- Carl Raddatz: Albrecht
- Irene von Meyendorff: Octavia
- Kristina Söderbaum: Ael
- Franz Schafheitlin: Mathias
- Ernst Stahl - Nachbaur: Sanitätsrat Terboven
- Otto Tressler: Senator Froben
- Ludwig Schmitz: Büttenredner
- Paul Bildt: notary
- Anne Marie Steinsieck: Woman Froben
- Edgar Pauly: Servant
Albrecht returns after three years of a sea voyage that led him to Japan, to Hamburg. According to the wishes of the family he should Octavia, his uncle 's daughter married. Set on a waterfront property on the Elbe. Albrecht has a hard time to acclimate to civilian life. Can Symptomatic of this is a scene in which the family on Sunday morning with closed shutters prefer the Dionysian dithyramb The sun sinks from Friedrich Nietzsche contend, as - open the windows and let in the so beautiful shining sun - in Albrechts words. He learns that living in the neighboring Villa Ael Flodéen - a woman from the north, who spends her summer in Hamburg - know and rides with her frequently. Ael falls in love with Albrecht, what this is not initially aware. Octavia accepts the friendship of the two.
Albrecht marries Octavia and goes with her and his friend Mathias to Dusseldorf. In a carnival event Octavia notes finally that the Rhenish mentality does not fit to her. The couple moved back to Hamburg, where Ael with a terminal illness can not leave her bed. Albrecht daily rides past her house and greets her dumb from the distance. Ael draws on that new forces, and the common rides begin again. Octavia, which now can no longer deny their jealousy, finds out that Ael has a daughter, whom she has placed in the Hamburg harbor area.
As erupts in the city of typhoid, Ael Albrecht asks to bring her daughter. He rescues the child, however, to put himself with the disease and comes to a quarantine station to the hospital. Ael is in her villa dying and knows nothing, she waits in vain for the riding past Albrechts. Octavia opts for a " sacrifice " and assumes the role of Albrecht as a rider to her husband to prove their sincere love. Ael dies delirious, but happy. Albrecht becomes healthy again.
After Ael and Albrecht are ridden for the first time, expect the doctor Ael and exhorted them to take care of themselves. After the fade can be seen briefly briefly kiss a sailboat on a lake - a cut - and sees Octavia and Albrecht. In the intervening scene that are no longer included in the current versions / copies, the following takes place: You can see Raddatz and Schafheitlin on a sailboat ( rear projection Wannsee should probably be Alster ) talk about Octavia, who they probably more like / love, with the realization that Raddatz want to ask them if ( "right blend " to shag bedroom of Octavia ) they want to marry him: ( close-up ) v. Meyendorff who accepts the marriage proposal, and then cut " also none of arm length may more between us " ......
Length exactly 2:20 minutes.
Christoph Schlingensief's film " Mother's Mask" (1988 ) is a free adaptation of " sacrifice ".
- Dirk Jasper film encyclopedia: " A moving melodrama about the power of a great love - a classic Kristina Söderbaum role. "
- Lexicon of international film: " In developed atmospheric images literary adaptation with good performers; in psychological drawing of the noble sentiments superficial and overly melodramatic. "