Desire (Sehnsucht) (Lost F.W Murnau Silent Film, 1921)

From The Lost Media Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Lmwtan cleanup.png

This article has been tagged as Needing work due to its poor writing and improper formatting.

Desire poster2.jpg

Poster for Desire (1921)

Status: Lost

Tags: conrad veidt german film horror horror film lost film lost silent film silent film 1921 f.w murnau

Desire (or Sehnsucht in German) is a silent German horror film directed by F.W Murnau (Most famous for directing the films Nosferatu and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans) released in February 1921.

The film starred Conrad Veidt in a leading role, alongside Gussy Holl and Margarete Schlegel.

The film's crew may have included screenwriter Carl Heinz Jarosy, cinematography by Carl Hoffman and Robert Neppach as Art Director (however this is mostly unconfirmed).

The film was likely produced by Mosch-Film and was distributed by Lipow Film [1]

The film would have had German intertitles throughout the film similar to those seen in other silent films from the era.

The film goes by different names depending on the region; being known as Nostalgia in Italy, Desire in the USA, Sehnsucht or Bajazzo in Germany and Longning in some other areas [2] [3]

Plot Synopsis

Ivan (Conrad Veidt), a poor Russian student, lives in Switzerland, studying either art or dancing. He is unexpectedly invited to Russia by a distant relative, Princess Wirsky (Gussy Holl?).

He longs to accept the invite and return home, however he does not have the funds required to make such a journey. Therefore, to help finance the trip, he takes on work as a messenger for revolutionaries (or nihilists, depending on the source) who want to depose Grand Duke Wirsky.

In Moscow, he delivers the message and falls in love with Marja (Margarete Schlegel), the daughter of the revolutionary, but Marja’s father loves Princess Wirsky and wants to betray the revolutionaries. The princess falls in love with Ivan, and jealously deports Marja to Siberia. In revenge, Ivan strangles the princess. He spends the rest of his life yearning for Marja, whom he has never kissed. When he receives the news of Marja’s death, he commits suicide. [4] [5]


Cast Member Character Name
Conrad Veidt Ivan
Gussy Holl Drand Duchess
Margarete Schlegel Marja
Ellen Bolan Dancer
Eugen Klöpfer Unknown Role
Paul Graetz Unknown Role
Helene Gray Unknown Role
Danny Gürtler Unknown Role
Albert Bennefeld Unknown Role
Marcela Gremo Unknown Role
Hubert von Meyerinck Unknown Role


Cast Member Character Name
Director F.W Murnau
Writer Carl Heinz Jarosy
Cinematography Carl Hoffmann
Art Direction Robert Neppach



  1. BFI Entry (Sehnscucht)
  2. SilentEra
  3. The book which SilentEra cite as their reference for much of their information on the film, I can't find a copy online to check though
  4. Movie Database Synopsis
  5. Murnau by Lotte H. Eisner Page 130 has a short entry on the film, backed up by Gussy Holl