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A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they flee and become two of the many outlaws of Iceland's mountains. Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
I have waited for years to see this film and finally caught it on Youtube - in excellent condition. It was definitely worth the wait! The film was made in 1918, a time when most cinema consisted of small segments of celluloid patched together with the standard melodramatic or comedic situations, clumsily filmed indoors on make-shift sets. This is absolutely nothing of the kind although it took Hollywood what seemed an eternity to figure out that a movie could, indeed, be shot out in the open with great success. Several reviewers have mentioned some sort of connection with early Westerns made by directors of little artistic talent and less scope. Actually, this film has nothing whatsoever to deal with standard plots with famous actors. The plot is extremely simple, as it should be in this case, and all - virtually all
of the over-the-board overacting and the theatrical motions and
over-emotions suppressed, with natural gestures replacing them in natural settings...and what beautiful settings they are! No, there aren't any tied-together happy ends around and little to titillate the audience, villains with mustaches or any of the standard American clichés here. The film is Scandinavian, filmed and acted by Scandinavians, shot in North Sweden far, far away from the ole corral. I don't know how well the director, Victor Sjostrom, was acquainted with American cinema at the time - there wasn't really much of anything of much value going except from Griffith and one or two others, but the film borrows nothing and invents everything for its own uses. The cinema up there created a universe of its own, albeit a harsh one. Bergman would follow fifty years later. This was a welcome hour or so spent in the company of people who made some astoundingly good films and this is certainly one of them.
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