The first part of this two-sectioned film, centered about the Nibelungen legends, appeared under the title of Siegfried , and was received with respect if not with acclaim. This film, directed by Fritz Lang, is the result of almost two years’ work.
Not a single scene in the whole 16 reels was taken outdoors; all exteriors were built and photographed in a studio. Even the Germans had to admit that, as a whole, they found it rather boresome. The present version is somewhat different [from the story known from Wagner’s Ring opera], leaning more heavily on the original folk tales.
Siegfried, the son of King Siegmund of the Netherlands, forges a sword and sets out to win Kriemhild of Burgund, of whose beauty he has heard tell. On the way he kills a dragon, in whose blood he bathes himself, thus making himself unwoundable.
Siegfried arrives at Worms, on the Rhine, where King Gunther agrees to grant the request if Siegfried will help him win Queen Brunhilde of Isenland, who can only be won by the most powerful hero. They set out together, and Gunther, with the aid of Siegfried, wins the queen as his bride.
The cast all do competently, and in some cases exceptionally. Especially to be mentioned are the King Gunther of Theodor Loos, the Hagen of Hans Schlettow, and the Brunhilde of Hanna Ralph. Paul Richter fulfills at least the physical requirements of his part as Siegried.
The star is unquestionably Otto Hunte, who designed the scenery, and was brilliantly supported by the photography of Karl Hoffmann. Lang’s direction is consistent, and achieves plasticity, dignity, and very nearly power.