Set? 

*If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still enter the contest by simply answering the above question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog — BUT PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ADD THIS VERBIAGE TO YOUR ANSWER: I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

ALSO: Please allow us 48 hours to approve your comments. Sorry about that, but we are being overwhelmed with spam, and must sort through 100s of comments…

…..

Gustav Fröhlich in Metropolis (1927)Gustav Frohlich as Freder (Joh Fredersen’s Son) in Metropolis

You can visit Kino Lorber on their website, on Twitter at @KinoLorber or on Facebook.

Please note that only Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico) entrants are eligible.

And — BlogHub members ARE eligible to win if they live within the Continental United States (as noted above).

fritz lang set die niebelungen BrunhildHanna Ralph as Brunhild in Die Nibelungen: Siegfried

About the Blu-Ray Set:

Fritz Lang made films for more than five decades in the two greatest film industries, Weimar Germany and Hollywood. Lang’s films drew on Expressionism, gritty semi-documentary realism, and mythical fantasy. He successfully moved from silent to sound film, producing acknowledged masterpieces in both forms, but his silent films forged his unique vision. This box set brings together all of Lang’s existing silent films in restored versions (including original tints), offering a chance to experience the unity of his work as never before possible. After WWI, silent cinema became a powerful narrative form and Lang was one of its key architects. During this ear Lang had unparalleled control over his films, engaged in every aspect from scripting, to design, to shooting, and editing. He gathered about him a talented team of collaborators, but Lang remained the authority and, by some accounts, the tyrant.

The Set includes 12 Blu-Rays in a beautiful digipak (nicely done), plus a 32 page booklet, and outer library case. There’s 30+ hours of content in all, including the 11 films (25+ hours), plus special features (about 4.5-5 hours from what I could count).

fritz lang woman in the moonWoman in the Moon

The Films:

Metropolis (1927), Die Nibelungen (1924), Spies (1928), Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), Destiny (1921), The Spiders (1919), Woman in the Moon (1929), Four Around the Woman (1921), Harakiri (1919), The Wandering Shadow (1920), The Plague of Florence (1919, Lang did not direct, but wrote the screenplay which was based on Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death).

Special Features: 

  • Destiny:
    • audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
    • restoration demonstration footage
    • 2016 re-release trailer
  • Dr. Mabuse the Gambler:
    • The Story Behind Dr. Mabuse documentary (52 mins) exploring the musical score by Aljoscha Zimmermann, the career of novelist Norbert Jacques, and an analysis of the film
  • Die Nibelungen: 
    • The Legacy of the Nibelungen documentary (68 mins) on the making and restoration of the film by Guido Altendorf and Anke Wilkening
    • newsreel footage taken on the set
  • Metropolis:
    • Voyage to Metropolis documentary (50 mins) on the making and restoration of the film
    • Interview with Paula Felix-Didier, curator of the Museo del Cine, Buenos Aires, where previously missing footage was discovered
  • Spies:
    • Spies: A Small Film With Lots of Action (72 min.) a documentary by Guido Altendorf and Anke Wilkening
    • Original German theatrical trailer (5 min) courtesy of the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna
  • Woman in the Moon:
    • Woman in the Moon: The First Scientific Science Fiction Film documentary (14 mins) on the making of the film

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And if you can’t wait to win this Box Set click on the image below to purchase on amazon :)

 

fritz lang: the silent films blu-ray set pack shot 1 from kino lorber

 

Good Luck!

–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

This entry was posted in Posts by Annmarie Gatti, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Fritz Lang: The Silent Films Review and Giveaway (December)

  1. My favorite of Lang’s films is probably “M.” Peter Lorre’s incredible performance and the atmospheric direction is unbeatable. I haven’t seen much of the director’s silent work, beyond METROPOLIS, but I am very curious about SPIES and MABUSE.

  2. Patrick Miller says:

    I’d have to say DESTINY’s visuals beat METROPOLIS for my favorite Lang film.

