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 »
It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom ... 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 »
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »
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Carl Theodor Dreyer
A Cashier in a bank in a small German town is alerted to the power of money by the visit of a rich Italian lady. He embezzles 60, 000 Marks and leaves for the capital city, where he ... See full summary »
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Victor Sjöström directed "Secret of the Monastery". While his name is pretty much forgotten today, in his day he was a hugely successful actor and director. Decades later, he played the aging professor in Ingmar Bergman's exceptional film "Wild Strawberries". This is about the best film I've seen that he's made--and he's made some very nice ones.
The film appears to be set about the beginning of the 17th century judging by the costumes. Two travelers seek shelter for the night as a monastery. They are very impressed by the place and the welcome they have received and tell the monk who is attending them. Instead of saying a simple you're welcome, the man flies into a rage and storms out of the room. Moments later he returns to apologize. He also tells him the sad story about the founding of this monastery.
It seems that some time ago, a rich guy lived here with his young wife and child. He was quite happy--blissfully unaware that his wife was cheating on him. However, she was sly because even when he caught her, he was ready to believe her lies. Ultimately, this affair, her lies and his wrath all culminated, somehow, in the founding of this holy place. How you might ask...see the film for yourself!
The best things about the film are the direction and the intensity of the story--a story which pulls no punches. As far as the direction goes, the acting is all realistic and not the least bit exaggerated like some silents. The story also maintains a nice mood and concisely tells the story. Overall, I'd say this is one of the best silent movies of the age that you can see today. Excellent in every way and well worth seeing. And, if you are interested, it's in the public domain and be downloaded for free at archive.org.
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