Algol. Tragödie der Macht

Algol. Tragedy of Power
Mineworker Robert Herne is joined by a new colleague – Algol. The extraterrestrial visitor, from a faraway star system of the same name, gives Herne a machine that turns the radiation from his home planet into energy. It becomes the capital for the “Bios plant” with which Herne transforms himself into Earth’s ruler by making every country economically dependent on him. Except for one. In a neighbouring agricultural country, Peter Hell is organising timid resistance to the hostile takeover. Hell is the son of Herne’s childhood sweetheart, who has emigrated ... “The rule of coal is over. The Bios plant will power the worldfrom this day forward!” Algol is both a dynasty drama and a gloomy portrait of an industrial dystopia. It can also be understood as a didactic warning that replacing conventional fuels with renewable energy in a monopolistic market can lead to new dependencies. Algol was also far ahead of its time dramatically; the dichotomy presented in the film between the bright “overworld” of the rich and powerful, and the dark “underworld” of the labour slaves would become a constituent element of the science-fiction genre.
by Hans Werckmeister
with Emil Jannings, Hanna Ralph, Gertrud Welcker, Ernst Hofmann, Käte Haack, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Erna Morena, John Gottowt, Sebastian Droste
Germany 1920 German intertitles 104’ Digitally restored version 2011 | DCP: Filmmuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, München


  • Emil Jannings
  • Hanna Ralph
  • Gertrud Welcker
  • Ernst Hofmann
  • Käte Haack
  • Hans Adalbert Schlettow
  • Erna Morena
  • John Gottowt
  • Sebastian Droste


Director Hans Werckmeister
Screenplay Hans Brennert, Friedel Köhne
Cinematography Axel Graatkjær, Herrmann Kricheldorff three days
Set Construction Walter Reimann

Produced by

Deutsche Lichtbildgesellschaft

Additional information

DCP: Filmmuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, München