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DIE NIBELUNGEN (Masters of Cinema) (DVD) [1924]

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Fritz LANG
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 281 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008LTVKLU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,325 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

SYNOPSIS: 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.

Adapted from the myth that was also the basis for Wagner's Ring cycle of operas, Lang's epic offers its own startling expressionistic power - a summit of the director's artistry. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Die Nibelungenin a spectacular new HD restoration, released as a 2 x DVD set & a 2 x Blu-ray set in the UK.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Long-awaited expert HD restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Germany
  • Immaculately presented in the film's original frame rates and aspect ratio, in 1080p on the Blu-ray
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles for the original German intertitles
  • An hour-long documentary: The Heritage of Die Nibelungen
  • Illustrated booklet featuring the words of Lang, rare archival imagery, and more
  • Further details to be announced nearer the release date!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a simply wonderful release of Fritz Lang's stunning 1924 silent epic, Die Nibelungen which all lovers of cinema urgently need to buy. Masters of Cinema's transfer of this Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung HD restoration is absolutely immaculate, featuring the original frame rate and the original 35mm aspect ratio of 1.37:1 to produce images which are pin-sharp and do full justice to Carl Hoffman and Gunter Rittau's ground-breaking cinematography, Otto Hunte's spectacular set designs, Paul Gerd Guderian's extraordinary costumes and Lang's exceptional sense of framing and composition. The film has been tinted orange as per the original and looks stunning as a consequence. I am especially pleased to note the original Gottfried Huppertz orchestral score has been found and re-recorded for this release and it propels the narrative compulsively. If anything, the quality of the music is even better than Huppertz's later Metropolis score. The film is presented as fully as possible on two very well-filled DVDs, the print taken from a variety of sources, but unfortunately with Part 2 slightly truncated due to cuts made at source by Ufa due to its lack of popularity at the box office on its first run. MoC's presentation is well up to their usual high standards. Included with the film is the 72 minute documentary 'Das Erbe der Nibelungen' (The Heritage of the Nibelungen) which explains how the current restoration evolved through several previous prints that have done the rounds over the years, the way the Nazis used and abused it making for particularly fascinating viewing. Then there's the 52-page booklet which features articles by Lotte H.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This is, without the shadow of doubt, one of the BEST and GREATEST films ever made! It impressed me and moved me like few others ever did and its great finale left me shocked and devastated. I LOVED every single minute of it! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Finally available in its fully restored version in the "Masters of cinema" series, "Die Nibelungen" is composed of two parts: "Siegfried" and "Kriemhild's revenge". This is a very long film - it lasts a grand total of 288 minutes - but I swear I didn't see the time passing by! Made in 1924, this film is of course mute and in black and white, but even if such thing bothers you, after first two minutes you will stop noticing it. Me personally I like to see an old mute black and white film from time to time as they have a unique charm - and that one has this kind of charm and many other treasures as well.

This film is inspired by the medieval German poem "Nibelungenlied", which was also ONE of inspirations for Wagner's monumental saga "Der ring des Nibelungen". This film however is NOT connected to Wagner's works other than by common source of inspiration. Therefore, even if there are here some evil gnomes (the Nibelungen), one huge dragon and a fierce maiden warrior (Brunhild, the Queen of Iceland), do not expect here any Norse gods or Valkyries.

There is also NO music by Wagner. The music in this film is monumental - as it should be - and by moments it sounds as if Wagner was the inspiration for it, but it is nevertheless an original and distinct thing, written by Gottfried Huppertz, the man who was going later to write also the score for "Metropolis".

I will not talk here a lot about the plot.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Die Nibelungen was a blind-buy for me after just seeing a few stills and a trailer and I am happy to state here that it proved extremely fortunate. Like the recent LoTR films by Peter Jackson, DN represents an epic story in two installments: Siegfried & Kriemhild's Revenge. The first shows the rise and eventual fall of a hero to forces that betray him for their own reasons. The second shows the savage retribution extracted by his beloved on the people responsible for his demise. The difference of DN from other fantasy films is that the supporting characters are nicely etched and all their actions, even those of betrayal and murder, are justified from their point of view. The films have some great drama. The second installment especially dives into the darkest regions of the human heart, challenging our perceptions of the characters. This is grand storytelling. And the film is a feast for the eyes and ears. The production design is sumptuous and the screen is filled with constantly arresting visual patterns and motifs. The score has been resurrected respectfully from composer Gottfried Huppertz original notations and is an inseparable component of the film, marvelous in its own right.
It is not fair to expect a film of this vintage to have pristine and eye-popping HD visuals. The Murnau-Stiftung foundation have done a fantastic job of meticulously restoring the film from the original negatives and tinting it a lovely golden shade as per the original intent (This adds to the mythical feel of the story). Of course, there are scratches and damage marks, but they are in most instances minor and not distracting. Some shots, taken from a different print, have lower quality, but these are momentary. The bulk of the presentation is remarkable.
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