By Rotwang (Sic !) (

Author’s Note... Just looking at pictures of the making of the movie and just wondered if anyone had feelings for her back then ... The robot (Hel) is still my favourite, just considering it was designed in 1926 !!!

Helmut watched as his supervisor walked up to Herr Lang and clacked his heels. "Jawohl ?" The supervisor said in most militaristic fashion. "Just help Herr Mittendorf get the stuff inside, we’ll start shooting a few tests in about two hours." Herr Lang said. "Jawohl !" The supervisor said and turned to Helmut and his colleagues. "You three, help Herr Mittendorf." Helmut nodded and went to one of the main doors of the studio. A small truck was waiting with a man standing by it. Helmut had seen him before. He was Walter Shultze- Mittendorf, a sculptor who worked for the new movie.

"Just unload these, but be careful." Mittendorf said. Helmut grabbed what looked like a wrapped-up tailor’s dummy. It was surprisingly light. After a few minutes all the pieces had been carried over to a corner of the studio, where technicians were prepping up a metal throne on top of pieces of Plexiglas lit from underneath. He also caught sight of a young blonde woman he’d seen before. She was the main actress in the movie apparently. "Ah, Brigitte !" Herr Lang, the director went. "Walter has the costume." He said. She smiled and removed her heavy fur coat. Helmut just had to control his wandering gaze from straying over Brigitte.

Walter took her to a dressing room, motioning Helmut and the others to gather the packages. Helmut gently put it down in a corner and nodded to Mittendorf just before leaving. "Helmut, get these wooden scaffolds over there." The supervisor almost barked at him as he emerged from the dressing room.

Having helped shift the scaffolds and prepped the cameras and lights, Helmut went to sit down and wiped the sweat from his brow when he heard a voice call him. He looked and saw Herr Mittendorf motion him. "Jawohl ?" He said. "Just come and help me here, none of the other staff are around." Mittendorf said. Helmut followed him and looked into the dressing room, distantly expecting to see Frau Helm without clothes on, but instead only saw a metal statue sitting in front of the mirror. "Just hold this." Herr Mittendorf said, pointing out to its head. Getting closer, Helmut could see it was a strange sitting statue of a woman holding onto her face. "Hold here." He mimed holding the forehead. Helmut did so and much to his surprise saw the hands move. He let got of her forehead and it slid off her face and fell onto the ground, shattering into dozens of pieces. "Dummkopf !" Mittendorf yelled. Helmut looked and saw the pretty face of Frau Helm on the statue’s body, reaching to prevent the back half of her mask from falling to the ground. "Lucky for you I made spares !" Mittendorf said, holding up his hand as if he would slap Helmut. "I’m so sorry." He said. Just noticing a sympathetic smile from Frau Helm. "It’s my fault, I’m must’ve startled him, much as you did when I first saw the costume." She said. Helmut sheepishly grinned and excused himself, all the while finding it harder and harder to get his gaze off Frau Helm’s new appearance. "Just take another mask and hold it carefully this time, while I try to fit the hooks." Mittendorf said, sighing his anger away.

"Help me to the door, I can’t see a thing." A muffled voice said behind the mask. Helmut grabbed her arm and guided the metal woman towards the door. From his position he could see her hips sway as she concentrated on walking on the high platforms under her feet. "We’re at the door." He said, and Frau Helm had to strain to move her mask in the right direction to see anything through the pinholes she had for eyes. "Excellent !" Lang shouted when he saw them emerge from the dressing room. "How are you inside ?" "Fine !" Frau Helm answered, holding onto Helmut’s arm. "Let her go !" Lang ordered. "She’ll have to do the scene on her own !" Helmut gently let go and Frau Helm continued in Lang’s direction. Watching her from behind, Helmut watched the graceful lines of her body, the curve of her hips and the bulges at her shoulders, and desperately wished he could sit down to hide his budding erection.

