Perhaps the most stately of Fritz Lang's two-part epics, the five-hour Die Nibelungen is a courageous and hallucinatory work. Its extraordinary set-pieces, archetypal themes, and unrestrained ambition have proved an inspiration for nearly every fantasy cycle that has emerged on-screen since - from Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings . In Part One, Siegfried, the film's eponymous hero acquires the power of invincibility after slaying a dragon and bathing in the creature's blood. Later, an alliance through marriage between the hero and the royal clan of the Nibelungen turns treacherous, with Siegfried's sole weakness exploited. In Part Two, Kriemhilds Rache [Kriemhild's Revenge], Siegfried's widow travels to the remote land of the Huns to wed the monstrous Attila, and thereby enlist his forces in an act of vengeance that culminates in massacre, conflagration, and, under the auspices of Lang, one of the most exhilarating and terrifying end-sequences in all of cinema.
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Die Nibelungen. Fritz Lang's two-part epic based on the Nibelungenlied (Song of the Nibelungs), spanning nearly five hours in total is, without a doubt, a must-see part of silent cinema. The two films, "Siegfried" and "Kriemhilds Rache" (Kriemhild's Revenge), are presented here with original German intertitles and optional English subtitles. As a special feature we have the German spoken (also with English subtitles) documentary "The Heritage of Die Nibelungen". This DVD also comes with an illustrated booklet, containing writings on the film, interview excerpts and more that will only serve to deepen one's appreciation of these two films. With these old films, it's often a quite a challenge to find out which DVD version is the better choice, but I can assure you that this DVD ticks all the boxes.
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This is a stunning presentation of a marvellous film. Available at last on DVD, and in the Masters of Cinema range, too. Lots of marks out of ten for the whole package.
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