Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild's Revenge) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild's Revenge) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 2, 2014
The epic story continues with much of the same cast and crew. The production values remain lavish in the style of German opera. I was intrigued to see Kriemheld (Margarete Schön), Siegfried's widowed wife, step to the front of the tale. Unfortunately, she does not get to show much strength or expression in seeking revenge and there is simply less magic in this sequel. Kriemheld's own family sides with Hagen, so she travels to the land of the Huns in the East and forms a marriage of allegiance with King Etzel, translated as Attila. Fritz Lang regular, Rudolf Klein-Rogge appears in ridiculously offensive makeup as Attila the Hun. A large portion of the film consists of organized armies, led by Gunther and Hagen, and raiding mobs of Huns, doing Kriemheld's bidding, in chaotic battle. It's a tragic epic with a lot of death, in the end.
½ May 12, 2014
I didn't find it anywhere near as engrossing as Die Nibelungen Part 1. Part 1 had a fun sword and sorcery quality to it. The visuals, while still amazing, aren't quite as powerful as those in pt. 1. This is like the 'Kill Bill Vol 2' of the silent cinema:-)
April 16, 2013
The second volume of "Die Nibelungen" (Think of it as the original "Kill Bill") is a bloody epic about an angry bride out for vengeance (Wow, yeah; it really is the original "Kill Bill"). Far darker than Part I, "Kriemhild's Revenge" forgoes any elements of fantasy and magic, and instead focuses solely on violent military campaigns and political feuds. Lang explores the darker sides of duty, honor, and justice, and there are some damning indictments of character's behavior in the first film. Whereas "Die Nibelungen: Siegfried" has morals easily viewed in black and white (Siegfried = glorious hero, Hagen = diabolical villain), the second part is all shades of gray, and it's impossible to not feel conflicted as the story progresses. It's surprisingly nuanced, and extremely powerful-- this is one of the great silent epics, and is highly recommended (if you have 5 hours to spare). Amazing movie(s).
March 29, 2013
A bona fide masterpiece.
January 13, 2013
Again The Lord Fritz!
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2012
the second half of lang's epic is the yin to siegfried's yang. widow kriemhild has sworn vengeance for siegfried's death, even marrying attila the hun when he pledges to help her. much blood is shed and margarete schoen resembles an ice maiden by gustav klimt. amazing costumes and sets throughout
June 24, 2012
This is the second part of Fritz Lang's two-part epic fantasy saga. It picks up where the first one left off -- SPOILER WARNING -- after Siegfried's death, his wife Kriemhild vows revenge on his murderer, but there are complications resulting in much bloodshed. Action sequences and special effects in older movies often tend to impress me a bit more because they do not have modern technologies at their disposal. This is no different. There are some really spectacular battle scenes here and the entire thing plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy. As a whole, I feel the saga is Lang's warm-up to "Metropolis" but it's still a hell of a warm-up.
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2011
Fritz Lang's adaptation of the epic "Die Nibelungen" poem is so massive that it's intimidating to even review it. It's almost five hours long, spanning two separate films, and its scope makes even "Intolerance" look unambitious. The sets are consistently dazzling, and the cast is enormous. If the first half is "The Lord of the Rings," then the second half is Kurosawa's "Ran." The scale is that big.

First, I must emphasize a misconception which I myself had: The film is not based on Richard Wagner's famed opera cycle, nor does it contain any of Wagner's music. It only shares the same source material. The gist of the tale: Heroic Siegfried is raised as a swordsmith. He leaves home to stalk and kill a notorious dragon, and learns that bathing in the dragon's blood will make him invincible. But alas, a leaf quietly falls on his shoulder amidst the shower, leaving him with one vulnerable spot. Shortly thereafter, Siegfried is ambushed in the woods by Alberich, the king of the dwarves. He bests Alberich, and Alberich promises his realm's vast treasure in exchange for his life. Siegfried takes the bounty, and becomes a king of multiple lands. Soon he joins forces with another king, Gunther, who recruits him to use shape-shifting magic to win the defiant warrior-queen Brunhild in marriage. In trade, Gunther gives Siegfried the hand of his own sister Kriemhild. But there's a complication: Brunhild eventually learns that Siegfried posed as Gunther to subdue her. She bitterly lies to Gunther that Siegfried took her virtue, and demands Siegfried's death in retribution. So, Gunther begins plotting with the evil, one-eyed brute Hagen to take down Siegfried and seize his treasure. Hagen finally kills Siegfried in an ambush. Kriemhild is grief-stricken.

