Gold (Karl Hartl, 1934)
(Hans Albers, Brigitte Helm)
Industrial Sabotage in a high-budget, high-tech Nazi Science-Fiction Blockbuster!
The only German science-fiction film that gives Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) a run for its money is Karl Hartl’s Gold, made at the beginning of the National Socialist era in 1934. It stars Hans Albers, already one of Germany’s most popular box-office attractions, as an atomic research scientist who attempts to turn lead into gold through atomic fragmentation, and Brigitte Helm, one of cinema’s most enduring icons—Maria the robot in Metropolis. The spectacular laboratory sequences are directly out of James Whale (Frankenstein), and the climactic flood that destroys the lab—which cinematographer Günther Rittau renders in a magnificent rapid-montage sequence—provides enough industrial mayhem to make the cataclysm reminiscent of the destructive finale of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, to which it bears a striking visual resemblance. Gold was Ufa’s 1934 super-production; the picture was said to have taken fifteen months to shoot. Hans Albers took the studio to court, demanding almost twice his agreed-upon salary; he did not win his case. Gold was a predictable, internationally successful, box-office hit upon its release on 29 March 1934. Germany, 1934, B&W, 103 mins. Directed by Karl Hartl. Starring Hans Albers, Brigitte Helm, Michael Bohnen, Lien Deyers. German dialogue, optional English subtitles.
• Historical Background Slideshow: Spectacular Science Fiction in Carl Hartl’s “Gold”
• Original Promotional Material Illustrierter Film-Kurier Slide show with English Translation
• Optional English Subtitles
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
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