Strange Butterfly: Fritz Lang's Harakiri (1919)

by John Mucci and Richard Felnagle
Part 7: Fritz Lang's Harakiri (1919)

At least two major changes stand out immediately as being very Langian. First, there is not one, but TWO ritual suicides! The additional ritual suicide occurs about a quarter of the way into the film. In fact, the first quarter of the film focuses primarily on the suicide of O-Take-San's father (here named Tokoyawa), something that is only discussed in exposition in all other versions.

The additional suicide may be part of the reason why the film was titled Harakiri. All other iterations of the story use the name of the heroine (either Butterfly or Chrysanthème) in the title. This name change may have been required in part to avoid copyright litigation, but this title also moves the heroine off center stage and suggests that this film is not a tragic love story but a thriller about ritual suicide in an exotic, foreign world—more consistent with a typical Lang film!

Of course, calling the film Madame O-Take-San was clearly not a good idea, either. That name is probably derived from “Okane-San,” the name of Pierre Loti's seventeen-year-old bride (a fact which confirms that Lang or Jungk were familiar with Loti). Madam Butterfly and Madame Chrysanthemum promise stories about a character with a fragile and delicate nature. Calling the film Madame O-Take-San doesn't promise anything. So, either to avoid copyright infringement or to titillate potential audiences, Madame Butterfly became Harakiri.

Fritz Lang, ca. 1919.
Second, Lang reinvents two minor characters to infuse the story with strong elements of melodrama. For the record, “melodrama” is a generic term dating from the 19th century and designates any story in which the central character is menaced by an outside agent. In a melodrama, the central character is acted upon, rather than instigating the key events of the story.

​In Harakiri, Lang’s outside agent is reinvented from Cho-Cho-San’s uncle, the priest who appears towards the end of Puccini’s first act to break up the marriage celebration. In Lang, that character becomes a lecherous priest, no longer her uncle. While the priest does not actually make any overt sexual overtures to O-Take-San, he constantly threatens her and makes her life miserable.

Georg John, one of Lang's favorite character actors, as the evil priest.
And because the story has a classic melodrama villain, the story also requires a classic melodrama hero, and to fill that need, Jungk and Lang have repurposed the part of the prince (named Yamadori in Belasco's play and the Pickford movie, but unfortunately renamed Matahari here). Towards the end of Lang's film, the prince “rides to the rescue” to save O-Take-San her from the machinations of the evil priest.

In fact, this is the only version of the story in which the Yamadori character is not played for laughs, but funny or not, the character serves an important function. He is needed to demonstrate that Butterfly has other offers of marriage. Her death at the end is not inevitable—she has other choices, but in every case, she rejects them. No matter what anyone tells her, she insists she will not betray her absent husband. That vow doesn’t mean much if she never has an opportunity to marry anyone else, so the prince’s presence is required to make her character truly tragic, to provide her hamartia, her tragic flaw.

Also unique to Lang’s film is the fact that O-Take-San is actually a member of the nobility. In the beginning of Lang’s film, we learn that O-Take-San is the daughter of a Damiyo (even though the term is an absurd anachronism), a noble second only to the Mikado himself. The libretto to Puccini’s opera has Butterfly tell Sharpless that she came from a noble family, but she immediately casts doubt on that idea by adding, “But every vagabond around here will tell you that about themselves.” Thus, marrying Matahari would restore O-Take-San’s nobility, a possibility that makes her unflagging dedication to her—in this case Swedish—husband all the more poignant and tragic.

Lang's presence is revealed in many of the minor details of the film, too. What follows here is a detailed summary of Harakiri, which can be streamed via YouTube and elsewhere on the web:

Meinhart Maur as the dashing hero, the noble prince Matahari.
We begin with an intertitle informing us that Tokuyawa, the Daimyo, is returning to Japan after a trip to Europe. The camera then introduces his daughter, O-Take-San (Lil Dagover), who is playing with a doll.

Both the Pickford film and the Lang film begin before Butterfly/O-Take-San has met Pinkerton/Johnson. In the Pickford film, Butterfly seems very much like Yum-Yum, the ingénue in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, a carefree, witless girl. Lang goes even further and effectively infantilizes her by showing her playing with dolls.
 