The second film "Kriemhild's Revenge" begins with Kriemhild being courted by one Margrave Ruediger, an emissary of the ugly but goodhearted Hun king Etzel. Kriemhild accepts the proposal, but only because she hopes to amass allies to avenge Siegfried's murder. Etzel's appearance is frightening (all the Huns have wonderful makeup and costumes), but he proves to be an unexpectedly loving father to their infant offspring. Meanwhile, the wicked Hagen has secretly dumped Siegfried's entire treasure into the Rhine river.

There is no need for further details, but rest assured that the Nibelungen and Hun tribes clash in a massive, extended battle, staged with a panache that any contemporary director would envy. And of course the story is a tragedy, so there are no victors.

"Siegfried" is arguably the better film, mainly due to two spectacular sequences. The dragon-slaying scene is a knockout, and features a dragon (a large puppet, rather than a stop-motion miniature) that is remarkably convincing by 1924 standards. The monster is not particularly fearsome -- in fact, it's almost pitiful -- but it does breathe smoke and fire, and gush blood from its wound. The second amazing segment is when Alberich guides Siegfried into a mountain to gift him the Nibelungen treasure. The image of a giant plate of riches, borne on the shoulders of a ring of dedicated dwarves, is unforgettable.

From there, "Siegfried" is a slight letdown, mostly focusing on various grim conversations staged within castles. There is an intriguing dream sequence about a clash between white and black birds, inventively depicted with sand animation. But the remaining action is a bit on the talky side, and the staggered, expressionist acting can be dated and creaky. Another significant, somewhat amusing, problem: The "beautiful princess" Kriemhild's makeup is so severe (paging Siouxsie Sioux!) that she literally looks like a man wearing a blond wig. The confusion is strong enough that I looked up the cast to see if the person really was a man.

With the second film "Kriemhild's Revenge" (almost identical in length), the emphasis is more on human choreography than sets. Most of the Huns live in caves, so Etzel's palace is the only set which rivals the Nibelungen's extravagant realm. But the battle footage is incredible, and the eventual destruction of the palace is spectacularly apocalyptic.

Fritz Lang's direction and editing are flawless, and the visuals are not as dated as those in the more celebrated "Metropolis." Every silent-film fan should see this unique saga. And please don't be scared by the extreme length -- the story moves fast, beyond perhaps the middle section of "Siegfried." And no one is demanding that you watch both films in a single sitting.
May 17, 2011
The nationalism here comes down hard, and I'm certain that was the original intent, but just like with 'Sigfried,' my viewing experience wasn't so cut and dried. Frankly, I was on Kriemhild's side for the entire movie, she's a fantastic tragic revenge hero, willing to do anything, sacrifice anything to satisfy her bloodlust. The comraderie on display among the Germans is nice and all, but they're protecting the guy we were persuaded to hate for a whole two and a half hours before this. Lang loves to set up a sense of self-righteous morality in his audience and then defeat it to spectacular result, but in this case I just wanted to see the guy get murdered. The fellow playing Atilla puts in a fantastic performance, upstaging just about everyone else, and Kriemhild convincingly evokes a pillar of stoicism. The extremely high standard of artistry and visual design carries over from the last film, but this film doesn't have the variety or momentum of 'Sigfried,' even though its conclusion is just as inevitable.
½ June 8, 2010
Romantic loyalty vs. national loyalty in this revenge pic/sequel to Lang's first Nibelungen film. This one suffers a bit from the more straightforward, less mythical plot, although there's no denying the power of his visuals.
November 23, 2009
Fritz Lang's Filming of the Second Part of the Nibelungen Saga is a Monumental Masterpiece with great Tragedy and fantastic Battles between the Nibelungen and the Huns, the Nibelungen and the Bechlarn and finally Kriemhild get her Revenge on the evil Hagen von Tronje Great Actors, Great Battle Scenes, Great Directons, Great Story, Great Music this is one of the best Movies ever and worthy to present the Biggest German Myth
½ October 18, 2009
Maybe a little bit too long. Nevertheless a great movie. It's too bad that Polish TV doesn't show old films any more.
½ September 23, 2009
The sets and photography are amazing as all get-out... the influence on Ran is noticeable. But, jeez... it's obvious why Hitler loved this movie. Nationalist to the point of discomfort, Lang presents the Germans as unfailingly noble gods (and the Huns as filthy and savage), and yet they shelter a man who is a total scumbag.
September 22, 2009
Pretty damn epic. Kriemhild's crazy eyes fire my loins.
½ August 29, 2009
So in my review for the first half of the film I called it the most schizophrenic epic ever but really didn't explain why since I really couldn't without spoiling the second half. Here that schizophrenia becomes apparent, where the first opened up with Siegfried triumphantly forging his sword for his journey, here....Siegfriend is dead; his murder is
orchestrated by his colleagues and his wife Kriemhild is aware of it, in this piece she steps forward and takes action.

