IMDb > Warning Shadows (1923)

Warning Shadows (1923) More at IMDbPro »Schatten - Eine nächtliche Halluzination (original title)


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Down 28% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
5 September 1924 (France) See more »
A wealthy man invites the local wealthy bachelors over for a puppet show about men who covet another man's wife. The puppeteer is actually a witch and gives the men nightmares about what could happen if they date the lady of the house. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
German over-expressionism? See more (14 total) »



Alexander Granach ... Shadowplayer
Max Gülstorff ... 2. Kavalier
Lilli Herder ... Dienstmaedchen

Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Fritz Kortner ... The count
Karl Platen ... 2. Diener
Fritz Rasp ... Diener
Eugen Rex ... A servant
Ferdinand von Alten ... 3. Kavalier

Gustav von Wangenheim ... Her lover
Ruth Weyher ... His wife
Heinrich Gotho ... Violinist (uncredited)

Directed by
Arthur Robison 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Arthur Robison 
Rudolf Schneider 

Produced by
Enrico Dieckmann .... producer
Willy Seibold .... producer
Original Music by
Ernst Riege 
Cinematography by
Fritz Arno Wagner 
Art Direction by
Albin Grau 
Costume Design by
Albin Grau 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Schatten - Eine nächtliche Halluzination" - Germany (original title)
See more »
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Continuity: When the ShadowPlayer asks the servant (Fritz Rasp) to get the sheet for his shadow show, he pulls off the middle button on the left side of his vest. For the remainder of the movie, the button is back on.See more »


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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
German over-expressionism?, 4 February 2014
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Have you ever gone to a country where you don't know the language and sat and listened to what was going on around you? If so, then you might have some idea what it's like watching "Warning Shadows". All sorts of things happen on the screen but the viewer is left wondering what this all means--and there is no explanation nor context nor any intertitle cards explaining anything. While I noticed a lot of people gave this one 9s and 10s, I just can't see it as the film seemed boring and incomprehensible.

Normally in a review I talk a bit about the plot, but in this one I have no idea WHAT is going on. There are a lot of men wearing early 19th century clothing and they all hang about a woman in a strange mansion. Periodically, they amuse themselves with shadow plays projected on sheets. What else is occurring? I dunno.

"Warning Shadows" has been described as an example of German Expressionism--the same odd sort of style typified in "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". However, "The Cabinet" is a wonderful film and uses it's odd surreal look to the fullest. Here in "Warning Shadows" the sets just come off as simple or cheap. Additionally, I'd prefer to think of it as German OVER-expressionism because the acting is so overdone. Characters roll their eyes, stare and make a billion and one expressions using their eyes as well as wildly gesticulating to show emotions. Arty? I dunno--it just looks bad.

Aside from some nice costumes, I cannot find much of anything to admire about this film. While I have seen and reviewed hundreds (if not thousands) of silents and greatly appreciate them, this film seems like an artsy-fartsy mess--and a dull one to boot.

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