Inside the Daimyo’s house, Tokuyawa and O-Take-San open the doors to a Shinto shrine and kneel to pray before it—so we will know that they are both properly devout. Then, Dad presents his daughter with a stuffed teddy bear, a souvenir from his travels to Europe, and her eyes light up—reinforcing her childish innocence. The lecherous priest (Georg John) appears then, and we see his open scorn of the Daimyo's European souvenirs.

Our first look at O-Take-San . . . and her dolly.
The priest announces that in “a few days,” O-Take-San is supposed to take her vows and become a priestess in the Holy Forest, but she seems to be resisting, and the priest wants Dad to lean on her. However, Dad responds, “I will not force her.” The priest is not pleased and tells him, “While abroad, you lost your faith in Buddha. Beware of his fury!”

Another Lang characteristic is a tendency to reinvent religions to suit his purpose. Any native Japanese viewer would be very confused at the conflation of Buddhism and Shintoism, which were decreed as separate religions in 1868. The depiction of Buddha as a vengeful, Jehovah-like deity is a contradiction, and probably was written that way so that Western viewers would make the connection with a stern Christianity, with which they were better acquainted. Furthermore, there were no priestesses in Buddhism in Japan until very recently, and for that matter, the Daimyo system had been abolished in the late 19th century. But none of that seems to have mattered to Lang.

Alone, O-Take-San announces, “This awful priest persecutes me because I have seen through his impure intentions—but I will ask Buddha myself—and Buddha will tell O-Take-San.” She decides to offer one of her dolls as a sacrifice to Buddha.
 
The mean old priest (right) disapproves of all the Western souvenirs that O-Take-San's father has brought. Disapproving is what he does best.
She then heads for the big statue of Buddha in the Holy Forest (more about that place later). Her prayers are interrupted by the appearance of the priest, and she tells him, “Forgive your poor servant who is not worthy to be a priestess of Buddha.” That is her way of telling the priest once and for all that she’s not taking the job. She offers up her doll to him, but he dashes it to the ground and adds, “Buddha will certainly punish you.” He pushes her to leave, and then we cut a scene where he is writing something. (Although not explained here, the priest is writing a poison pen letter to the Mikado.)

An intertitle tells us we have jumped ahead three weeks, to the festival of “falling leaves.” The priest has received a letter, which we learn is from the emperor, who thanks the priest for revealing the Daimyo's disloyalty and attempts to introduce dangerous foreign thinking. The emperor promises that the Daimyo will be punished.
 
Before the giant Buddha, the priest scorns O-Take-San's offer to sacrifice her dolly.
Meanwhile, the festival is in full swing, and a certain sailor named Olaf Anderson casually appears and casually makes the acquaintance of O-Take-San. This is another change from the sources, which usually portray Butterfly/Chrysanthemum as a geisha when the faithless sailor meets her. (Making the sailor Scandinavian may or may not be the original intent, as a Danish print was the only source for the film as it exists today.)
 
Messengers now arrive from the emperor and present the Daimyo with a present—a very sharp present. One messenger explains, “The esteemed emperor sends you this gift—you understand what it means—within 24 hours you must bid life farewell!” They leave, and O-Take-San finds her father holding the sword. He tells her, “A gift from our master, the emperor. A sign of his favor!” He tells her to go back to the festival, which she does. He prays briefly before the shrine and then steps behind a screen to give himself some privacy. A moment later, O-Take-San reappears, opens the panel, and finds his body. She goes out to the crowd and announces his death calmly: “As his last sign of allegiance to the emperor, he gave him his life.”

The Daimyo is, thus, the first victim of this melodrama's villain.
 
Two insert shots show Olaf Anderson and O-Take-San meeting.
The festival kinda breaks up now, and while O-Take-San is in mourning in her father's house, the priest brazenly walks in and informs her, “Your father was punished for his sins by Buddha. Buddha is stern, and that is why you should serve him as a princess.” He leads her out of the house.

Meanwhile, Olaf has wandered away from the festival, and he and his buddies are wondering what's on the other side of the wall surrounding the Holy Forest, which is supposedly forbidden ground to Europeans.

In the temple inside the Holy Forest, the priest tells a shell-shocked O-Take-San to prepare herself to take her vows in a few days. Looking very forlorn, she goes for walk. Moments later, Olaf jumps over the wall and goes wandering around, in the process of which he makes her acquaintance again. They hit it off, but she tells him Europeans are not allowed in the Holy Forest, but he should come back the next day at the same time. (Although it’s not entirely clear, she appears to be flirting with him.)
 