"That wasn’t so bad, was it ?" Lang said, as he took hold of Frau Helm’s hand. He helped her up the sheets Plexiglas and guided her into the throne. Helm turned her head and raised her fingerless hands to her face. "Could we take this off for a moment, my hair is in my eyes." "Walter, help her." Lang said, and Mittendorf removed the hooks in the sides of her head, where what seemed like ears were positioned. Brigitte’s face emerged once more. And Mittendorf just brushed her hair out of her face and pulled it back. "You, young man, make yourself helpful and get something for her hair in the dressing room." Lang said to Helmut, who clacked his heels and rushed into the dressing room.

He looked through the closets and along the table lifted a pair of robot masks and after looking underneath, looked up at the masks. He put one of them down and hesitantly brought it to his face, just after checking if the coast was clear. He pressed the mask to his face and stared at the frozen emotionless reflection. Hearing a noise, he quickly put it down and looked around until he saw a black headband around a dummy head. "Have you found anything ?" The supervisor barked. "Here !" Helmut said, holding up the headband.

For the rest of the day, Lang just experimented with camera angles and lighting, leaving Helmut to wonder at his strange feeling when seeing the mechanical woman and how he felt about poor Frau Helm who had to go through all this. He sensed some delight in Herr Lang as he toyed with her as if she really was an automaton. And he knew how she felt when she could leave that evening without the constricting suit. He looked around and said goodbye to the other stagehands and just paused. Watching them walk off, he looked left and right and made an about-face and walked into the dressing room and hid in a closet.

An hour passed before Helmut dared to exit his hiding place. Everything was dark and he fumbled to find a light switch. And in the blinding light he saw the pieces of the machine-woman, assembled round a sitting dummy. Helmut just gave the chair a quarter turn, so it faced him and undid his suspenders and opened his trousers...

The next morning, Helmut hidden away behind some old sets, woke up to the sound of conversation. Rubbing his sleepy eyes, he saw his fellow stagehands spread through the set. Helmut got up, put on his cap and casually joined them.

He helped during the first day of shooting. Frau Helm and the others, Rudolf Klein-Rogge playing the evil scientist Rotwang, and Alfred Abel, playing Fredersen, the city’s director. The scene was simple. Rogge and Abel would walk up to the machine-woman, called Hel and while Rotwang looked ecstatically proud of himself, Fredersen would look more apprehensive. And then Rotwang would order Hel to life. She slowly got up and took some steps forward. And this scene was repeated, over and over, until Lang felt they had done it right. Helmut felt sorry for Helm who had to sit still for quite and while and when she had to move, had to control herself. He actually could go over the routine after a while...

Rotwang motions... Gently lift your hands from your lap, put them besides you, gently push yourself up and get to your feet. And then starting with the right foot, take five steps forward... Over and over, so many times Helmut felt almost angry.

That evening, Horst von Harbou, Lang’s brother in law came to take pictures of the shooting. And Helmut had to help reposition the Plexiglas in such a way that Herr Harbou could take a 2/3 profile picture of Hel, forcing Frau Helm to pause for several minutes in a hard-to-keep mid-stride pose.

And later that evening, Helmut hid again, waiting for everybody to leave. He wanted to wait another hour, but after half an hour he saw light erupt from an opening door and saw a figure walk towards the dressing room.

He saw a shock of blonde hair and knew she had returned. Had she forgotten something ? He remained in his hiding place, just in case she’d come out too quickly. But time passed and lingered. And, all of a sudden, he heard a curse and something fell and shattered ...

Outlined by the light inside the dressing room, Helmut saw a familiar shape with bulging shoulders. She was only half-dressed and was seemingly looking for something. Standing on the little platforms, she shuffled over to a broom placed against the wall and picked it up. Somehow she lacked the grace she had acquired during the day, Helmut noticed. She was probably very tired.

On tiptoes, he walked up to the door and peeked inside. He saw her struggle with the gauntlets, trying to get in, but it was impossible without help. How would she fix the mask ? He asked himself. He wanted to go to her, at worst she’d have him fired, Helmut thought and got up, gathering his courage. "Frau Helm ?" He said softly trying not to startle her. She looked back and almost dropped the mask. "I didn’t do it ! It was broken when I ..." She rambled, before she realised he wasn’t a guard and he realised she wasn’t Frau Helm. "You ..." They simultaneously said. Helmut laughed and shook his head. "I’m sorry I scared you." She smiled nervously back and reached for the broom to gather up the debris of the bottle she had accidentally knocked over. "Let me help." He said. "I just wanted to ..." She tried to explain. Helmut bowed, but the woman couldn’t. He gathered the largest shards in his hand, leaving her to broom everything together. He held the dustpan for her and dumped the whole thing into a cast-iron bin.