After her husband's murder Kriemhild makes a vow for vengeance an viewer is kept in suspense on how that's going to come about....until a King/warlord named Attila(yeah reference is pretty obvious) asks for her hand in marriage the opportunity arises. Kriemhild does not love Attila but she can manipulate him to her will in the name of her dead husband(its like if The Palm Beach Story and Double Indemnity traveled back in time and had a pissed off baby) from then on the film descends into the most elaborate drawn out and cold story of revenge in silent film.

For a film that's about 5 hours long it would be hard to watch in one sitting but I recommend it to fully encompass Lang's radical vision. The shift from the first to the second half is unlike anything I've seen. In Lang's universe even what is essentially a fairytale is prone to full scale carnage and the wide eyed damsel in distress becomes a hollowed killing machine as she says to Attila "we were never in love but now we are united in hate". What is genuinely frightening is that as a pointed out Hitler was fond of the film, most of Lang's films in fact and while its evident what he admired in the fist half its quiet scary to think what he saw in this one. Lang was aware of Hitler's admiration of this film and allegedly made the Mabuse films and Spione and even 'M' as a jab at the Nazis depicting a world of paranoia that while stylized felt all too real. Above the insight Lang gives in this film wasn't far off from what would become reality only years later.

People who call themselves film buffscan't ever seem to shut up about Kubrick and how 'cold' his visions are whenever people go off on this tagents I point them in Lang's direction, and tell them Kubrick is a kid with tinker toys next to Lang, his noirs are miles ahead of 'The Killing' and Scarlet Street maneuvers around the censors in a way Kubrick's film never could. The future in Metropolis is bleaker than A Clockwork Orange, and the atrocities of war which Lang would predict with this film are far more harrowing than Full Metal Jacket. The point is Lang had an insight to the world we live in that most filmmakers strive to attain, even when he's dealing with something of myth his understanding of mankind's dark side or as his appropriately titled biography called it 'The Nature of The Beast' was always at work and this is no exception.
½ June 22, 2009
Good follow up of the tale of Siegfried. The scenes with the Huns are really enjoyable.
½ February 10, 2009
The problem in the second part is that the scene of the fire takes a long time but it's interesting to se the motivations of each characther
February 5, 2009
A fave flick of Hitler.
½ January 2, 2009
Centrée, comme l'indique explicitement le titre, sur la revanche de Kriemhild, cette seconde et dernière partie de la saga des Nibelungen n'est pas aussi constante que la première, mais frappe parfois plus fort. Épousant sans amour Etzel, roi des Huns, la veuve éplorée décide, pour célébrer la naissance de leur enfant, d'inviter son ancien clan au château. Loin d'avoir pardonné le meurtre de son bien-aimé Siegfried, la reine se lance dans une insatiable quête de vengeance qui se terminera en véritable bain de sang. D'ailleurs, la loyauté du clan Nibelungen envers un meurtrier ignoble, infanticide par-dessus le marché, est bien difficile à comprendre. Il y a là un sous-texte patriotique évident mais peu crédible. Les combats sont d'ailleurs d'un pèle-mêle étourdissant, Lang n'y ayant pas été de main morte sur le nombre de figurants.

Ce qui fait la relative faiblesse de cette seconde partie, c'est surtout qu'en comparaison avec la première, elle est bien pauvre en rebondissements. Beaucoup de longueurs, la scène finale du combat étant même parfois victime d'une certaine redondance. Toutefois, l'aspect drame épique de l'oeuvre est très réussi. Kriemhild, bien que n'affichant qu'une seule expression faciale, est convaincante dans le rôle de la névrosée qu'aucune morale ne saurait arrêter. Quant au personnage du roi Gunther, son entêtement stupide à défendre le meurtrier ignoble de son beau-frère et de son neveu agace tellement que le plan de sa tête tranchée est tout simplement jouissif.

Des décors encore une fois grandioses, des costumes remarquables, mais des lacunes notoires au niveau du scénario dont la longueur n'est pas justifiée par le contenu. Il faut donc en quelque sorte prendre son courage à deux mains pour s'attaquer à cette deuxième partie, mais ses qualités artistiques en valent le détour, en plus d'offrir une conclusion pour le moins étoffée à la triste saga des Nibelungen. Déconseillé aux impatients.
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