Frau im Mond 1929

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(13) IMDb 7.4/10
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In this, Lang's final silent epic, the legendary filmmaker spins a tale involving a wicked cartel of spies who co-opt an experimental mission to the moon in the hope of plundering the satellite's vast (and highly theoretical) stores of gold. When the crew, helmed by Willy Fritsch and Gerda Maurus, finally reach their impossible destination, they find themselves stranded in a lunar labyrinth without walls - where emotions run scattershot, and the new goal becomes survival. A modern Daedalus tale which uncannily foretold Germany's wartime push into rocket-science, Frau im Mond is as much a warning-sign against human hubris as it is a hopeful depiction of mankind's potential. This DVD presents the culmination of Fritz Lang's silent cinema, newly restored to its near-original length.

Starring:
Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Frau im Mond

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 2 hours 43 minutes
Starring Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gera Maurus, Fritz Rasp, Gustl Gstettenbaur
Director Fritz Lang
Genres Science Fiction
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 21 January 2008
Main languages German
Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 2 hours 43 minutes
Starring Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gera Maurus, Fritz Rasp, Gustl Gstettenbaur
Director Fritz Lang
Genres Science Fiction
Studio EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 25 August 2014
Main languages German
Subtitles English

Other Formats

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Film Buff on 8 Sep 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very good issue of Fritz Lang's 1929 silent sci-fi epic, Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon) by Masters of Cinema. The Friedrich Murnau Stiftung transfer looks very good in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio presentation with the images pin sharp, showing off the solid cinematography of Curt Courant, Oskar Fischinger, Otto Kantureck and Konstantin Tschetwerikoff, the outstanding production designs of Otto Hunte, Emil Hasler and Karl Vollbrecht, and the solid direction of Lang. One caveat - a very ugly edit as the layers of the DVD change which occurs just as the rocket is taking off. I found the way it dissipates tension most distracting, but perhaps others won't be so disturbed. The film is given with a decent piano accompaniment of music by Willy Schmidt-Gentner which seems a bit basic to me coming from Gottfried Huppertz's wonderful orchestral scores for Die Nibelungen and Metropolis, but it is a re-recording of the film's original score and that is a good thing. MoC's presentation this time is decent rather than outstanding. Included on the disc is a 15 minute documentary 'The First Scientific Science-Fiction-Film' which only really scrapes the surface of the details about the making of the movie. Then there's the customary booklet, this time just 36 pages of large print which consists mainly of 'A Formal Analysis' of the film by Michael E. Grost. This concerns itself with drawing out tropes which the film shares with the rest of Lang's oeuvre and though interesting in part, I find it misleading to draw thematic parallels between Frau im Mond and Lang films where he wasn't really personally involved - he was very much just a hired hand for Western Union, Rancho Notorious and Moonfleet and any parallels of mise-en-scene or script must surely be coincidental more than anything else.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 April 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the second of great silent SF movies made by Fritz Lang and although not as immensely great and universaly known as "Metropolis", it is certainly a very major film! Below, you will find some more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

PRECISION: this is the review of "Masters of Cinema" restored 163 minutes long version of this film.

"Frau im Mond" begins with the great dream of a manned expedition to the Moon shared by two unlikely friends. One of them, professor Georg Mannfeldt (Klaus Pohl), is an old scientist, considered by his pairs as a madman or a fraud and living in most abject poverty. The second, Wolf Helius (Willy Fritsch), is a gifted engineer and very succesful businessman, owner of a major industrial company. Together they decide to build a giant rocket and go to the Moon, looking for gold which they hope will cover the immense cost of this enterprise. This is described in the very beginning of the film. The performance of Klaus Pohl as an old half-mad scientist is absolutely unique - those first minutes of the film, you really WANT to see them!

What happens next? Well, quite a lot indeed, because this is a long film. Some sinister forces will intervene, acting through The Man, a nameless archi-villain played magistrally by actor Fritz Rasp, who with his unique physionomy and great talent steals absolutely every scene he appears in (he also played a quite sinister character in "Metropolis"). As the title clearly suggests, a young woman will also play a considerable role - this is in fact one of the first films in which a woman who is also a serious scientist appears... There will be a love triangle, lots of trouble during the space trip, more trouble on the Moon and a very good, VERY surprising ending.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 2 Jun 2011
Format: DVD
Worst things first. Despite being made by Fritz Lang and his then-wife and screenwriter Thea von Harbou only two years later, Frau im Mond aka Woman in the Moon is no Metropolis. It's as if Kubrick had followed 2001 with Destination Moon - a capable enough picture, but one for its day rather than for the ages. Even had it not been banned by the Nazis in 1937 because its depiction of rocket science was deemed too close to their secret rocket programme it probably would have been forgotten of its own accord. There's no grand vision, no striking design, only one real set piece and almost nothing to say. Made purely to cash in on the rocket craze that hit Germany in the late 20s and Fritz Lang's own enthusiasm for Hermann Oberth's pioneering theoretical work, the main attraction of `the first science fiction film based on scientific fact' is its visionary and surprisingly accurate (in parts) depiction of interplanetary rocket travel. Unfortunately to get to that you have to put up with a drawn out 74 minutes of melodrama, and once it reaches the Moon it waves goodbye to science and says hello again to melodrama.

The opening hour and a quarter is the biggest problem, padding the length out and taking its own sweet time setting up characters and plot points that could have been done in less than a third of the time. Heartbroken over the woman he loves, Friede (Gerda Maurus), deciding to marry his best friend Windegger (Gustav von Wagenheim), wealthy Wolf Helius (Willy Fritsch) finally decides to make the trip to the Moon in the rocket he's designing, spurred on more by emptiness than by the theories of the ridiculed and ruined Professor Manfeldt (Klaus Pohl) that the mountains of the Moon are rich in gold.
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