Fritz Lang The Early Works
By the time Lang made his early-'20s masterpieces Destiny and Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler, he'd already had a couple of years of making movies under his belt, trying out a variety of techniques in a number of different genres, learning what worked and why.
The three-DVD set Fritz Lang: The Early Works contains three of those fledgling efforts: 1919’s Harakiri, a retelling of Madame Butterfly starring Lil Dagover as a Japanese woman who has a baby with a European soldier and then braves social scorn while she waits for him to return; 1920's The Wandering Shadow, in which Mia May plays a “fallen woman” who escapes into the mountains to avoid her lover and find some spiritual redemption; and 1921’s Four Around The Woman, with Ludwig Hartau as a rich man investigating his wife’s possible infidelities. Though different in approach, all deal with themes that will recur in later Lang films—in particular the idea that human beings are enslaved by their passions, and if allowed enough anonymity, people behave abominably.

There aren't any masterpieces here, but seen in succession the three films give a sense of the incredible speed with which Lang — and the German cinema in general — evolved from the moral and psychological certainties of the prewar era toward a new sense of discontinuity, fragmentation and paranoia.

3 x DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 238 minutes | 11.7 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English intertitles
Subtitles: none
Genre: Drama, Romance, Silent

Download Fritz Lang: The Early Works: Harakiri (1919), Das wandernde Bild / The Moving Image / The Wandering Shadow (1920), Vier um die Frau / Four Around the Woman (1921) 3 x DVD5: