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A Daughter of Destiny (1928)

Alraune (original title)
A scientist interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female child who has no concept of love, whom the professor adopts.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alraune ten Brinken
...
Prof. Jakob ten Brinken
...
Franz Braun
...
Wölfchen
Louis Ralph ...
Der Zauberkünstler
Hans Trautner ...
Der Dompteur
...
Der Vicomte
Mia Pankau ...
Die Dirne
...
Ein Mädchen von der Gasse
Georg John ...
Der Mörder
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alexander Sascha ...
Ein Herr im Coupé
Heinrich Schroth ...
Ein Herr in der Bar
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Storyline

A scientist, Professor Jakob ten Brinken, interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female child who has no concept of love, whom the professor adopts. The girl, Alraune, suffers from obsessive sexuality and perverse relationships throughout her life. She learns of her unnatural origins and she avenges herself against the professor. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Release Date:

May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Daughter of Destiny  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
ALRAUNE (Henrik Galeen, 1928) ***
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Being a product of the Silent era, this German variation on the Frankenstein theme actually preceded the definitive James Whale pictures; a rare (the copy I acquired was culled from an old Italian TV broadcast that I somehow missed out on) and still very little-known film – despite the involvement of Henrik Galeen (THE GOLEM [1914 and 1920], NOSFERATU [1922] and THE STUDENT OF PRAGUE [1926]), Brigitte Helm (METROPOLIS [1927]) and Paul Wegener (THE STUDENT OF PRAGUE [1913], THE GOLEM [1914, 1917 and 1920] and THE MAGICIAN [1926]) – this is probably due to the fact that, in spite of some clear Expressionist trimmings, the plot is mainly treated as sophisticated melodrama! Especially disappointing for genre buffs is the fact that the creation scene is completely by-passed – shown only in a split-second flashback towards the end when Alraune (Helm, a veritable femme fatale spawned from the mandrake root by ambitious alchemist Wegener) discovers her unnatural origin when she happens upon the scientist's diary! Galeen, however, demonstrates a sure eye for pictorial detail throughout (particularly when dealing with the carnival and casino settings) and the basically 'incestuous' relationship between creature and creator is treated with amazing sensitivity and depth for its time. The ending, then, is equally non-horrific as Alraune, resigned now to her soulless existence, goes away with her creator's long-infatuated nephew while Wegener pays the price for his tampering with nature by being left all alone.


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