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


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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:
Shadow play 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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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Shadow play, 4 October 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

I shudder to think what might have been of the German school if Caligari and Nosferatu had been among the lost films. There's just not a whole lot that has reached us from this movement, much less truly great works. Recently restored by the Murnau foundation, this is meant to be one of the most evocative ones, a great title we had been missing.

Most of it passes with little notice, a night of erotic angst, rivalry and a marriage falling apart with the lavish mansion of a baron as the stage of the theater. The prospective lovers feign and thrust, eventually really thrust; we get to see this in shadows. Shadows, a nocturnal hallucination as the title goes. It's the arrival of a shadow-player that is the most intriguing here. Oh, eventually his magick tricks were all serving a benign purpose, domestic bliss is salvaged from desire most foul, the soul restored into proper order.

The trick is that he gives the parties involved a vision of what might unfold, the dangers involved. His small audience wakes up from the cinematic illusion dazzled, baffled, rubbing their eyes with disbelief. And we pull further back in the final shot to see curtains falling on this level that we experienced as reality.

Is everything inside the nested story so artificial because it was the times still inflected by theater, or because the shadow play is inherently artificial? Is the shadow player the protagonist himself, made from his mirrored image, and so conjuring for himself a wish-fulfillment illusion where everything is made alright?

If you were looking to come to this for German expressionism, you might want to reconsider. There is a great shot of the illusionist pushing back, elongating the shadows of his players. But it's serving and is part of the great self-referential tradition of cinema, films about the illusion of watching films.

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