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 ... See full summary »
Terje Vigen, a sailor, suffers the loss of his family through the cruelty of another man. Years later, when his enemy's family finds itself dependent on Terje's beneficence, Terje must ... See full summary »
[For 9 minute surviving fragment] Lucian, a soldier in Paris, is to ship out for Algiers at 9 that evening. He stops by for a last meal with his love, Marianne. He may be worried that when ... See full summary »
Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »
Helga is a young single lady who has a baby by a much older married man. After the older man tells Helga's father that he refuses to pay child support because he isn't the child's father, ... See full summary »
Classic Swedish film represents a direction later film making could effectively have followed.
It is extraordinary that this amazing film is not repeatedly shown. It is possibly the best demonstration of the genius (not an assessment to make casually) of Sjöstrom - with David Griffiths, the first person to demonstrate his brilliance by making films.
The film's aware mix of the naive vision of the ancestors sitting in the lodge in heaven, which Sjöstrom's character reaches by climbing a ladder to the clouds, and the grim, realist material of the unfaithful wife's child, alone would make it outstanding but finding this at a stage where it had virtually nothing in the way of antecedent is staggering.
Modern prints may not do justice to the sophistication of the film making. The performances do survive un-dimmed. Curious that Sjöstrom was able to take his mastery to Hollywood when the Scandinavian industry faltered but not to survive the challenge of sound - something which remains a mystery that could stand investigation.
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