This beautiful Gothic fantasy was inspired by a childhood dream of its writer/director Fritz Lang, who first gained world recognition with the film’s triumph.
In a middle-European village a century or more ago, Death (Berhhard Goetzke) takes a young man (Walter Janssen) just before he is to be married. His lover (Lil Dagover) seeks out the Death figure in a room filled with thousands of burning candles, each representing a human life. Filled with pity for her, he promises to return the young man if she can save even one of three lives about to flicker out.
Otherworldly atmosphere is created by extraordinary, bizarre sets, Gothic lighting and eccentric characters combined with spectacle and camera trickery astonishing for its time. With its many magical and haunting images, Destiny still possesses real power to impress the imagination. Said another great director, Luis Bunuel, “Fritz Lang’s Destiny opened my eyes to the poetic expressiveness of the cinema.” Its world success established the omnibus form as a method for presenting short horror tales and influenced films as diverse as Waxworks, The Thief of Bagdad, Dead of Night and Tales from the Crypt.
A NOTE ON THIS EDITION: This edition of DESTINY is digitally mastered from a 35mm fine grain master print of the French reissue version, Les Trois Lumieres. New English titles, including many absent from previous American versions of the film, are translated from the original German censor records and composed in type faces approximating those in the prints of 1921. The images are in color tints authentic to German films of the same year. A new orchestral score recorded in digital stereo by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra uses authentic film music arrangements of the period and German traditional tunes as indicated by the action on screen.
Produced for DVD by David Shepard