Alraune (1930)

ALRAUNE (1930)
Article 3355 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-7-2010
Posting Date: 10-21-2010
Directed by Richard Oswald
Featuring Brigitte Helm, Albert Bassermann, Harald Paulsen
Country: Germany
What it is: Artificial life story

A woman who was the result of an experiment in artificial insemination grows up to be amoral.

The above plot description is based on my various other encounters with the story; my copy of this one is in German with Danish subtitles, and I wouldn’t have been able to make heads or tales out of it had I not been familiar with the basic story. This was Brigitte Helm’s second stab at the title role; she had played it in the 1928 version with Paul Wegener. The story seems to diverge from that one, so I couldn’t rely on the earlier version to work out some of the plot points, though the user comment on IMDB claims that this version is closest to the original novel. There are some striking visual moments. There is a wonderfully edited speeding car sequence, and there are times when Brigitte Helm’s body language can speak volumes. Nevertheless, my lack of understanding of the plot intricacies make it impossible for me to give any meaningful evaluation of this one.


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