The eyes of the mummy Ma

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Original title The eyes of the mummy Ma
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 1918
length 63 minutes
Director Ernst Lubitsch
script Hanns Kräly ,
Emil Rameau
production Paul Davidson
camera Alfred Hansen

Die Augen der Mummy Ma is a German film drama by Ernst Lubitsch from 1918. The silent film produced by Paul Davidsons Projektions-AG Union for Ufa is divided into four acts and was Lubitsch's first dramatic work after numerous comedies.


The young painter Albert Wendland is on a study trip to Egypt and sees a beautiful local while walking through the desert. The next day he casually hears that Prince Hohenfels would like to take a trip to Queen Ma's burial chamber , but is advised against it, as every visit there so far has brought bad luck and has driven visitors crazy. One of the "victims" only utters "The eyes are alive, the eyes are alive".

Wendland searches the Cairo market square for a guide to the grave, some promptly refuse. When he reached the tomb, the Arab Radu received him there and showed him the inside of the burial chamber. Wendland immediately recognizes that the "living eyes" in the wall relief have a natural cause and after a brief fight with Radu discovers the locals he had seen the day before.

She tells Wendland the story of how she was kidnapped by Radu at a lake a few years ago and brought into this room of the burial chamber and now finds herself under his spell. Wendland takes the woman named Ma away with him. A little later, Prince Hohenfels discovers the exhausted Radu in the sand on his trip to the desert and takes him to the hotel. Radu offers himself to the prince as a servant if he takes him to Europe. However, his goal is to find Ma.

Wendland traveled to Europe with Ma. The lively temperament of the Oriental woman and her ignorance of European customs and traditions make her introduction into society difficult. She can't do anything with a waltz , but after a performance of an oriental dance the men are enthusiastic and she is hired for the Alhambra vaudeville on the spot .

Prince Hohenfels, who is now employed by Radu as a servant, attends an event with the dancer Ma. When her gaze meets the Radus, she collapses on stage in shock. Radu only gets to her cloakroom when she has already been brought home.

At a vernissage , Hohenfels sees a picture of Wendland on which Ma is depicted. He lets the gallery owner introduce them to him and invites them to visit his collection the following day. While the men are talking, Ma and Radu meet. She sees him behind her in a mirror and is hypnotized by his gaze . She needs a few days of bed rest in order to stabilize herself mentally.

In a letter brought by Radu, Hohenfels informed Wendland that he had bought the portrait from the exhibition. Ma is horrified and begs her husband to undo the purchase of the picture. He goes to Hohenfels on the matter. Meanwhile, spurred on by the sight of Mas in the painting, Radu penetrates Wendland to stab Ma. But she dies of fear in his arms and Radu judges himself. Wendland and Hohenfels are too late, they find the dead.


The film was set up and set by Kurt Richter. The exterior shots for the scenes in the Egyptian desert were made in the Rüdersdorfer Kalkberge. The film had on October 3, 1918 in Berlin Premiere .


German studies professor and Lubitsch biographer Herta-Elisabeth Heck thinks that Pola [Negri] exudes an animalistic magic in this film, before Liedtke shrinks into a Käthe Kruse doll and Jannings shrinks into a sucker for a devil.

Individual evidence

  1. List of publications by Herta-Elisabeth Heck  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  2. In: Herta-Elisabeth Renk: Ernst Lubitsch (= Rowohlt's monographs. Vol. 502). Represented with testimonials and photo documents. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1992, ISBN 3-499-50502-9 .

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