Unboxing the Silents: Fritz Lang, the Silent Films 12-Bluray Set

Who’s ready to dig into Kino Lorber’s mammoth Fritz Lang box set? It’s twelve discs of German cinema directed and written by Lang.

As always, thanks to Kino for the review copy.

The box is available now. There is no DVD edition but all of the films can be purchased separately on DVD from Kino. (The only exception is The Plague of Florence, which is a box set exclusive. Lang did not direct but he did write the screenplay.)

This is a region A Bluray set, so be sure you can play this region if you live outside of the Americas or parts of Asia.

The Films

The box includes a 32-page booklet and a book-like case with each Bluray in a cardboard sleeve embedded in the page. (See video above.) Because this set is so huge, I decided to break things up by film.

I cropped out the pillarboxes and resized the screencaps to reduce load time (this is a HUGE box) but have not otherwise altered them. To save room, I have displayed the images in galleries. Click on any image to enlarge.

The Spiders (1919)

Lang’s attempt at a Feuillade-like serial. The score is by Ben Model and the disc contains both chapters in the series.

Harakiri (1919)

Lang’s take on Madame Butterfly. The music is by Aljoscha Zimmermann.

The Wandering Shadow (1920)

An honest-to-goodness melodrama. Included on the same disc as Harakiri. Music by Aljoscha Zimmermann.

Four Around the Woman (1921)

The upper crust and the lower rungs of society mix in this film. Music by Aljoscha Zimmermann.

Destiny (1921)

Often marked as Lang’s true arrival to cinema. Music by Cornelius Schwehr. The extras include an audio commentary and footage demonstrating the restoration process.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)

Fritz Lang continues his descent into Langiness. Music by Aljoscha Zimmerman. We also get a three-part documentary (52 minutes total) on the music, the original novel and the film. On two Bluray discs.

Die Nibelungen (1924-1925)

Both films in Lang’s Wagnerian duo. Music by Gottfried Huppertz. Extras include newsreel footage taken on the set and a documentary on the film and its restoration. On two Bluray discs.

Metropolis (1927)

The One with the Robot. This film includes 16mm footage recovered in Argentina, making it the most complete version to date. Music by Gottfried Huppertz. Extras include a documentary on the film, plus an interview with the curator of the Argentinian archive where the missing footage was found.

Spies (1928)

Espionage galore in this picture, so points for accurate titling. Music by Neil Brand. Extras include a documentary on the film and the original German theatrical trailer.

Woman in the Moon (1929)

Lang returns to science fiction. Music by Javier Perez de Azpeitia. Also includes a short documentary on the making of the film.

The Plague of Florence (1919)

Lang did not direct but he wrote the screenplay. The film was helmed by Otto Rippert. Music by Uwe Dierksen.

Phew! That’s all of them! The box is co-branded with the Murnau Stiftung, which has been responsible for many excellent restorations of German silents over the years.

The set has a list price of $149.95 but most retailers are offering generous discounts from what I can tell. In any case, the per-disc price is pretty good, so this is a nice excuse to bite the bullet and expand your German cinema collection. You can learn more and order the film here.

This is an excellent gift for the film nerd in your life and I can also see it appealing to sci-fi/fantasy geeks given Lang’s enormous influence on the genres.

***

Like what you’re reading? Please consider sponsoring me on Patreon. All patrons will get early previews of upcoming features, exclusive polls and other goodies.

Comments open for 90 days. Comment policy is found in the sidebar menu.