1919 Silent adventure
Fritz Lang's first commercial success is an adventure melodrama on a theme popular at the time: arch criminals hoping to take over the world.
Inspired by the German pulp writer Karl May and the serials of Louis Feuillade, it was made in two parts, but broken up into episodes like a serial. It tells of a hero pitted against an Asian criminal and a gang called the Spiders, who are after a diamond shaped like the head of Buddha.
The earliest of Lang's surviving works, it already has many Langian elements: the use of mirrors, hypnosis and underground chambers.
This was the film which prevented Lang from directing The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919).
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