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Lowlands (1954)

Tiefland (original title)
Set in the early part of 20th century Europe. There lived a dancer who becomes the romantic bone of contention between a humble shepherd and an imperious marquis.


Leni Riefenstahl


Rudolph Lothar (libretto), Àngel Guimerà (play) | 1 more credit »


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A man climbs a 12,000-foot mountain to search for his wife, who was lost on their honeymoon. Another couple makes the dangerous climb with him.

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Cast overview:
Bernhard Minetti Bernhard Minetti ... Don Sebastian, Marquès von Roccabruna
Leni Riefenstahl ... Martha, eine spanische Betteltänzerin
Aribert Wäscher Aribert Wäscher ... Camillo, Verwalter des Don Sebastian
Karl Skraup Karl Skraup ... Bürgermeister
Maria Koppenhöfer ... Donna Amelia, seine Tochter
Franz Eichberger Franz Eichberger ... Pedro, der Schafhirte
Luis Rainer Luis Rainer ... Nando, ein alter Hirte
Frida Richard Frida Richard ... Josefa, eine alte Magd (as Frieda Richard)
Max Holzboer Max Holzboer ... Der Müller Natario (as Max Holsboer)
Charlotte Komp Charlotte Komp
Mena Mair Mena Mair ... Die Müllerin
Hans Lackner Hans Lackner
Walter Brückner Walter Brückner
Bekuch Hamid Bekuch Hamid


Set in the early part of 20th century Europe. There lived a dancer who becomes the romantic bone of contention between a humble shepherd and an imperious marquis.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Musical


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Austria | West Germany



Release Date:

April 1954 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Lowlands See more »

Filming Locations:

German Alps, Bavaria, Germany See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leni Riefenstahl began working on the script in 1934, but shelved it when she became more involved with Nazi propaganda films. After the beginning of World War II, and disturbed by atrocities she witnessed, she had herself dispensed from shooting war documentaries. Using her influence as Adolf Hitler's favourite film maker she managed her own production company, Riefenstahl Film, GmbH, independently of the control of Joseph Goebbels who oversaw cultural and propaganda activities. Financed by Hitler with money from the Nazi party and the government, she remained outside of Goebbels' control. Goebbels eventually was not happy about it as the project ran into difficulties and cost overruns. See more »

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User Reviews

last film of a great director
15 January 2017 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

Riefenstahl was not altogether a pleasant woman but one needs to be a little careful in identifying the "crime" she committed that caused the adverse reaction to this film when it appeared in 1954. No guilt attaches to the fact that she used extras from a concentration-camp. In fact this should have been a blessing since they were promised their freedom. Her crime was that of indifference. She evidently took no care to see that the promise was fulfilled and the gypsies concerned nearly all seem to have perished in the camp. She also very foolishly lied about the whole affair when questioned.

Whether this - ugly as it was in the context - was a good reason for ending the career of the finest woman film-maker that has ever lived, I rather doubt. Riefenstahl was really being punished for her earlier pre-war propaganda films, the making of which did not in any way constitute a war-crime or indeed a crime of any sort.

The Triumph of the Will is a remarkable film which has fixed forever the image of Nazi Germany, quite as much for those who hate it as for those who admire it. Olympia (the first part at any rate) is a masterpiece. Strangely neglected is her 1935 Tag der Freiheit –unsere Wehrmacht, a film not at all appreciated by the Nazi party that commissioned it. It is an extraordinary premonitory vision of modern warfare (no country had yet engaged in such strategic bombing when it was made) where the perpetrators, the Nazi leadership isolated and bemused on their platform and swathed in encircling smoke, seem to have lost all control of the terror that they have unleashed. As a film intended to be a simple account of a military exercise, it is breath-taking in its scope.

Her fiction films are not her finest work. The photography is excellent. Riefenstahl learnt enormously from her work with the father of the "mountain film", Arnold Fanck and his expert team of cinematographers and Albert Benitz, who films this, had worked with Fanck in 1926-1927 and with mountaineer Luis Trenker in 1931 (Bergen in Flammen)and would work on Lang's final "Dr Mabuse" film in 1962 (although it is true that this is far inferior to the two silent films). It must have seemed old-fashioned in 1954 but is a wonderful reminder of a high cinematographic art fallen into neglect. The reviewer who describes it as a mix of "silent" and "talkie' is not wrong - this was precisely the intended effect of many of the great European films of the thirties and produced some of the greatest classics of the cinema.

The fantasy/allegory legendfilm style of both Der Blaue Licht and Tiefland can be a bit bit trying but really works not to badly here. The two parallel struggles with wolves, if one can put that way, are excellently realised. But the pastoral romance is difficult to take and one misses the cold, detached glare of the great documentaries.

To her credit, Riefenstahl never really attempted to trade on this film to exonerate herself politically. It is not in the last a film of political protest as some modern revisionist critics have attempted to claim (the story is a very traditional romantic melodrama) but it is true, for what it is worth, that its general tendency is quite clearly anti-totalitarian.

It remains a worthy film - and alas the last - by one of the great directors.

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