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In one of the most eclectic films of the German silent era, Murnau broke away from the dark foreboding dramas for which he was known to explore the realm of light comedy. Working from a screenplay by Thea von Harbou, Murnau crafted a playful espionage thriller. Harry Liedtke stars as a "benevolent dictator" who must preserve the tiny nation of Abacco by fending off creditors, wooing a wealthy Russian princess (Mady Christians), and evading a band of demonic conspirators (including Max Schreck).