  3. Mabuse the Gambler, it’s an entertaining crime thriller

  4. Geezer says:

    I’ve only ever seen Metropolis, and have always wanted to dig into more of Lang’s work. This set would be a great way to jump in!

  5. francis peters says:

    “The Spiders” is my favorite Fritz Lang film. It is a serial that never lets up for pure action. Certainly a precusor to the Indiana Jones films many years later. Not a great film but one of storytelling adventure. Great fun.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Francis, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted, or just let me know here if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  6. Nancy says:

    One of my all-time favorite films is Metropolis. I was also lucky enough to see it on the big screen! I was struck by how it still looked so fresh and modern. The special effects were miles ahead of their time and the cinematography truly was groundbreaking. Brigitte Helm was perfect in the role of Maria. Her eyes were so captivating and expressive. I also loved Gustav Fröhlich’s performance, and the social commentary of the film is interesting. All around, it’s a remarkable film.

  7. Jeff Sultanof says:

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

    Of the many Lang silent films that I love and admire, I am still most drawn to “Spies.” Thrillers were a genre in which Lang was a master, and this one is one of his best. The 2+ hours fly by seemingly in minutes. Performances are excellent as was usual in a Lang film.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      I have to say, I am mesmerized by Lang’s films… I haven’t seen one that disappointed me yet! Thank you so much for entering and Good Luck :)

  8. Gloria Elizabeth says:

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.
    By default my favorite Fritz Lang film is FURY (1936), as it is the one with which I am most familiar. I’ve seen this near-perfect movie multiple times. I’ve enjoyed lots of his other sound pictures but only short fuzzy clips of his silents, so I’d love the chance to watch these movies in restored full-length versions.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      I do very much enjoy Lang’s sound films as well, but I am just so mesmerized by his silents… such artistry! Thanks so much for entering and Good Luck :)

  9. My favorite Fritz Lang movie is Metropolis because even to this day, it’s rare for a movie to have as big of a scope and production as Metropolis. It’s still as thrilling as it was upon release. I’ve only seen two other Lang movies (M and The Big Heat) so this set will help me dive into the rest of his films which excites me!

  10. My favorite Fritz Lang film is probably M, if for no other reason than that it is one of the few films of his I have been able to see so far. I would love the chance to see more from this contest!

  11. Garrett Solomon says:

    The only Fritz Lang film that I have actually “seen” was “Metropolis.” I still remember the first time I saw the film; it was at the Music Box in Chicago back in 2010. I remember “Metropolis” astounding me back then and it still does today, not just with all the fancy visuals and effects, but also with its powerful and still-relevant message about how society as a whole should be unified. (By the way, isn’t it ironic that “Metropolis” was Hitler’s favorite movie? You think he would’ve learned something from watching it.)

  12. steve carmody says:

    My favorite Lang film is ‘M’. Peter Lorre’s portrayal of a child killer is chilling, as is Lang’s depiction of the Berlin’s underside.

    I recently read a biography of Lang (The Nature of the Beast). That sparked my interest in Lang’s silent films, including Mabuse and Woman in the Moon.

  13. Chuck Williamson says:

    My favorite Fritz Lang film is also probably the most unlikely: You and Me. I mean… a lightly comedic quasi-musical that even the director disowned entirely? But I can’t help myself. I find the film enthralling, puckishly funny, and exquisitely charming. I love its skeptical romanticism and the utter strangeness of its enmeshing of breezy screwball comedy with darker Langian obsessions. And that final scene, where Sylvia Sidney delivers one of cinema’s most subversive anti-crime lectures, is really quite something to behold.

  14. Bruce Baldwin says:

    Metropolis is my favorite of the only three Lang films I have been able to see. The imagery, the scope, the story are superb. You can see the art form of film being stretched by an absolute master of storytelling. I would love to have the set of Lang films because I will probably never be able to see his others without it.

