The Burning Earth

(Der brennende Acker)

35mm Archival Print

  • Portrait of Bruce Loeb
    On Piano

Werner Krauss, Vladimir Gajdarov, Eugen Klôpfer, Lya de Putti,

Proof of Vaccination Required

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For years The Burning Earth was counted as the most significant of the lost Murnaus; reconstructed, it reveals the filmmaker’s richly detailed treatment, which drew comparisons with the films of his Swedish contemporaries Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller. The story concerns a peasant, Johannes, whose values and relationships are distorted by the prospect of wealth from the oil-rich land into which he has married. Lotte H. Eisner wrote in Murnau (1964) of this then-lost film: “German and foreign critics alike pronounced this film perfect. Everyone talked about the poetic charm of the snowy landscapes and the marvelous lighting that reached its peak in the fire at the oil-well at night, surrounded by snow. . . . But above everything else was the authenticity of all the complex psychological incident—what a French review called a sincerity ‘faithful to life and reality.’”

  • Willy Haas
  • Arthur Rosen
  • Thea von Harbou
  • Fritz Arno Wagner
  • Karl Freund
  • Silent
  • with German intertitles and English electronic titling
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • 98 mins
  • Bundesarchiv
  • Murnau-Stiftung