Death And Remembrance.
- Destiny review by NC
Memorable more for its imagery and masterful manufacturing of mood than its disappointingly slack storyline, 'Destiny' may not be Lang at his best, but still manages to catch the breath several times over.
There is a gaping hole in the middle, filled with three stories set in, respectively, Arabia, Venice and China. These are the kind of centuries-old tales about star-crossed lovers thwarted by caliphs, emperors, and so on. The first two are not particularly satisfactory, and make the clock tick quite slowly, but the third, revolving around a magician in a fantastically created Far East, is a tour-de-force of imagination and special effects.
The personification of Death, as performed by Bernhard Goetzke, will be remembered long after the film's viewing. That, and Lang's unsurpassed eye for what will arrest the attention, make up for the deficiencies.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
- Destiny review by sb
A mysterious stranger arrives in a small town and buys a plot of land - he encloses with a wall that has no gateway or door for he is Death and within the walls are the souls of all he has collected.
One is the fiance of Dagover (one of the most popular actresses of the Wiemar Republic) who in despair takes poison to join her beloved.
Death (Goatzke) takes pity on her and shows her three guttering candles each representing a soul - if she can save one he will restore her lover to her.
So we enter 3 stories - an Arabic Caliph whose sister is in love with a foreign unbeliever, an unhappy Venetian betrothed to an rich man she hates while in love with another and 2 magician apprentices in ancient China the female who the Emperor takes a fancy to.
All three pairs of lovers are played by the same actors in the modern setting (Jannsen joining Dagover) but all 3 candles gutter out before she can save them.
Death (who is revealed to be a sympathetic figure who is tired of being at Fate's call) offers her one final chance but its revealed to be beyond the price she is prepared to pay.
For its time the visual effects are quite remarkable especially in the Chinese part as are the sets and costumes and was a major influence on Hollywood as well as inspring everyone from Hichcock to Brunel to Bergman.
Ok from a modern view having German actors make up to be other races may raise eyebrows but considering its over a hundred years old its still quite remarkable - 4/5
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.