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Woman in the Moon (1931)

Klaus Pohl , Willy Fritsch , Fritz Lang  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gerda Maurus, Gustl Gstettenbaur
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Fritz Lang, Hermann Oberth, Thea von Harbou
  • Producers: Fritz Lang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 169 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00064AEXI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,323 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Woman in the Moon" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Two years after revolutionizing the science fiction film with his epic Metropolis, director Fritz Lang revisited the genre with an ambitious spectacle that dramatizes the first lunar expedition. Rather than a flight of pure fantasy, Lang, screenwriter Thea von Harbou and a group of technical consultants conceived a modernized "Trip to the Moon" grounded in start of the art astrophysics. Spiced with romance and espionage (including a network of diabolical super-spies straight out of Lang's Mabuse films), Women In The Moon was one of the most influential science fiction films of its era. Newly restored from 35mm archival elements, this edition includes more footage than any version previously seen in the U.S.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1929: A Space Odyssey November 15, 2004
I had heard of Fritz Lang's WOMAN IN THE MOON for many years and had seen stills from it in sci-fi film anthologies but I was never sure if I would ever get to see it. Now that I have seen it I was totally unprepared for how taken I would be with it. It is absolutely astonishing how forward looking this film was (is). From a technical standpoint it was the 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY of its day. The latest technology of 1929 was used by Lang to depict a trip to the moon 40 years before it actually happened.

The attention to detail, always a Lang trademark, is on full display here. German scientists were consulted on the rocket and space sequences and chillingly give us a glimpse of the technology that would be employed by the Nazis during World War II. Even more chilling and prophetic is how the principal heavy is the spitting image of Hitler minus his mustache (and Hitler wanted Lang to be the Third Reich's filmmaker!). In addition to the technological aspects the human side of the story is also quite compelling. There's a love triangle, the crazy dreamer who isn't crazy, a global financial conspiracy and even an unwanted passenger aboard the rocket. Every technical science fiction film or series that follows (THINGS TO COME, 2001, even LOST IN SPACE to name but a few) owe a debt to WOMAN IN THE MOON. The performances are all first rate with Gerda Maurus in the title role and Fritz Rasp as the villain standing out but it's the story and the settings that really shine.

This new Kino version restores the film to it's almost 3 hour length and Jon C. Mirsalis' score is simple and extremely effective particularly in the rocket and lunar sequences. Once you see this movie you will be amazed at how many scenes you have seen elsewhere in other movies and TV shows. It's great to finally have the opportunity to see the source material at last... Historical Note: The idea of counting down to zero to launch a rocket comes from this film.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About TIME! October 12, 2004
By Griffin
Well we finally get to see the full 161 minute version. Some of you may know that in 1930 the founders of the American Interplanetary society invited Swiss aviation pioneer Robert Esnault Pelterie to speak to their membership in NYC. As part of the event they decided to translate this Lang masterpiece into English. Unfortunately for the rest of us they gutted it down to about 80 minutes. Not only did they remove all the "non-space" stuff but they actually re-wrote the story by creating new title cards. Consequently the new version made little sense. Well finally here we have the uncut original with all title cards intact and a story line which actually makes sense. The print is almost perfect and the company in Europe are to be applauded for resurrecting this brilliant piece of work. German rocket pioneers Otto Willi Gail, Willy Ley and Hermann Oberth consulted on the space flight section and it shows. Visuals are a real treat and you can actually read much of the details such as science fiction pulp magazines etc. If you have ever wondered what the heck this movie was about, now is your chance to finally see it as it was made in 1929. A real treat.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Die Frau im Mond February 5, 2005
Painstaking direction by Fritz Lang combines with sometimes ridiculous overwriting by wife Thea von Harbau to produce a mixed masterpiece. The movie can be described as 1) crime thriller segueing into 2) eerily prescient science fiction descending into 3) soapy melodrama. Lang's influence is most obvious in the middle section but the cumbersome plotline slows down the beginning and end.

