Die Spinnen: Das Brillantenschiff
(The Spiders: The Diamond Ship)

Kay Hoog in the old antiquarian's study

Directed by Fritz Lang (1920)


     Carl de Vogt (Kay Hoog)
     Ressel Orla (Lio Sha)
     Rudolf Lettinger (Terry London, diamond magnate)
     Edgar Pauly (Four-Finger John)
     Reiner Steiner (Storm Bird captain)
     Thea Zander (Ellen Terry)

The movie opens with a bird's eye view of the House of Steel. There is a burglary in progress and the robbers are all top-hatted gentlemen. Next we see the evil Lio Sha and a Chinese man ina luxurious room looking at diamonds. They watch from above as more diamonds are brought in by disreputable men to a woman in a downstairs room. A dumb waiter arrives with the diamonds but it does not contain the "lost stone".

Kay Hoog wants revenge against Lio Sha and has arranged a raid on a suspected Spiders house. He parachutes down from a biplane onto the roof while the police break in from below. They must dynamite the doors and kill the Samurai guard. Hoog secretly takes an ivory key from the guard's body. He later studies the diamond ship paper he obtained in Der Goldene See and takes it and the key to an old antiquarian who tells him the key is to a secret underground city beneath Chinatown.

Kay Hoog in the opium den

Kay Hoog enters the secret city guarded by live tigers and sees Lio Sha talking with the captain of the "Storm Bird". He hides in an opium den and overhears her telling the captain that the diamonds from the Steel House heist are useless because they aren't the lost "Buddha-Head" diamond. Kay Hoog is discovered and imprisoned in an underground chamber which is rapidly filling up with water. The rest of this portion of the film is lost.

In India two men are told by a blind Yogha that Terry London's pirate ancester stole the Buddha-headed diamond. We see Hoog being smuggled into the Storm Bird in a luxuriously furnished crate complete with a library, lights and wine. In the radio room he discovers that the legend of the diamond is that the stone was stolen 400 years before and that a princess would return with it to Asia and all of Asia would free itself of foreign tyranny. The captain of the Storm Bird has made a deal to deliver secret documents to England with Lio Sha. She leaves to find Terry London.

At Terry London's home, the butler lets in the gang and they search in vain for the diamond. They then kidnap his daughter Ellen. On the ship, Hoog is discovered and is forced to escape and swim to shore. He sees a notice about the kidnapping and visits Terry London. Kay Hoog finds information that the stone is on the Falkland Islands and discovers that the butler is "Four-Finger John", a member of the Spiders. They offer him a reward and he tells them that Ellen is on the Storm Bird. They lock him up, but while they are gone he sends the Storm Bird a carrier pigeon warning.

Kay Hoog rescuing Ellen Terry

We are next in the Falkland Islands. Hoog finds a cave with the stone and skeletons of the original pirate crew. He is overcome by the Spiders and tied up. During the night the cave fills with poisonous gas and Hoog is able to escape with the diamond.

Back in London, Hoog gives the diamond to Terry Morgan who tells him that Pinkerton's thinks that his daughter is in a trance in a London hotel. Meanwhile, the Storm Bird captain tells the Spider leader that Lio Sha died in the Falklands. They go the hotel and are followed by some Hindus. The Spider Leader says to have a diamond cut to look like the Buddha-head diamond as they have no chance of getting it back from Kay Hoog. The Hindus overhear them and kill them and then Kay Hoog and Terry Morgan attack the Hindus. Ellen Terry is rescued and is revived and remembers nothing of her ordeal and the picture ends.

This is the last of the Spiders serial that was made and the last time that Carl was directed by Fritz Lang or appeared with Ressel Orla. Gilda Langer is credited with appearing in this picture, but either she was edited out or the attributions are wrong. Ressel Orla died of a mysterious lingering disease in 1931 at age 41; Gilda Langer died of influenza in 1920 at age 24.

Copies of this film are available from Kino Video.