Discover The Golden Legacy Of Germany’s Classic Films

When most people think of the silver screen, their thoughts are of Hollywood stars and blockbuster action movies. And while it may be true that Hollywood (and Bollywood!) produces a large number of new movies each year, there is plenty that the German cinema has to offer too.

In fact, Germany has a long history of making classic films. If you have never seen any movies from our wonderful country, the following list will help you get started with a few recommendations. The popcorn, however, is up to you. ;-)

Nosferatu (1922)
Directed by F.W. Murnau

One of the first Dracula movies, Nosferatu is still regarded as a classic horror film almost a century after it was made. It starred Max Schreck as that dark creature of the night in a creepy performance of this well-known literary character.

But why do we call him Nosferatu rather than his better-known appellation of Count Dracula? Well, at the last minute, the studio realized that it couldn’t obtain the rights to the novel, so they couldn’t use the famous name, Dracula.

Count Dracula was changed to Count Orlok, while the word “vampire” became Nosferatu. However, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and Nosferatu remains one of the most iconic incarnations of this demon-man.

Metropolis (1927)
Directed by Fritz Lang

While Nosferatu brought Germany a horror classic, just five years later the science fiction epic, Metropolis, was released. It has the distinction of bring the most expensive silent film ever made. In fact, it almost bankrupted its movie studio, proving that big budget blockbusters do not only happen in Hollywood!

This futuristic film shows humans in a deeply divided society where an upper-class lives an idyllic life, unknowingly dependent on a group of underground slaves who must keep the other society functioning.

Of course, a man of the utopian society falls in love with a woman worker who becomes a prophet for her people.

Das Boot (1981)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

This war movie became another classic gem of the German cinema. In English, by the way, this translates as “The Boat” and not “The Boot” as many may think.

Das Boot tells the story of a group of men on a U-boat during the time of the Second World War. The movie manages to skillfully show the alternating highs and lows of life at sea in wartime. The men live through the excitement and terror of sea battles mixed with the unrelenting boredom that occurs in between.

—Marcus

 

4 Responses to “Discover The Golden Legacy Of Germany’s Classic Films”

  1. Fred (2 comments) says:

    I have read the book, its as real as it gets.The German Officer that wrote it,missed no details.the book, put you in WWll.It is an master piece.

  2. Ann (34 comments) says:

    I’m so behind the times, I just recently started watching the Bollywood classics, I’m looking forward to watching the German classics next! Great article, thank you!

  3. Cody (1 comments) says:

    What are some modern movies that you would recommend?

  4. Fred Mitchell (4 comments) says:

    I was station near Frankfurt 4 yrs in the early 50’s.I enjoy it all the time. meeting German people.And learning their way of life.19 at the time. I once watching lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt,I said, I never knew Bridges could speak german,found out the truth later.I have never for got the memories of Germany.

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