The best-known film adaptation of the Norse legend of Siegfried was Fritz Lang's spectacular two-parter of the early '20s. But long before Lang even became a director, the saga of Siegfried was being committed to film by Italian filmmaker Mario Caserini. His 1912 epic Siegfried was curiously held from release in the United States for nearly three years, by which time it must have seemed terribly primitive to an audience weaned on the home-grown spectacles of D.W. Griffith and Thomas Ince. As usual, Caserini handled his legions of extras with skill and dexterity, but according to contemporary reviews, he was less successful in matching the exterior and interior sequences. Likewise, the climactic duel a mort between Siegfried and Hagan was a disappointment, with the villain crumbling to the ground after only the lightest of "love taps" on his shoulder.
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