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Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to win Krimhild, a mask that makes him invisible proves to be very useful. But because Brunhild is cursing Kriemhild, she tells her what really happened. Now Brunhild wants Siegfried's head. Is Gunther going to do her that favor?Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
This lavish and memorable adaptation of the first part of the Nibelungen saga is worthwhile for a number of strengths. While Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou seem to have rather freely adapted the original material, they succeeded beyond doubt in bringing the main characters to life and in creating a distinctive and interesting atmosphere for the story. The cast, likewise, do a good job in portraying their characters. The visual effects are uneven, and a couple of times they do not work all that well, but at other times they work wonderfully.
This first part of Lang's epic primarily covers the "Siegfried" part of the saga. Siegfried is the kind of near-perfect hero who can become rather dull in a hurry if the actor and director overdo it, but here Paul Richter works well in the role, and Lang effectively brings out the sometimes tangled connections between Siegfried and the other characters. These relationships are really the most interesting aspect of this part of the story, and Lang does well in keeping them the main focus for most of the time. Gunther, Hagen, Kriemhild, and Brunhild each have an interesting connection with Siegfried, and by giving the other characters a well-developed personality, the movie also enhances Siegfried's own identity.
The story moves rather slowly much of the time, in order better to develop the atmosphere and characters. This actually enhances the action and adventure sequences, giving them (and the movie as a whole) more substance. The picture works very well and, aside from a very small number of its visual effects, has held up well over the years.
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