"That takes care of that." He said and dusted his hands. She had started to remove the suit and the two halves of the body swung open and shut as she moved about. "Don’t try to take it off because of me ..." He said. "If you like to try it out ..." She looked up and a flash of light came to her eyes. There was a little shy smile and Helmut put one of the bolts back in place, securing the torso to her body. "You won’t tell anyone ?" She asked. "Not a soul, it’ll be our little secret."

Helmut watched the fully dressed girl. She didn’t have as much practice as Frau Helm, but it was her new appearance. Like a living statue ...

Helmut remembered a book he had read about an early nineteenth century gentleman, who had done his Grand Tour of Europe and had fallen in love with an ancient Greek statue of Artemis. At the time the idea sounded silly, but now, looking at this machine-human - a machine-woman - With a living woman inside he felt the buzz in his mind.

He walked up to him, uncomfortably close. She gazed at him with her staring eyes fixed into her stern metal face and Helmut stared back, his breath increasing. He put his hands on her shoulders and rubbed the sleek roundness, kissing her on the forehead. She quivered and grabbed him. Slowly he would peck the surface of her body and letting her caress him. He began to undo his clothing and rubbed himself against her, while she held her hands to her crotch. They rocked and moaned together, separated from each other, but both aroused to the limit.

They had to be careful not to leave any traces on the suit and Helmut suddenly noticed dawn was breaking. "Quick, they will come soon !" He said and helped her out of her suit as fast as he could.

The costume was barely back in place, that they heard the door being unlocked. They dashed to Helmut’s hiding place and waited for the people to stream in. "By the way, what’s your name ?" "Magda." The girl said. She was a bright young woman with curly blonde hair and brown eyes. "I’m Helmut." He said. Magda looked at him and saw a fit young man with a little fuzz on his lips supposed to be a moustache. She gave him a last kiss and joined the growing crowd.

The shooting of the Hel scenes lasted nine long and exhausting days. Once, Frau Helm had complained the suit felt damp and sticky inside. Helmut remembered the night before and cast a glance at Magda who put up an embarrassed smile.

"Well this is it !" Herr Lang exclaimed as the firemen were putting out the flames of the big bonfire on which Helmut had tied the machine woman. The flames had sootened it a bit, but it was apparently undamaged. Magda, like Helmut felt very anxious. "Get a few men and clean up this mess." The supervisor called Helmut. "Jawohl !" Helmut said and called for a few men.

"What do I do with this ?" Helmut held up the machine-woman, a cloth mannequin inside. "Just put it somewhere for the time being." The supervisor said.

Magda clutched Helmut as they walked away, carrying a large bag. They hoped to blatantly walk out with it, rather than smuggle it out. "Helmut !" A stern voice called out. Helmut and Magda froze. "Here." He said and gave her the bag.

"Come here." The supervisor said. Magda and Helmut walked up to him. "You’ve done a fine job. Herr Lang noticed you and asked you to help with the inundation scenes. You’ll have a small crew under you to build walkways to put the cameras on." Helmut’s smile went beyond anything the supervisor had hoped to see. "By the way, what’s in the bag ?" "Just some old rubbish we gathered from the bonfire. A little free wood … It was a mess anyway." The man watched them for a moment. "Fine."

Back home, Helmut and Magda unpacked the machine-woman and looked at each other. "We did it." Helmut said simply. Magda leaped into the air and landed into his neck. "We did it !"

The film was finally finished and Helmut was promoted supervisor for Herr Lang’s next movie. "Die Frau am Mond."

And then came the years of happiness. Magda transforming herself into an elegant machine almost every day. Helmut had a busy time repairing and altering it slightly to make it a better fit and made special gloves to allow her to pick up things.

Yes, those were happy years …