T. alt.: Das Bacchanal des Todes oder Das Opfer einer grossen Liebe. Scen.: Carl Schneider. F.: Max Terno. Scgf.: Robert A. Dietrich. Int.: Ellen Richter (Lona), Erich Kaiser-Titz (Alexander Andrea), Werner Krauß, Victor Janson, Marga Köhler, Paul Ludwig, Lia Borré, Marie von Bülow. Prod.: Eichberg-Film 35mm. L.: 734 m (incompleto). D.: 36’ a 18 f/s. Tinted and toned.
The title Das Bacchanal des Todes (Bacchanal of Death) promises a ‘Sensationsdrama’, a film of strong colours, full of violent emotions, thrilling danger, sexy women. Indeed, the rich colours, textures and wonderful light effects provide much visual pleasure even today. Ellen Richter (born Käte Weiss), who plays the dancer Lona, was a true star of silent cinema, now forgotten with all her sixty popular films – none of which did make it into the canon formed by Lotte Eisner. A dark beauty from Hungary, she was often cast as an exotic women named Juanita, Zoraya, Leila or Smaragda Naburian. According to Vittorio Martinelli, her Lola Montez of 1922, directed by her husband and co-producer Dr. Wolff, is a rather good film, and it had been very well-received all over Europe.
Forgotten like Richter, director-producer Richard Eichberg supplied the German-speaking market with well-made action films, thrillers, exotic melodramas and romantic comedies for twenty-five years. Maybe even more importantly, he was an amazing talent scout, launching the careers of Ellen Richter, Lillian Harvey, Martha Eggerth and Hans Albers, some of the most popular stars of German cinema. When Anna May Wong arrived in 1928 in Europe, having fled racism in Hollywood, he engaged her on the spot and directed her in three highly successful films. Only five years later, in 1933, Dr. Wolff was beaten up by German co-citizens in front of a cinema in Berlin, and he and Ellen Richter had to flee Germany.