  15. Gus Vela says:

    I am anxious to experience Fritz’s films, starting with Metropolis, legendary silent film about the class system; workers vs the elite. It would be an honor to own this set and an absolute pleasure to dive in and live in the world of Fritz Lang!

    disclaimer: I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      I am just so amazed by his work… his silents in particular really make me think, not to mention the fact that they’re so suspenseful! Thanks so much for entering and Good Luck :)

  16. Craig Buehler says:

    M is my favorite of his movies – but I really enjoy all his movies and would love to have this set.

  17. Kevin Nash says:

    Favorite Lang film: M!

    It remains the roots of so many genres, but it has never been topped. It oozes with shadowy style. It was my first foreign language film and remains my favorite.

  18. Although I love Metropolis, my favorite Lang film is the strange crime film Dr. Mabuse the Gambler. I can just get lost in all the characters and especially the evil of the title character!

  19. Though Metropolis was my first, and the full version may wrest the title back, at this time, I think Spies is my favorite Lang film. If for no other reason, Fritz Rasp! But also, it’s got some really cool sequences and a good story. It’s a really solid movie.

  20. Page Chambers says:

    Metropolis is the only one I’ve seen and it’s incredible.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Page, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted, or just let me know here if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  21. Stacia says:

    SPIES! Absolutely, unequivocally SPIES. Gerda Maurus is amazing, you can’t take your eyes off of her. So glad to see the love here in comments for SPIES, too — for years I felt like the only one who considered it a fave.

  22. Adam VanHandel says:

    I love Lang’s work, but my favorite is easily Metropolis. Such an amazing vision that was expertly transferred to film…it’s so inspiring! This looks like an absolutely awesome set!

  23. Jeanelle Kleveland says:

    My favorite would be Metropolis. I cannot say that I am a scholar of silent films, but I’ve become much more interested in the last years.

  24. Matt Miller says:

    So I haven’t watched all of his films, but I love Metropolis. It is such a great showing of what you can do with silent film. it is such a thought out world, and government. Obviously most people in the comments, know about the film, so I wont say more.

  25. Rob says:

    It’s a bit of a toss-up for me between Dr. Mabuse The Gambler and Metropolis, but I’ll probably go with Metropolis. It’s always awe-inspiring to go back to that film and realize the incredible achievement that it is. I also love to keep finding every aspect of the film that so many other filmmakers throughout the years have taken from. James Cameron used quite a few almost verbatim. Without Lang’s contributions, the medium would not be what it is today. I am a film student and having this collection would be an ultimate course!

    @Dahlialien on Twitter

  26. Mark PAGAN says:

    I’m fascinated by the long history of the shortening (and restoration!) of Metropolis. The capsule description here leaves me wondering just what iteration of the film is included here. Winning the set is one way to find out…

  27. William Dalgauer says:

    Metropolis, I’m a Be-Bop Deluxe fan, And they used the Robot from “Metropolis” for their album cover! Later purchased “Metropolis” on VHS! Have been a Fritz Lang fan ever since!

  28. Richie Rainville says:

    Having a chance to own these films is amazing, the beginning of the entertainment era is all but forgotten and these films will (atleast in my eyes) be a great way to show others and to enjoy for years to come

  29. My favorite German language Lang film is M. Simply one of the most influential films of all time with a career best performance from Peter Lorre. My favorite Hollywood Lang is Scarlet Street. Great noir in the German Expressionist style.

  30. METROPOLIS. The screening of the restoration at first TCM Classic Film Festival in 2010 remains my greatest moviegoing experience ever.

  31. Never met a Fritz Lang I didn’t like, but I think my favourite is probably Die Nibelungen. You have to take a run at it – set time aside to utterly wallow in the atmosphere and the sheer unbridled “ooomph” of it. It’s not a casual viewing by any means, but it’s richly rewarding and utterly absorbing. I think I disappear into it each time I watch.