The body's not even cold yet, but the priest is so hot for O-Take-San that he drags her away as fast as he can. And considering what he's wearing, that's not very fast, but it's still unseemly.
At this point, damage to the film makes things hard to follow. The next day, Olaf goes over the wall again as bidden, but she tells Olaf that she can't come with him because she's about to become a priestess and his life is in danger if he stays there. (We never see him ask her to come with him, but we don’t doubt she’d like to.)

Olaf then leaves, but his departure is observed by the priest's personal servant, Karan, who—through an intertitle—seems to be thinking out loud that O-Take-San would make a good geisha in a tea house. (Why? Again, it’s not clear.) Then, Karan runs to the priest to tell him that a European has violated the Holy Forest, and the priest then takes O-Take-San prisoner and locks her up in a cave. But that evening, Karan somehow manages to open the fearsome-looking padlock on the cave door and springs her.

Back at Olaf's club, his buddies notice that he's been kind of down in the dumps, and they persuade him to go with them to a tea house.
 
In the so-called Holy Forest, O-Take-San flirts with Olay.
At the tea-house, Karan arrives with O-Take-San in tow, and the owner, Kin-be-Araki, hires her on the spot as a geisha. (It’s possible that Karan, the priest's servant, gets some kind of finder's fee from the owner.) Olaf and his buddies then arrive, and the owner volunteers that he has just the girl for them and brings out O-Take-San, who instantly falls into Olaf’s arms.

Kin-be-Araki then explains, “Noble sir, you can only have this geisha if you marry her for 999 days, in accordance with the laws of Yoshiwara. You have the right, however, to divorce her whenever you like.”

Yoshiwara is, of course, the name of the nightclub that figures so prominently in Lang and von Harbou's film, Metropolis. According to Wikipedia: “Yoshiwara was a famous yukaku (a pleasure district) in Edo, present-day Tokyo, Japan. No previous version of this story mentions Yoshiwara, so we have to assume this detail came from Lang.
 
Reunion in the tea-house. O-Take-San embraces Olay, who agrees to marry her on the spot. Short engagements really are the best, aren't they?
Next, we see Olaf and O-Take-San moving into their new home, which is being rented to them by Kin-be-Araki. On the front porch, Olaf produces a camera and takes her picture. Then, they go into the house and take tea when the priest arrives and curses O-Take-San for her “unfaithfulness,” but Olaf throws the priest out.

Weeks later, O-Take-San presents Olaf with her keepsakes (a scene derived directly from the opera, but with new elements). She shows a little carving of three monkeys and explains, “These represent the three virtues of Japanese girls. They must hear nothing, say nothing, and see nothing.” Then she presents Olaf with her two remaining dolls, but she holds back her father's harakiri sword and tells him, “This is the sword my father used to kill himself at the command of the emperor!” There is no inscription to read and no commenting on how it is better to die with honor than live without it.
 
Olaf takes a photo of his bride. (This is a Fritz Lang film--we know that photo will be important later for some reason.)
Time passes. At Olaf’s club, the consul chides Olaf for causing pain to O-Take-San because of his inevitable departure, but Olay just shrugs his shoulders, as much as if to say, “But what what can I do about it?”

Eventually, though, an intertitle tells us “After the honeymoon is over,” and we see Olay bidding farewell to O-Take-San as his ship is about to leave with him on it. He promises to return to her someday, and they have a surprisingly restrained farewell on the beach. (No mention of the robins returning to their nests this time, only a promise to return.)

Notice the camera placement in the frame reproduced on the left. Instead of an intimate closeup designed to wring tears from the audience, Lang places the camera far back, to avoid becoming emotionally involved in the scene.
 
Olaf's final farewell to O-Take-San at the beach. 
Time passes again—judging by events, at least two years—and Lang shows us Olaf back in Stockholm, or wherever his home is, showing off his Japanese souvenirs to a woman we assume is his wife, Eva. Up to this point in the film, Lang had not mentioned that Olaf had a wife or sweetheart at the time he married O-Take-San, so we must assume that his marriage to Eva all happened after he got back to Sweden. One of those souvenirs is the photo he took of O-Take-San, but he can’t bear to look at it. He looks directly into the camera and we see the distress on his face as Lang inserts a shot of O-Take-San watching the sea for Olaf’s return. When Eva asks Olaf who is in the picture, he says off-handedly, “a little geisha somewhere.” The implication is that he still has feelings for O-Take-San, despite the off-handed way he talks about her to Eva.

