Directed by Fritz Lang (1919)
Carl de Vogt (Kay Hoog)
Ressel Orla (Lio Sha)
Lil Dagover (Naela)
Georg John (Dr. Telphas)
A marooned explorer throws a bottle into the ocean and then is shot with an arrow. At the Standard Club of San Franciso, a party is being held before the next day's Golden Trophy for yacht racing. Kay Hoog, who "lives only for sport" shows up with the contents of the bottle which he has found in the ocean and announces that it gives the coordinates of a hidden Incan city with a miraculous gold mine under a "Golden Lake". Hoog announces that he is off to find the treasure. The spy Lio Sha is at the party and is unsuccessful in getting a look at the map. That night, Hoog is attacked and drugged in his home and the map is stolen. A large spider is left at the scene to identify the Spiders gang with the message not to interfere with their plans.
Next we see a secret meeting chamber of top-hatted "Spiders" guarded by an oriental swordsman. Lio Sha has told Dr. Telphas to convene the meeting and to tell the members that they must give money to mount an expedition to get the gold from the Incas. Lio Sha watches them from a secret spy hole from the floor above.
Kay Hoog and Dr. Telphas and Lio Sha are all on the same train bound for the Andes. On the journey, Hoog meets an old friend who is in charge of meteorological balloons that fly over the Andes. Upon arrival, Hoog goes to look at the balloon while Lio Sha and Dr. Telphas go to a local bar and recruit cowboys to help them find the gold mine under the golden sea. Kay Hoog passes the bar and sees Lio Sha and sneaks in and disarms her and the doctor. He then stages a daring escape from a second floor window. A mounted chase continues with Hoog reaching the balloon and flying away.
From the balloon, Hoog sees the hidden Incan city and parachutes down just in time to save the Sun Princess Naela from being attacked by a 20 foot python. Naela flees and Hoog discovers the entrance to the hidden city. Meanwhile, the Spiders mount an expedition to the Incan City and bemoan the fact that while in the bar, Hoog stole Lio Sha's plans for looting a diamond ship.
The Incans have decided to offer up a live sacrifice to the Sun God, and it turns out to be Lio Sha who has been captured. Naela takes Hoog to the gold mine under the Golden Lake, while the Spiders gang finds the entrance to the hidden city. A grand melee erupts at the sacrifice with everyone attacking everyone else. The Spiders and Kay Hoog and Naela run to the gold mine, where the Holy Candles have been lit. Naela tells Hoog that they cause madness, and they escape through a waterfall to the Golden Lake. The Spiders go mad and drown each other trying to possess all the gold. Kay Hoog and Naela are rescued by a passing ship.
Weeks later in San Francisco Lio Sha turns up at Kay Hoog's home. She demands the diamond ship map, but Hoog tells her he has given it to the authorities. She professes her love for him, but he spurns her and tells her it is Naela he loves. Lio Sha warns him that he will regret his actions. Later on Kay Hoog gets called to the city. When he returns he finds Naela dead on the lawn with a huge spider by her side. He vows vengeance against Lio Sha.
For many years, this was considered a "lost" movie. Then in 1978 a copy showed up in South America. Parts of this movie were shot at the Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg. Originally Fritz Lang envisioned the story in four parts, with Part I being Der Goldene See, Part II as The Diamond Ship, Part III as The Secret of the Sphinx and Part IV as For Asia's Imperial Crown. Only the first two parts were ever filmed. Fritz Lang directed Carl in Die Frau Mit Den Orchideen (assuming the movie was actually made), Halbblut, and Der Herr Der Liebe. Carl previously appeared with Ressel Orla in Halbblut.
Copies of this film are available from Kino Video.