Der heilige Berg (1926) Script

Those well-known sportsmen...

...who participated in the making of THE HOLY MOUNTAIN...

...ask the audience not to mistake their performances for trick photography.

All shots taken outdoors were actually made in the mountains, in the most beautiful parts of the Alps, over the course of one and a half years.

The big ski race is performed by German, Norwegian and Austrian master skiers.

The screenplay to this motion picture was inspired by actual events...

...that occurred during a twenty year period in the life of the great mountains.


A Drama Poem with scenes from nature by Dr. Arnold Fanck Dedicated to his late friend, mountaineer Dr. Hans Rhode with reverence Direction and screenplay: Dr. Arnold Fanck Production design: Leopold Blonder Sculptures: Karl Boehm Nature photography:

Dr. Arnold Fanck and his Freiburg School:

Camera Operators: Hans Schneeberger / Sepp Allgeier Assistant Camera: Albert Benitz and Kurt Neubert Studio photography: Helmar Lersky, Hans Schneeberger Original score: Edmund Meisel CAST:

The Sportsmen: The Dancer Diotima - Leni Riefenstahl The Friend - Louis Trenker Vigo - Ernst Petersen The Mountain Guide - Hannes Schneider Colli - Friedrich Schneider The Actress: The Mother - Frieda Richard Produced by the cultural department of the Universum-Film joint-stock company, Berlin


There, where the rock falls steeply and defiantly into the surf... is her home...

The sea is her love, wild... boundless...

But her life... is dance... vibrant expressions of a stormy soul.

Diotima's Dance to the Sea. Diotima: Dancer Leni Riefenstahl

And so Diotima dances... dances to satiate her longing for him... whom she has seen in her dreams... atop the highest mountain peak.


"The Friend" Engineer Trenker

Vigo Ernst Petersen, student of medicine

At the entrance to the Grand Hotel


And Diotima dances in the country of her desire.


She seems... almost holy!

Were any people from the mountains here?

Did you see my dance?...

What did you enjoy most?

The friend rushes upward, high into the mountains, to savor his overwhelming experience.


A jubilant spring climbs higher up the mountain.

And a joyous Diotima immerses herself in it.

Just then, "the Friend" begins his lonely descent...

...from the icy brow of the tallest peak.

In an alpine meadow.

The mountainside reveals nature's ferocious power.

The imposing pinnacle of the highest mountain rises before her.

The meeting.

Did you come from up there?

It must be beautiful there.

Beautiful... arduous... dangerous

What does one search for, up there?

One's self.

And nothing else?

And what are you searching for, up here... in nature?


And nothing else?


Today I climb in search of the most beautiful mountain that exists.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow we will celebrate our engagement together... very high up there.

You seek Gods... but it's people you must find.

I suppose you came all this way just to see me, not the ski race.

Look for me at the jumping contest!

He wants to go up there again... without me.

Take me with you one time - into your world... really high up...

At least up to the cottage.

"The Sea and the Stone can Never Be Wed."

Winter, still draped across his mountain.

Look... those enormous rocks have been worn away... the gigantic force of water, in nature's eternal cycle.

And all the debris left by these mighty waters... they are our mountains.

Why is nature so beautiful to us?

Because we invest our very souls in it.

You, too, are like nature.

And that's why I love you so much.

The bustle of winter sports.

The bustle of winter sports.

The mountain guide Hannes Schneider

Have you finished marking the race route?

How's the competition looking?

You'll probably be beaten.

By whom?

Colli... the shepherd.


Colli Friedrich Schneider

Say, if your Friend doesn't participate, there'll be no competition in the long-distance run.

Take me with you!

What's wrong with you, darling?


I will be back in time for your dance tonight.

Goodbye... until tonight!

The jumping event has begun.

Diotima goes to watch the ski jump.

Colli prepares for the his final jump.

In wonderful style, Vigo determines the winner.

The young victor.

But far away from the sporting bustle, the Friend...

...seeking the most beautiful mountain for tomorrow...

I'm not sure I can ride such a steep hill.

Now where would my beautiful, gentle Madonna like to go?

Wild and fantastic, like a gothic cathedral, rises from its mighty foundation...

the most beautiful mountain.


Come back the winner, and I'll grant you a wish.

The route is marked.

High atop his silent world.

Colli fights for the lead.

Colli leads.

75 miles per hour on skis!

Relentlessly pursuing Colli.

Vigo closes the gap!


Vigo in the lead.

Colli far behind.

Vigo still leads.

The others continue the wild chase.

The two favorites find themselves far behind.

Don't give up, we're nearly the last!

Racing through the forest, they no longer notice the fairy tale beauty of the snow-covered firs.

Pushing for the lead.

Colli goes wrong

All wrong!

The end of the fight.

Just before the finish.

I'll get you yet!

Vigo... Vigo!

He begins his descent into the valley.

May I have my wish now?

And what does the victor desire?




When he comes home today, I have a surprise for him.

A new dance... A hymn of Joy

I really think... she loves me.

Well, finally you appear!

Come with me, I need you.

We must scale the Santo-north face.

Now? In winter? Are you mad?

You're my best friend. Come with me. We'll be mad together.

I'll come get you.

I must go away... with a friend of mine.

A magnificent man, whom you should meet sometime.

The ski racers go to the cottage, to celebrate the day's events.

What has come over you?

Sorry, Vigo. It's not you. But please do not ask.

To the north face of the mountain.

Before the dreadful Santo-north face.

Are you afraid to come with me?

Look, we should turn back. The Foehn wind is coming down.

Let it come... the stronger the better!

And let storm and avalanche roar their wild songs with it.

The very walls come alive with the flow of the avalanches.

It comes boiling up from the valleys in a terrible tempest.



Something must have happened to him!

Snap out of it! Do you hear me?

You really are mad! Take me back down again!

Is there something you desire... down there... among the rabble?

A dancer...


It was you!


And Diotima must dance... her hymn of joy.

I can't fasten you to anything! It's all ice!

Vigo... I'd never do anything to harm you!

I've gone with Vigo to conquer the Santo-north face

I can dance no more!

You cannot just walk out in the middle of a performance.

Our ski-master and his friend Vigo...

have not returned from the Santo-north face.

Are there mountaineers among you...? Men who would climb up, through this night, up to Sella cottage, to alert the skiers?

Who among you will climb?

For my sake?

Was one man not enough for you?

Vigo...? He is but a child!

They're all... children.

I am climbing up to the cottage. I will find the way.

But no single man has the strength to lift a body from an overhang.

Sacrificing the comrade - perhaps one's self with him - the greatest dilemma of the mountains.


We drink to the welfare of our absent ski-master.

Nature unleashed!

Cut me free... I can't bear it anymore.

At least save yourself!

Why... why?

How to we reach Mount Santo?

First down to the forest... then over the bridge and up again.

Have you found the bridge?

Losing faith



And with the last of his strength, he holds his friend, long since frozen.

Dawn breaks upon his tormented soul.

A peaceful calm settles upon the frozen world, and upon the soul of Diotima, who at last learns the fate of her beloved.


He has fallen!

He held onto his fallen friend the whole night, and thus sacrificed himself.

Among us, the greatest attribute... is loyalty.

Peace lies upon the eternal sea... silently it spreads, rolling out in broad waves, to soothe the world's suffering and strife.

Above it all looms a Holy Mountain... a symbol of the greatest values than humanity can embrace... fidelity... truth... loyalty... FAITH