Destiny 1921
With Der mude Tod (Destiny, 1921), Fritz Lang mounted one of the most revolutionary and influential works of the German Expressionist movement. The film was a lavish Decla-Bioscop production co-scripted by Lang and his second wife, Thea von Harbou, who originally went uncredited. The scenarists were aided by splendiferous set pieces by three highly talented art directors and a cadre of cinematographers. Destiny is famous for introducing Luis Bunuel to the "poetic expressiveness" of cinema and convinced the Spanish surrealist to become a filmmaker. Additionally, death in Destiny as both a recurrent theme and visual specter almost certainly caught Ingmar Bergman's attention for the Swede used the character of Death to probe existential questions during the Black Plague in The Seventh Seal (1957).
In his commentary track on this disc, film critic Tim Lucas discusses several other films that are indebted to Lang's work.

Destiny is a visually ambitious, cinematic allegory in which a young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiance (Walter Janssen). Destiny contains four historical episodes: a modern parable, an Arabian tale set in ninth-century Baghdad, a Venetian tale set in the Italian Renaissance, and a nineteenth-century Chinese tale set in the Emperor's palace.

Restored by Anke Wilkening on behalf of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, this definitive presentation of Destiny preserves the original German intertitles and simulates the historic color tinting and toning of its initial release. Accompanying the film is a newly-composed score by Cornelius Schwehr as a commissioned composition by ZDF / ARTE performed by the 70-member Berlin Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Frank Strobel.

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:38:15 | 30.2 Gb + 3% rec
Language: German intertitles
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Thriller


-- Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas - The author of The Video Watchdog Book, Lucas is well-prepared for this track, having studied the film's critical reception and biographies of Lang.

-- Restoration demonstration footage (15:36, 1080p) - Presents a side-by-side comparison of three different sequences from the film to illuminate variations in color tinting and toning.

-- 2016 Re-release trailer (1:30, 1080p) - a new trailer that Kino put together to showcase Destiny's restoration and its limited theatrical re-release.

Related posts:

  1. La morte ha fatto l’uovo / Death Laid an Egg / Plucked (1968) DVD5
  2. Godzilla / Gojira (1954), Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) 2 x DVD9, Blu-Ray Criterion Collection
  3. Le pont du Nord (1981) DVD9, Blu-Ray Masters of Cinema (Eureka)
  4. A Clockwork Orange (1971) 2 x Blu-Ray 40th Anniversary Edition
  5. Till Death Us Do Part (1992) DVD5