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The Phantom Carriage (1921)
"Körkarlen" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy | Horror  -  4 June 1922 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 4,388 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 56 critic

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 »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hilda Borgström ...
Tore Svennberg ...
Astrid Holm ...
Concordia Selander ...
Lisa Lundholm ...
Tor Weijden ...
Einar Axelsson ...
David's Brother
Olof Ås ...
Driver
Nils Aréhn ...
Prison Chaplain
Simon Lindstrand ...
David's Companion
Nils Elffors ...
David's Companion
Algot Gunnarsson ...
Worker
Hildur Lithman ...
Worker's wife
John Ekman ...
Police constable
Edit

Storyline

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 Chariot, the one that picks up the souls of the dead... David Holm, one of the three drunkards, dies at the last stroke of midnight... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Körkarlen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2004 TV) | (original release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 15 April 2005 the Norwegian heavy, psychedelic rock-band WE made a live soundtrack to the movie whilst screening it in the atrium at Studentersamfundet in Trondheim. They wore cloaks and the vocalist; Thomas Felberg sang/wailed the written passages in between scenes. See more »

Quotes

David Holm: What can I do? What are the words, the prayer - the words?
David Holm: [prays] A sinner whose lips are stained with wickedness, asks, beseeches - Oh, break me, crush me, only save these three innocent ones!
See more »

Connections

Version of Phantom Carriage (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best movies of all time
7 November 2010 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

This is perhaps among the best movies ever made. If you rent it or buy it, and take the time to see it you will never regret it. If you are tired of reviews, you can stop reading here....now run along and get it.

Based on Nobel laureate Selma Lagerlöfs tale about a carriage driving around on New Years eve, collecting the souls of the dead.The tale is at once a ghost story, a morality and a social statement much like the best of Charles Dickens. The film was made when movies were very young but as with many of those pictures by Lang, Murnau, Wiene and even Stiller, they remain very modern both in language and story. (In those days the best movies were made in Europe; Griffith seems ridiculous compared to this.)

The film was made in heaven by a true genius, Victor Sjöström. By the time he started to dabble with pictures he was an actor employed by the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre. He not only directed the movie, he played one of the main characters and built the backgrounds when needed. To help him along came camera man Julius Janzon and those two created magic much like Orson Welles and Gregg Toland would do on Citizen Kane, later.

If you're not simply captured by the movie, think of this: Janzon double exposed up to x9 to gain the ghost effects; on a hand turned movie camera.

For Sjöström, just to prove his genius, he moved to Hollywood to make a few movies including masterful renditions like "He Who Gets Slapped" with Lon Chaney and "The Scarlet letter" with Lilian Gish. Both are masterpieces and if you see these movies you will recognize Sjöströms mark. Some say he left Hollywood, disappointed, after having seen Stiller been treated bad by Hollywood's "industry". Legend or not, he did leave.

Ingmar Bergman gave Sjöström a tender and loving exit part; a beautiful homage; in his legendary "Wild Strawberries" from 1957. Sjöström played old professor of medicine, Isaac Borg, traveling through Sweden and at the same time through the memories of his life. Wild Strawberries in turn is another legendary film...but that's another story.


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