John M Flora | Brookland, AR United States | 07/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing much to add to the other reviews, except to note that Ernst Udet, the second highest-scoring German fighter ace of World War I and a chief proponent of the dive bomber in the Luftwaffe of WWII, plays himself in the movie. Udet committed suicide in November, 1941, after his job as head of the research branch of the Luftwaffe drove him deep into alcoholism."
A thrilling and gripping adventure classic
Stephen H. Wood | South San Francisco, CA | 05/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
The original German version of S.O.S. ICEBERG (1933) is one of the great action adventures of my lifetime. Filmed on location amid the glaciers and icebergs of northern Greenland, it was shot simultaneously (with most of the same cast) in German and English. It is about a crew of four or five, plus two directors and two cameramen, dispatched to Greenland to rescue a missing explorer named Karl Lorenz (Gustav Diessl). The search party finds Dr. Lorenz, but then has to brave treacherous ice flows, polar bears, and falling glaciers. The brave actors include legendary Leni Riefenstahl (top-billed in the German version as Mrs. Lorenz), Sepp Rist as Johannes Krafft, and GREED's Gibson Gowland as the angry Dragon in both versions. The goal soon becomes crossing the ice flow-covered Bering Sea to reach the safety of an Eskimo village in Thule. You know they make it, or most of them do, or else you'd have heard of dead actors in the Arctic. But, boy, is this one hazardous journey--thrilling beyond words to watch, but probably hell to make.
Renowned explorer Dr. Arnold Franck directed the 86 minute German version, with English subtitles. Tay Garnett (CHINA SEAS) helmed the 76 minute English version for Universal Pictures. The daring cinematographers responsible for the magnificent B&W photography are Hans Schneeberger and Richard Angst. As best I can tell from watching both versions over two nights is that the English version has way less Leni Riefenstahl and suffers for the loss. In the German version she follows the men up to Greenland in reel one to look for her missing husband; in the English version, Ms. Riefenstahl is given second billing and spends half the picture flying up to Greenland, where she finds her alive husband awfully quickly. Additionally, the English version adds Rod La Rocque (top billed) to the cast as the missing husband and has the other men looking for both Leni and Rod; it also has a Preface thanking the brave actors and intrepid crew for risking their lives to spend an entire year making such a stunning adventure movie. It was worth it.
S.O.S. ICEBERG is one beauty of an adventure film, whichever language you pick to watch. The DVD from Kino Video includes superb copies of both versions on one DVD. ***** for the German version, *** for the English.
In the great tradition of the 1930's German mountain movies.
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 11/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An expedition of explorers was striking out across Greenland (The Karajak Glacier.) Dr. Karl Lorenz (Gustav Diessl) was missing and presumed dead by all of his fellow explorers. New evidence, however, shows the Dr. Lorenz has survived! So now, it is time to send out a rescue party.
Hella Lorenz (Leni Riefenstahl), wife of Dr. Lorenz and stunt pilot learns of the expedition's demise. In addition, that her husband may be alive on a rogue Iceberg.
This film has lots of ice action. Once again, the true actors are the icebergs in this instance. You get to see some flying stunts. In addition, almost everything is eaten; but do not worry, you do not have to see all these things are eaten except for raw fish. So sit back and enjoy the thrill of watching drama in the Arctic Ocean, as the iceberg is soon to turn over.
This KINO presentation has both the original German version and the English version. I must say that the English version was shorter, chopped up, incoherent, and misleading. The one redeeming value of the English version of this film is that in the end you can see that they had saved the dog. Evidently, the English or more dog friendly. However, the German version was a work of art. If you have trouble keeping up with the German version, there are English subtitles, and this is still far superior to the English version.
Being a fan of Leni Riefenstahl movies, I could not pass this one and I am Glad I did not. I figured that she would be burnt out by now but she just keeps getting better.
Leni Riefenstahl-Five Lives: A Biography in Pictures
Werner Furrer | Marysville, WA USA | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Old B/W German film, 1933, English and German! Scenes reflect state of the art of that time and are in typical stacato style, very loosly connected episodes. Good acting and unusual scenes of eskimos and them also demonstrating kayak-paddling proficiency. - Famous actress Leni Riefenstahl when young! - Interested in her career I also ordered and watched the movie "The White Hell Pitz Palu", including her final interview 2002, in German!- Interesting seeing a different perspective!"