Fade out and fade in, and we see Olaf's child, about three years old at least, playing with one of O-Take-San's dolls.
 
Tortured by memories, Olaf can't bear to look at the photo of O-Take-San.
Finally, enter the hero! Prince Matahari arrives in town. He shows us he is a good man because he goes into the Holy Forest, where he stops to pray before the big statue of Buddha and accidentally overhears the priest saying, “In four weeks, it will have been four years since O-Take-San's husband left her. According to our laws she will be free again and will have to go back to Yoshiwara!' The prince then leaves the Holy Forest and asks directions to O-Take-San's house.

Back in Sweden, Olaf reads a letter from somebody (the consul?) informing him that his Japanese sweetie and his brat are still waiting for him. Olaf shrugs his shoulders, although this moment appears to be the first time he has been told that he has an abandoned child in Japan.

This event is actually another significant change to the story. In all previous versions, the Pinkerton character doesn’t know he has fathered a child until he returns to Japan.

A servant brings Prince Matahari the requested information: “O-Take-San lives with the proprietor of the tea house, Kin-be-Araki.” [In other words, she still lives in the house which Kin-be-Araki rented to Olaf.]

Meanwhile, Karan is doing the priest's bidding by confronting Kin-be-Araki, “The priest demands that you charge her rent. If O-Take-San cannot pay, then she has to stay in her tea house.” [That title doesn’t make much sense, but perhaps something has been lost in translation because the implication is clearly no pay, no stay.]
 
His prayers interrupted, Prince Matahari overhears the evil priest tell his servant how he is about to have O-Take-San evicted.
A bit later, Kin-be-Araki gives Hanake the eviction order. “The foreigner paid for three years for O-Take-San. She's already lived here four years, and if she can't pay the rent, she has to leave this house immediately.” O-Take-San is in the next room, and she enters and promises Kin-be-Araki will be paid when her husband returns. But just then, the prince arrives, hears the story, and announces, “In my ministry, I do not tolerate the oppression of the poor.” The prince tries to give O-Take-San some money, but she shakes her head and thanks him. Her husband will be returning soon to settle the account. The prince then leaves, but on the way out, he appears to give the money to Hanake. [The film appears to be damaged here, so we don't exactly see money exchange hands, but that action is implied.]

Back in Sweden, Olaf has on his sailor suit again and announces to Eva that he has received orders to go back to Japan and wonders if she'd like to come along. Notice that he makes this offer after learning that he has a child in Japan, so he is perhaps already thinking about adoption. However, subsequent events suggest that he does not reveal the existence of the child to his wife at this time. Apparently, he is planning to surprise her. 

​Lucky her!
 
Prince Matahari stops Kin-be-Araki from evicting poor O-Take-San.
Meanwhile back in Japan, the prince sends for O-Take-San and proposes marriage to her. She declines: “I don't want your riches. I am the wife of Olaf Anderson. I would rather die than be unfaithful to him.” The Prince says, “You're mistaken, O-Take-San. Olaf Anderson is not your husband, and your marriage . . .” But she cuts him off before he can finish the sentence. “I won’t allow you to insult my husband! He is coming back to me and his child quite soon!” And she leaves.

Later, all that waiting by the shore pays off, and O-Take-San finally sees a European ship approaching the harbor, and she is certain Olaf is on it. She takes Hanake back to the house to decorate the place in honor of his return.
 
O-Take-San declines Matahari's proposal.
They get all gussied up and stand by a big window to wait for Olaf, and then we get an intertitle: “After a futile night of keeping watch . . .” Of course, Olaf has not come.

That very morning, though, we see Olaf breakfasting with his wife and, as it turns out, the Swedish consul.

At O-Take-San’s house, Hanake says she will go to the consulate and ask about Olaf.

However, the priest stops Hanake on her way and announces, “O-Take-San's time is up. She must return to Yoshiwara. The child will become a ward of the state.”
 
After a night of waiting in vain.
Terrified, Hanake runs to the consulate as the priest enters O-Take-San’s house and gives her the bad news. All appears lost, but then Lang cuts to a shot of the prince ascending the stone steps.

