Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (whom Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
A household gardener is outside watering the garden. Unknown to him, the son of another servant sneaks up behind him and steps on the hose, stopping the flow of water. The befuddled ... See full summary »
Max accepts a wager that he cannot remain in a haunted castle for one hour (11 PM to midnight) without crying for help. As soon as he arrives he encounters strange and nightmarish visions, ... See full summary »
The titles tell us this film is based on an incident in the Boxer Rebellion. A man tries to defend a woman and a large house against Chinese attackers. They attack with swords, guns, and ... See full summary »
This is altogether a remarkable picture and of very fine photographic value. It shows a picturesque country road, down which comes a two-seated automobile carrying four people. As the ... See full summary »
Sherlock Holmes enters his drawing room to find it being burgled, but on confronting the villain is surprised when the latter disappears. Holmes initially attempts to ignore the event by ... See full summary »
It’s ironic that, of Gance’s more celebrated Silent work, this should be the one I watch first: it’s a one-reel short about a mad scientist – hence its inclusion in the “Horror Challenge”, though the tone throughout is distinctly comical! The titular figure is played by Albert Dieudonne – later the incarnation of Napoleon in the director’s eponymous epic of 1927 – and who’s fitted here with an exaggerated domed head, which he finally shelters inside a cage!
Even so, its raison d’etre is Gance’s use of the wide-angle lens in depicting the disorientating effect on people when subjected to a drug (in the form of dust particles) concocted by the protagonist. However, this gimmick – which actually prevents one from following what’s going on! – is kept up for an inordinate length of time: consequently, even at a mere 10 minutes, the gimmick outstays its welcome…
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