Spione (Masters of Cinema) DVD
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Directed by Fritz Lang
Produced in 1928
Main Language - SILENT with English subtitles
Fritz Lang’s long association with Ufa, Germany’s most powerful studio, began shortly after the First World War. It produced some of the finest films made anywhere in the world during the silent era, including Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922), Die Nibelungen (1924), and Metropolis (1927). One of the best of these is Spione (Spies, 1928), arguably one of the finest genre pictures of the 1920s.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge, who had portrayed Lang’s most famous criminal mastermind, Dr. Mabuse, as well as Rotwang, the mad scientist of Metropolis, stars as Haghi, the power-crazed Napoleon of crime whose network of superspies stretches throughout the world, and who hides behind the façade of a wheelchair-bound bank president. The most dangerous man in Europe, Haghi in fact leads a triple life, for he also masquerades as Nemo the music-hall Clown. Co-starring in this diabolical tale of espionage, counterespionage, world domination, treason, and treachery are Willy Fritsch as No. 326, the secret serviceman out to capture Haghi, Gerda Maurus as Sonia, the ace spy sent to eliminate No. 326, Lien Deyers as Kitty, Fritz Rasp as Colonel Jellusic and Lupu Pick as Dr. Masimoto, a Japanese diplomat and spy-master.
All the inventive pyrotechnics and Expressionist touches that Lang had used in Metropolis are deployed to sensational effect by cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner in this exercise in intrigue and mayhem that features robbery, extortion, explosions, and assassinations. The spectacular train-wreck-in-a-tunnel sequence marks Spione as one of the most frenetic espionage epics ever made, as well as a forerunner of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers.
Fritz Lang’s Spione isn’t as famous as Metropolis, but it should be. As Lang biographer Patrick McGilligan has written, “the suspense and furioso strokes never flag.”
Newly restored to its original length, Lang's penultimate silent film is a flawlessly constructed and labyrinthine spy thriller in which Lang's famous passion for meticulous detail combines with masterful storytelling and editing skills to form a relentless story of intrigue, espionage, and blackmail. As fresh and as captivating now as it was on release.
Publisher: Eureka / Masters of Cinema
Length: 143 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 18th April 2005
Cat No: EKA40087
- Newly restored to its original state for the first time on home video
- Original German intertitles with optional English subtitles
- New score by Donald Sosin
- Gallery containing rare production stills
- 20-page booklet with new essays.