The Holy Mountain (1926 film)

The Holy Mountain (German: Der heilige Berg) is a 1926 German mountain film directed by Arnold Fanck and starring Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker and Frida Richard. It was the future filmmaker Riefenstahl's first screen appearance as an actress. Written by Arnold Fanck and Hans Schneeberger, the film is about a dancer who meets and falls in love with an engineer at his cottage in the mountains. After she gives her scarf to one of his friends, the infatuated friend mistakenly believes that she loves him. When the engineer sees her innocently comforting his friend, he mistakenly believes she is betraying him.

The Holy Mountain
German theatrical release poster
Directed byArnold Fanck
Produced byHarry R. Sokal
Written by
Music by
Edited byArnold Fanck
Distributed byUFA
Release date
  • November 1926 (1926-11) (Austria)
  • 17 December 1926 (1926-12-17) (Germany)
Running time
106 minutes
Budget1.5 million RM (equivalent to 5 million 2009 )




The film began production in January 1925, but then was delayed due to weather and hospitalization of three actors.[1]:45–46 The film cost 1.5 million reichsmarks to produce (equivalent to 5 million 2009 euros), and was released during the 1926 Christmas season.[2]


Popular in Berlin, where sold out performances extended its premiere run for five weeks, it was also screened in Britain, France and US: the first international success of its director.[1] :46, 48 Some critics were not impressed with the film, one of the most expensive efforts released by the German studio UFA in a year which was otherwise marked by a policy of retrenchment and the departure of respected studio head Erich Pommer. The film was compared unfavourably with the much less costly Madame Wants No Children directed by Alexander Korda.[2]


  1. Bach, Steven (2007) Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl NY: Alfred A. Knopf ISBN 978-0-375-40400-9
  2. Hardt p. 118.
  • Hinton, David B. (2000) The Films of Leni Riefenstahl Scarecrow Press ISBN 978-1-4616-3506-2 pg 4–6.
  • Hardt, Ursula. From Caligari to California: Erich Pommer's life in the International Film Wars. Berghahn Books, 1996.
  • Riefenstahl, Leni (1995) A Memoir NY Picador-USA ISBN 978-0-312-11926-3 pg 45–59.
  • Fanck, Arnold (1973) Er führte Regie mit Gletschern, Stürmen und Lawinen. Ein Filmpionier erzählt München: Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung ISBN 978-3-485-01756-5
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