Film Review: Der Müde Tod

Undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in early cinema, Fritz Lang’s work defined many genres. Metropolis is the most important science-fiction film ever made. M became a forerunner to film noir. Spione remains a benchmark for espionage drama. His earlier films oscillated between expressionism and populist thrillers. Whilst nowhere near as well known, this period produced some highly innovative and influential cinema. Der Müde Tod (Destiny) is the highlight.

A young couple (Lil Dagover & Walter Janssen) set-out to start their new life. On the road, they pick-up a mysterious hitchhiker. Little do they know that it’s Death (Bernhard Goetzke) himself. Once they reach town, Death buys a patch of land next to the village cemetery, surrounding it with a huge impenetrable wall. When Death comes for her husband, she must pass his challenges in order to be with him again. Can love defeat Death?

Considering Der Müde Tod was made in 1921, the new restoration is extremely impressive. It brings the beautiful imaginary and pioneering special effects to life. Some of the shots are awe-inspiring. Along with a beautiful new score from Cornelius Schwehr, the limited theatrical release allows a new generation to experience the film as intended. Der Müde Tod is a captivating tale about the power of love and the indiscriminate nature of death.

Der Müde Tod will be released in selected cinemas nationwide (UK & Ireland) and Digital HD from 9 June 2017.

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