Moviesby Hans Neumann
Fritz Lang's horror fantasy film entitled Alraune.When Fritz Lang was looking for an unknown to play the double role of the pure young girl and the female robot in his 1927 science-fiction masterpiece Metropolis, Brigitte Helm was his choice. With her blond coloring and impassive star, she was superb, and from that moment on, she was one of Germanys greatest starts. In her next film. Alraune, she inhabited the title role with equal perfection, Alraun is the German word for mandrake, an herb whose large, forked root is credited with human attributes - it legendarily screams when uprooted - and the ability to promote conception. In this horror fantasy, directed by Henrik Galeen in one of the last examples of German expressionism, a professor who has long been fascinated with the mandrake undertakes artificial insemination, using the seed of a criminal who has been hanged to fertilize a prostitute. Succeeding, he raises the offspring, a girl, as his own daughter. Not surprisingly, she grows up to become a femme fatale, a soulless female demon who destroys everyone she touches. Neumanns poster captures the films expressionistic style exactly. The two-sheet, three-color design depicts Helm as a temptress with blood-red eyes, her bare breasts only thinly veiled, her hand a predatory claw. In the background, the mass of gnarled roots suggests the trickery and evil of the story. The original poster's value has been estimated at $5,000 and $6,000.