1635. SIEGFRIED (1924-Germany). With paul richter, Margarethe schon. Directed by FRitz lang. This first part of Lang’s two-part epic, “Die Nibelungen,” is one of the director’s early classics a visually magnificent adventure crammed with beautiful, still-impressive settings and no shortage of splendor. The story evolved from a 13th century legend chronicling the fantastic exploits of the character. Siegfried (Richter, garbed in a blond wig), the offspring of a Norse king, sets out into the world to seek fortune and fame after his apprenticeship with a master sword maker. He rides on a white horse, carries a magic sword – and, eventually, desires to win the love of Kriemhild, the fairest lady in the land. None of Lang’s settings were miniatures, but were instead actual constructions. Of all the sets and special effects, two are worthy of special mention: the massive trees in the forest through which Siegfried traveled which were made of cement; and the dragon he faces during his journey, an incredible creature that to be operated by 17 crewmembers. Ultimately, the film serves as a glorification of German history legend. Lang claimed that his purpose for making it was to focus on that history in order to uplift countrymen at a time when they were in despair because of inflation and their World War I defeat. At the same time, the scenario can be viewed as a glorification of the idea of the German “superman,” as a foreshadowing of the rise to power of Adolph Hitler a decade later. Lang, of course, was not to play a part in that rise to power (even though Hitler and Josef Goebbels each considered this their favorite film. The filmmaker was anti-Nazi, and he was to flee his country in 1933 for France – and, soon a Hollywood. Title cards in English. Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 133 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Drama