Die Todeskarawane: The Caravan of Death (Ustad, 1920)

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Die Todeskarawane (The Caravan of Death)

Subtitled, “A film of the southern sun in six chapters”, the film featured Bela Lugosi playing an Arab Sheik pitted against European travellers in an adventure story set in the Sahara. It was the second of three films released by Ustad based on desert adventure novels by Karl May. Although Karl May’s widow praised the film, critics were unimpressed and it was a commercial failure. It is now considered lost.

Cast members Carl de Vogt and Meibhart Maur had previously appeared together in Fritz Lang’s Spiders in 1919. Carl de Vogt also appeared with Conrad Veidt in Der Weg des Todes (The Road of Death) in 1917.


Dora Gerson

Dora Gerson

Actress and cabaret singer Dora Gerson left Germany for the Netherlands in 1936 to escape Nazi persecution of the Jewish population. Following the German occupation of the Netherlands, she and her family tried to flee to neutral Switzerland in 1942, but were captured in the attempt. On St. Valentines Day, 1943, Dora, her husband, Max Sluizer, and their two children, 5-year-old Miriam and 2-year-old Abel, were murdered in Auschwitz.


Production company: Ustad

Producer: Marie Luise Droop

Director: Josef Stein

Cinematographer: Gustave Preiss and Otto Stein

Screenplay: Erwin Báron and Marie Luise Droop (uncredited). Based on the 1892 novel Von Bagdad nach Stambul by Karl May

The film received its official premiere on November 18, 1920 in Dresden, but had already been shown two days previously in Hamburg.


Carl de Vogt: Kara Ben Nemsi

Meinhart Maur: Hadschi Halef Omar/Saduk

Erwin Baron: Omram

Gustav Kirchberg: Hassan Ardschir Mirza

Dora Gerson: Dschana Ardschir Mirza

Cläre Lotto: Benda Ardschir Mirza

Gustav Kirchberg: Hassan Ardschir Mirza

Dora Gerson: Dschana Ardschir Mirza

Cläre Lotto: Benda Ardschir Mirza

Maximilian Werrak: Tschaschefsky

Karl Kuszar: Kepek

Erna Felsneck: Amina

Anna von Palen: Marah Durimeh

Beate Herwigh: Hafsa

Béla Lugosi: Scheik

Arthur Kraußneck: Tschaschefsky

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