Rent Woman in the Moon (1929)

3.7 of 5 from 76 ratings
2h 43min
Rent Woman in the Moon (aka Frau Im Mond) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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In this, Lang's final silent epic, the legendary filmmaker spins a tale involving a wicked cartel of spies who co-opt an experimental mission to the moon in the hope of plundering the satellite's vast (and highly theoretical) stores of gold. When the crew, helmed by Willy Fritsch and Gerda Maurus, finally reach their impossible destination, they find themselves stranded in a lunar labyrinth without walls - where emotions run scattershot, and the new goal becomes survival. A modern Daedalus tale which uncannily foretold Germany's wartime push into rocket-science, Frau im Mond is as much a warning-sign against human hubris as it is a hopeful depiction of mankind's potential.
, , , , , , , , Max Zilzer, Mahmud Terja Bey, , , Die Maus Josephine, , Alexa von Porembsky, , , , ,
Fritz Lang
Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, Hermann Oberth
Frau Im Mond
Classics, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Films & TV by topic, Giant Leap for Mankind: A History of Astronaut Films, Masters of Cinema, The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to: Fritz Lang, Top Films
Release Date:
Run Time:
163 minutes
English, German
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
  • Brand New Film Restoration By F.W. Murnau-Stiftung
  • The First Scientific Science-Fiction Film - A Documentary By Gabriele Jacobi
Release Date:
Run Time:
169 minutes
German LPCM Mono, Silent
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • The First Scientific Science-Fiction Film, a 15-Minute Documentary by Gabriele Jacobs

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Reviews (2) of Woman in the Moon

Straphangers - Woman in the Moon review by CH

Spoiler Alert

Strange to think that we are now further in time from the 1969 Moon landing than it was from Frau im Mond (1929) - often translated as Woman in the Moon. This was a seemingly unlikely work for Fritz Lang, his last silent film. In fact, he had a penchant for the idea of space travel, and in working upon it (from a script and novel by his then-wife Thea von Harbou), he also drew upon scientific advice prescient of the actual Moonshot (a series of rockets, each separating from the rest of the craft). What's more, it so much anticipated German rocket work that, later in the Thirties, Hitler banned its showing.

Some say that, in the fullest restoration, at over three hours, it is too long. In fact it goes by at a clip. Everything begins with Klaus Pohl who, in the 1890s, had put forward proposals for space flight, only to be met with such derision by his peers that he became a wild-haired outcast; in this bedsitter state, he meets and collaborates with Willy Fritsch upon such a flight, which the young Gerda Maurus, caught in a love triangle, insists upon joining.

That is the barest outline of a film which, for the most part takes place on Earth and with many a smoking jacket on display, so much so that one wonders why Noel Coward did not think of an inter-galactic play. Even when not much is happening, one's attention is gripped by the cinematography, Lang's mastery of angle and focus - and the way in which straps hang from the rocket's ceiling, as redolent of nooses as they are those which keep passengers upright on a hurtling Underground train.

As for the lunar surface, the film's title means that one gives nothing away by saying that the craft lands there. What's more, no creatures leap from the darkness but something far worse: gold, showing all those miles away that indeed the love of money is the root of all evil.

While watching this, you find yourself holding on tight.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Superb, groundbreaking German Science Fiction Moon Film, with a great documentary on the extras - Woman in the Moon review by PV

Spoiler Alert

I loved this. It was perhaps a bit long and meandering in parts, but otherwise I found I did not miss spoken dialogue at all and was fine with the wonderful piano soundtrack and the English translations of captions, though often had to pause to read as they were sometimes hard to read.

Surprisingly scientifically accurate - until they actually step onto the moon's surface. Apparently this is the first use of the rocket countdown on film too, and NASA copied it from here.

Watch the short 15 minute documentary on the EXTRAs first - it shows how the German government of 1927 WAY before Hitler took power in 1933 had invented big in rockets, just as they built the first motorway sections and did much else later attributed to the Nazis. Von Braun is shown as an 18 year old in 1928 as an assistant - rocket science was BIG in Germany then. This later became the V1 and exp the V2 VENGEANCE WEAPONS fired at London and Antwerp in 1944/5, which killed 5000 but destroyed way more houses and made many more homeless - they had a real effect on post war housing issues in London.

And of course, in 1945 the Americans invited Von Braun and his team who had created the V1 and V2, and used slave labour, with 20,000 dead, to the USA to join the space programme. Maybe they should have planted a swastika on the moon in 1969 actually. It was a German scientist technical ambition realised.

or maybe watch Berlin Babylon, one series of that focuses on the rocket mania of late 1920s Germany with one series featuring a rocket. It was a craze in late 1920s Germany before the 1929 Wall street Crash made it all so much worse and led to the Nazi takeover.

The special effects here are GREAT - sure, painted backdrops and models but so what? They work. Fritz Lang's excellent direction makes them seem gigantic even as they were miniature. i shall now search out other Lang films with some of the same actors - as I liked this so much.

Gustl Gstettenbaur was a child actor of the time and excels here, as does the main character Helius played by Willy Fritsch, whose son went on to be a famous voiceover artists in German - it is his voice as Russell Crowe and others in 1990s and later blockbusters. he died in 2021.

4.5 stars

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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