  32. Allison Cancilla says:

    I have only a seen a few Lang movies and would use this blu-ray set to learn and watch his movies.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Allison, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted, or let me know by commenting here that you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  33. Kim says:

    This is a difficult question. In Lang’s German period I really love M because it makes us sympathize with a child killer at the end showing the character isn’t evil but has a real sickness. That’s extremely difficult to do. And it’s such a fantastic performance by Peter Lorre. I also really love how Lorre demonstrates mob rule here (which he will later do in Fury) but it especially works well here because at we the audience hate Lorre to and maybe even agree with the mob at first. I think the film dies a great job of changing the audience perspective making you think about what justice is.

    In his Hollywood period I always really loved the Big Heat. It’s such a terrific Noir and that coffee scene always gets me (anyone who has scene the film will know what I am talking about) .

  34. Travis says:

    My favorite Fritz Lang film is Scarlet Street. It has very interesting things to say about masculinity and morality. Edward G. Robinson’s performance is among his very best. The cinematography is astounding. My Twitter handle is @Filmguy1997

  35. My favorite remains Metropolis, so I’m in the enviable position of having a favorite for which they keep finding lost footage! It was such a presence in my early childhood, constantly cropping up in Famous Monsters of Filmland – then I finally got to see it in my adult years, and it was so much more than I expected.

  36. Steve Quick says:

    Though I love “Fury,” I have to go with “M” as my favorite. The claustrophobia of having both the police and the underworld against one man who is also being torn from the inside is palpable.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi, found your post! It was lost in spam. All you need to do now is to tweet the message to officially enter. Thanks!

  37. Due to my love of the James Bond films, I have to call SPIES (1928) my favorite Fritz Lang film. Lang’s silent masterpiece influenced all subsequent cinematic espionage, perhaps most notably in the ways that the James Bond franchise characterizes megalomaniacal villainy.

  38. Simon Freeland says:

    Metropolis, just a fantastic film

  39. Karin Sowden says:

    I’ve only seen Metropolis and his “talkies” so would love to see his other silent movies.

    I have just started watching and collecting silent movies so this boxset would make a great addition to my collection.

  40. Shawn Moore says:

    Wow – you couldn’t have come up with a harder question! I can narrow it to three (maybe)… Dr Mabuse (or does that count as three itself? :-) ), Metropolis and M.
    If forced to chose one, I will go with Metropolis, because one of the most thrilling theater experiences I have ever had was seeing the restored version’s North America Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood in 2010, as the closing event of the first TCM Classic Film Festival, with the Alloy Orchestra doing a live musical accompaniment. It blew me away. I even bought the music later on CD. Such a great event.
    And I’d love to get this set, for the films of course, but would love to see all the special features.

  41. Jodi says:

    Shockingly, I’ve never seen any of his films but have always wanted to. Many times I intended to watch “Metropolis” but didn’t get to do so. That is the first one I intend to watch. It looks gorgeous and the story is intriguing.

  42. I’m a huge Fritz Lang fan and would love to win this. My favorite Lang of all time is Metropolis. It’s hard to pick because I’m also in love with Fury, Man Hunt, Big Heat, Woman in the Window and so many others. Hi silents are magnificent! Thanks for the opportunity.

  43. Barry P. says:

    Metropolis is my favorite Fritz Lang film. Without it, Blade Runner wouldn’t look the same. Of course, I just live dystopian films in general. Spies would be a close second. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and just plain fun. This boxed set would be a prized part of my collection.

  44. MCorner says:

    M,for no other reason than it’s depiction of a troubled individual. Mob mentality runs amok in Lang’s perennial serial killer morality play. It’s also a great example of early, innovative sound design.

  45. Jack Herbert Christal-Gattanella says:

    The Last Laugh. Heartbreaking but never depressing because Lang’s direction redeems any sadness. It is also one of the only silent films I can think of that doesnt have intertitles and carries a certain purity to it that is astonishing. What a character at the center!

