Other Sellers on Amazon
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Women are the central focus of Lang's films during the 1920's from Kriemhild in DIE NIBELUNGEN to Maria in METROPOLIS and Friede in WOMAN IN THE MOON thanks to scriptwriter Thea von Harbou (Lang's wife at the time) whose stories concentrate on the power of love to redeem or destroy. Sonja in SPIES is no exception. Everything revolves around her. Put all this together and you have a film that is as compelling today as it was 75 years ago.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge (the inventor from METROPOLIS) stars as Haghi, the head of a powerful criminal network whose specialties are blackmail and espionage. Trying to catch him is Agent 326 (Willy Fritsch) of the German State Police where no one has a name only a number. Things are complicated by Haghi's #1 spy Sonja Barranikowa (Gerda Maurus) who is great at obtaining secrets but is haunted by her past. How these characters interact and how the plot resolves itself is what makes SPIES so captivating. There's also a real doozy of an ending.
The restoration work is remarkable adding more than 50 minutes to previous existing versions and the picture quality is superb. Add Donald Sosin's new score and you have a real winner on your hands. Even if you don't know or don't like silent films you'll be entertained. And if you do like them then you can't afford to miss out on this new release from Kino.
This is from the same creative team who brought us the more famous "Metropolis," another film ahead of its time. Modern filmmakers need to go back to these German silents, as these movies truly were MOVIES--- storytelling told primarily through visuals. The opening montage in which supervillain Haghi's spy network procures an important document through a series of assassinations is stunningly conceived and executed. Agent 326's battle in the train tunnel is suspenseful; and the subplot with the Japanese diplomat (Lupo Pick) dealing with a seductive female spy is engaging and well-told.
But film is not without flaws. The story suffers from sentimentality at times, particularly involving the romance of 326; and the film's climax--- which has to be seen to be believed, it involves a circus clown--- is hokey and unlikely.
In terms of DVD presentation, I was dissappointed that there was no commentary track, similar to other Fritz Lang DVDs ("Dr. Mabuse the Gambler," "Metropolis.") A critical analysis of the film and some tidbits on how the film was made would have been welcomed. There is a nifty photo slideshow feature, with some rare behind-the-scenes images and publicity from the film, but not much else. The film transfer, however, is superb; and an astonishing 50 minutes of footage is restored.
Despite the nits, this is a worthy addition to any serious cinephile's library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sadly, this Fritz Lang classic has been transfered to Blu-ray by Kino in the wrong aspect ratio. The image is in 1.28 when it should be 1.33, resulting in a squeezed image. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Raskolnikov
One my favorite silents! I'm thrilled Kino has put out a beautiful blu-ray!Published 2 months ago by Jim Reid
Beautifully shot, well written, and masterfully directed, Fritz Lang set a high bar for spy thrillers that holds up well almost 90 years after it was made. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John From SC
Classic early inter war thriller didn't figure the twist until about 20 minutes before the end.Published 9 months ago by Miichael S. Borghi
Surprisingly modern, even in its technology allusions. A prototype for all the truly great espionage movies. Anticipate nothing, and expect surprises at every turn. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer PZ
In short: stupid! I love silent movies. Go watch Thief of Baghdad for a real masterpiece. Here, except for the first 2 minutes which was visually interesting (albeit with ridic... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Cyrus