We open with handsome Doctor Helius chewing scenery with an aged professor driven into poverty and near-insanity by the rejection of his theory that the moon's mountains are full of gold. The good Doctor still believes in him, as do the 5 potentates (!) who control the world's gold supply and wish to corral the moon's as well. This introduces an underworld spy played quite suavely by Fritz Rasp.

We also meet the eponymous Woman, Gerda Maurus, a lady with expressive eyes, no particular figure and a rather bad hair-do. She is a jolly sort, though, as well as a much stronger individual than the jelly-backboned dames who pollute the post-WWII genre, and serves well enough as the love interest for both the good Doctor and his (mostly) loyal engineer Hans.

This all gets sticky for about an hour until we finally meet the Rocketship. The roll-out of the Ship is a sequence of monumental power as the massive craft and supporting structure are slowly rolled out of the assembly building to the launch pad as the moon rises out of the searchlit gloom and crowds and photographers swarm beneath the juggernaut to the accompaniment of radio voice-over which, though completely unheard in a silent film, is so beautifully gestured that we understand exactly what the announcer is saying.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Changed film history like Apollo 11 changed history December 5, 2004
The impact that Fritz Lang's last silent movie would have on the world is bigger than the impact his film has had on audiences. By this i mean that although the influence of this film can be sensed everywhere--from real-world rocket launches to other space exploration stories--it remains relatively unknown to most people today.

To those who are familiar with it, even the severly edited version that had previously been available before this DVD release, it is most famous for its scientific accuracy in the launching of the rocket, and especially notable for the famous 5,4,3,2,1 countdown, which has since been the definitive rocket launch protocol. Outside of the real world, Lang's vision of space travel proved to be the cinematic archetype for decades, until the new wave of 2001 and Star Wars. It's influence can be seen directly and indirectly accross all genres, even in Abbott & Costello Go to Mars!

One of the common complaints about the story is the scientific inaccuracies, specifically the atmosphere on the moon. It has been validly argued that Lang and his scientific advisors should have been aware that there is no atmosphere on the moon--and they were! What most people overlook in their nitpicking is that the film clearly explains the theory of a partial atmosphere on the dark side of the moon. While this is still scientifically inaccurate to those of us who never knew a time when man had not landed on the moon, this was actually a common device used in pre-Apollo science fiction, prevelant in the Fantastic Four comic books of the 60's (and still present in the Marvel Universe today).

Of course, the film is not limited just to a moon launch and landing. There is a captivating spy thriller that leads up to the climactic voyage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
on of the most profetic films
Published 1 day ago by SOFIA MALOUDI
2.0 out of 5 stars Space Sentimentality
Thea von Harbou's scripted sentimentality derails Fritz Lang's space odyssey in the fatally overlong "Woman in the Moon" (1929). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
4.0 out of 5 stars what a terrific movie, a little off is you are a ...
what a terrific movie, a little off is you are a science buff. but what a mind the writer had. So advanced for the time. In definitely was along the line of Metropolis.
Published 2 months ago by mdcanna
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderful early sci-fi film.
Published 2 months ago by Michael M. Hansen
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow at times but the physics of space travel was ...
Slow at times but the physics of space travel was extremely impressive for 1929! No wonder this movie was so inspirational for Werner Von Braun's rocket team.
Published 3 months ago by James Larkin
5.0 out of 5 stars SURPRISED!!
Surprised at the excellent quality of the 85 year old print.

The foresight demonstrated in terms of the technology was also surprising. Read more
Published 4 months ago by REK3283
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely dated, but decent
Hey, it's the early 20's about a trip to the moon, which has a breathable atmosphere. Ok, even I can't give them that, but it was an interesting story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gary Little
3.0 out of 5 stars Long, but neat movie
Surprisingly smart for a scify from 1929. Campy silent film worth watching if you have the time. Fairly good quality.
Published 5 months ago by James B Sloan
4.0 out of 5 stars You know, I try to imagine...
...sometimes, the future. I think we all do, and we are sometimes sorry that we will not be here to witness... so, it is with some wonder that I watched this silent movie epic... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard
1.0 out of 5 stars Old film
Old film restored but still boring and silly unless you like that sort of thing. Glad it was free with Prime.

Published 6 months ago by BB Indiana
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