  46. Matt says:

    I’ve seen bits of Lang’s films, but was always afraid to try them because I didn’t want to spoil the experience with an incomplete or cruddy print online. If I won, I’d use the box set as a sort of film course. How does Lang grow as a director? How does he feed off of, and feed into German expressionism? What were his directorial ticks? This thing seems to be criterion on steroids, and would greatly aid my understanding of the craft for my Art History degree.

  47. Kayla Sturm says:

    My favorite Lang film is Man Hunt. He made it not just a movie about love and loss, in war time, but a stark look at all of the things that Americans seemed to be then denying the Nazis were doing. They were not only killing people, but innocence, free expression, art, and everything that makes the human experience so unique and fulfilling.

  48. Kerri Phillips says:

    I’ve only been privileged enough to see 3 of Fritz Lang’s movies—-all starring Joan Bennett, and produced by Diana Productions. The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, and The Secret Beyond the Door. This last one is my favorite because of the suspense and the visuals. Fritz even directed Joan Bennett and Michael Redgrave to walk as close as humanly possible next to a huge raging fire! I would be so happy to win this collection, because I want to see these films so badly, and I just cannot afford a $100 expenditure at this time. Fritz Lang was a genius!!

  49. Joseph Walsh says:

    So many great films to choose from, so many different periods from a career that spanned four-plus decades. So many film tropes began with this man, whom Hitchcock studied meticulously. With his first sound film, M, he created one of the cinema’s most famous musical cues. FURY was the best Warner Brothers films MGM ever made. And he virtually invented the screen super-villain with DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER. But my favorite will always be the first Fritz Lang film I ever saw, from early in my single digits, a best-available print of METROPOLIS airing on PBS. I was awestruck then and remain so, as it’s been reworked by Giorgio Moroder, restored by Kino in 2002, and finally reassembled by the same company in 2010. Upon hearing of the discovery of 45 missing minutes of the film in 2008, I raved about the news to anyone who’d listen, and a few who wouldn’t! When it finally arrived at Film Forum, I gazed in wonder at footage I’d never seen, maybe would never had seen had it not been for that lucky, accidental discovery. It was miraculous, one of the cinematic memories I cherish most. It would be a privilege to own it along with the rest of the classics in this set.

  50. Joel says:

    Metropolis. I was mesmerized the first time I saw it, one of the greatest Sci Fi films of all time.

  51. Gunnar Larson says:

    My favorite Lang is definitely “M”! The way an entire community (including criminals) comes together to take down a child murderer is amazing!

  52. Gueorgui Bonilla Nuñez says:

    My favorite is Destiny because this beautiful & unforgettable metaphorical tale about life, death and love was my first Lang movie, and it blew my mind.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Guerorgul, I can’t seem to find your tweet. If you are entering the contest, please let me know if you tweeted, or if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks so much.

  53. Anthony says:

    My favorite Lang movie is probably “Metropolis,” but at the same time, one of my favorite film-watching experiences is watching his “M.” Watched it on day on a whim probably like half a decade ago, when I was 14-15 and still a budding cinephile; I might’ve not even known Lang directed it until I saw his name in the credits. I was enthralled. It was then I knew I needed to see everything.

  54. John Shipley says:

    SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR. Because why wouldn’t it be?!

  55. Tom Detrik says:

    “M”
    There was an innate repulsion for Peter Lorre’s character yet, his abilities as an actor brought sympathy and an almost tenderness. It was a fine blend of drama, suspense and character study. Some of the techniques used, were far ahead of their time and are still in use today. A must see for every actor and/or film-maker.

  56. Ellie Bodio says:

    My Fav Fritz Lang movie is Metropolis! It’s the Best! Thanks! Love the silent era!

  57. Woody Woodrum says:

    My favorite Fritz Land movie is Metropolis. This film influenced a whole range of sound pictures, starting with 1931′s Frankenstein. I would enjoy seeing the other films of Lang if I would win the set, as silents don’t make their way to the TV screen as often as they should.

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