At the consulate’s place, Hanake rushes in while he’s having breakfast with Olaf and his wife . She says to the consul, “Help us, sir! They want to steal O-Take-San’s child!” This is an awkward moment! Olaf just looks at his shoes.

So Hanake then says to him, “Olaf Anderson, please help! They’re stealing your child!”

That appears to be news to Eva. Apparently, Olaf had not previously mentioned the real reason he wanted her along. However, she takes the news fairly well.
 
Hanake drops the bomb that Olaf has a child and "they" are trying to steal it.
While they sit around trying to decide what to do, the priest starts to drag the child away from O-Take-San, but just then, the prince enters her house and stops him. “Get out of here! It was never about Buddha's holy service for you. You only wanted to satisfy your revenge!” The priest gone, she thanks the prince for his protection but still refuses to marry him Prince because she is Olaf Anderson's wife.

This sequence demonstrates Lang’s almost instinctive mastery of cinematic technique, which he learned from watching American films, especially those of D. W. Griffith; he cleverly uses cross-cutting here to create suspense that, at the time at least, could have become formidable. The audience gathers that Matahari is her salvation, and as he comes to rescue her, Lang cross-cuts to the priest approaching, and O-Take-San with the baby and Suzuki. It makes the story even more pathetic that she rebuffs Matahari yet one last time—he even turning at the door to look again at her—and then goes. He is no longer a comic character; he is the lost opportunity that makes the story veer toward tragedy, and not the quaint tale from Long’s magazine piece.

Curiously, though, the priest is not made to suffer any further retribution for his actions. Having been told off by Prince Matahari, the wicked priest simply ambles slowly out of the frame. We would really like to see this guy have to suffer in some way for his crimes. He is technically a murderer—his poison-pen letter caused O-Take-San's father's suicide, and he deserves punishment for that alone, if for nothing else—but Lang just lets him walk away.

Pooh!

Back at the breakfast table, Olaf continues to stare at the ground in embarrassment, but Eva stands up and leaves with Hanake. Grudgingly, Olaf then stands as if to follow.
 
Just in the nick of time! Prince Matahari saves the day. And yet, O-Take-San still won't marry him.
At the house, Eva enters, but O-Take-San is not happy. When the child moves toward Eva and seems to be interested in her, O-Take-San grabs him back. Referring to Olaf, she says, “He can come get the child himself—tell him that!”

Outside, Eva tells Olaf, “Go inside and get your child.” While he hesitates, O-Take-San says farewell to the child, and then she gets Dad's old knife, remarking, “It is better to die honorably than to live in shame.”

Olaf then enters the house and finds the child with Hanake, who stands to fetch O-Take-San, but it's too late.

Eva picks up the child, and Hanake covers up O-Take-San's body, and the film ends abruptly—more than likely the end of the reel problem again, where film is likely to break, and when footage is lost.



O-Take-San confronts the other Mrs. Olaf Anderson.
Conclusion

As we have seen, Lang added a lot of story elements to inject melodrama into what otherwise would be pure tragedy, but the changes that reveal the most about Lang are not what he added to the source materials, but what he left out. For example, the pathetic business of Butterfly waiting for Pinkerton until the robins return to their nests is gone—we just see O-Take-San at the beach, where she silently watches the horizon. There is no scene in which Butterfly’s family ostracizes her, as appears in the Mary Pickford film. Instead, she loses social status when her father takes his own life, an event which she handles with great stoicism. Instead of any love scenes (such as Puccini provides at the end of his first act), we only have O-Take-San sharing her keepsakes with Olaf as if they were preteens playing with their dolls at a sleepover. There is no gut-wrenching scene when the wives discover their husband is a bigamist, as in Long’s story and the Mary Pickford film. Even O-Take-San’s inevitable suicide is handled in a mechanical, business-like way, and the other characters’ responses are stiff and muted.

The most radical omissions, though, completely reshape the Pinkerton character, Olaf Johnson. In all the other iterations of the Butterfly story, Pinkerton is essentially a predator and a callous coward. In Loti’s novel, Pierre states explicitly that he wants a “marriage,” but nothing more. In Long’s story, Pinkerton marries the girl and then ruins her life by snubbing her family, which then ostracizes her. When he returns to Japan, he seeks to salve his conscious by paying her off like a whore. In Belasco, the character seems much the same, although Belasco’s ending suggests some awareness of the tragedy he has caused. In Puccini, though, Pinkerton becomes more despicable, openly discussing his motivations with Sharpless and then playing a romantic love scene with Butterfly. The last part of the Mary Pickford film at least shows Pinkerton being dressed down by Sharpless, but then, the sequence ends with Sharpless shaking his hand!

Olaf is a different character entirely. Arriving in Japan, Olaf expresses no desire for a temporary marriage. He’s just a tourist out seeing the sights. He first meets O-Take-San casually at the festival and then later runs into her almost accidentally while on his misadventure in the Holy Forest. She is sad, and he seeks to comfort her, but initially she pushes him away. He takes the hint and goes. However, their feelings spark, and when she is released from the cave and effectively sold to the keeper of the tea-house, Olaf rescues her from being forced to become a geisha. In fact, we see her throw herself into Olaf’s arms! He doesn’t choose her—she chooses him!

Subsequently, they take up housekeeping, and before entering their new home, Olaf stops to take her picture, something any loving newlywed might do. When their tea time is interrupted by the furious priest, Olaf again defends her and throws the guy out. In the next scenes, Lang shows us that Olaf is aware that he is going to break O-Take-San’s heart when he leaves, but what can he do? At some point, the ship will sail and he will have to be on it. In the Pickford film, we get the idea Pinkerton is glad to be leaving Japan; later Sharpless has to explain to Pinkerton all the harm his departure will cause. When Olaf leaves, the parting is tender. Olaf is regretful. In fact, Olaf’s whole relationship with O-Take-San seems more parental than romantic—partly because Lang has Lil Dagover play O-Take-San as such a ninny.
 
Our first view of Olaf--just a happy doofus out shopping for souvenirs.
After Olaf leaves Japan, Lang gives us some scenes of Olaf’s life back home—but unlike the Pickford film, Lang carefully constructs a montage to shows us Olaf is conflicted. He still has feelings for O-Take-San. When he shows his Japanese souvenirs to his wife, she asks about the photo of the woman, but he looks away—directly into the camera—so we can see his remorse. (You can see this sequence by clicking on the image to the left.)

Later, Lang shows Olaf receiving the letter from Sharpless informing Olaf that he has a child. When Olaf then invites his wife to come along on his return trip to Japan, Lang seems to imply that he is thinking about his unacknowledged child’s welfare. Back in Japan, Olaf is still too much of a coward to confront O-Take-San—he lets Eva do the heavy lifting for him—but we never see the consul shaming Olaf for his behavior.

Perhaps the most conspicuous omission of a plot detail present in Long and all the subsequent iterations of this story is the scene in which the Pinkerton character tries to make amends by offering money to be given to Butterfly. We never see Olaf trying to salve his conscience by paying off O-Take-San. In other words, Olaf is still a coward, but he is not a cad. To the contrary, Lang suggests that Olaf deliberately brings Eva to Japan to help him do the right thing!
 
Click above to watch the "souvenirs" scene stream from YouTube. Notice Lang never shows us the picture itself, only what Olaf remembers.
In effect, Lang not only adds a second suicide to the story, but he adds a second victim: Olaf—a victim of circumstances. Lang seems to be taking the point of view that nothing that has happened to Olaf was truly his fault. True, he could have handled things better, but hey! He’s far from home. Boys will be boys, right? Under the circumstances, Olaf is essentially a decent guy. The camera dwells on his agony in the breakfast table scenes, but the consul seems more concerned about comforting him than helping O-Take-San. In the final scene of the film, Eva seemingly forgives her philandering husband as she holds his cute little bastard child in her arms.

And why wouldn't she? We recall that O-Take-San told Olaf that the highest duties of a good Japanese girl are to hear nothing, to say nothing, and to see nothing. Perhaps, Eva is just trying to be a good Japanese girl, too.

Somehow, Lang almost manages to turn Madame Butterfly into another Langian story about an innocent man done in by women!

And he also manages to turn O-Take-San back into a plaything.

Lang's “strange Butterfly” confirms his preference for melodrama over other forms (including comedy and tragedy). Sensational elements are always more important than sentimental ones. And men are always going to victimized by women.

These are some of the tendencies in Lang's work that von Harbou would find challenging when they began to collaborate.


Olaf forgiven--the last shot of the film.