During a dinner, given by a wealthy baron and his wive, attended by four of her suitors in a 19th century German manor, a shadow-player rescues the marriage by giving all the guests a ... See full summary »
A scene from The Bells (1926) is optically reprinted and edited to Michael Gordon¹s 7 minute composition. A meditation on the fleeting nature of life and love, as seen through the roiling emulsion of an film.
Mathias, an Alsatian innkeeper, murders a rich Pole staying at his inn But Mathias' conscience will not let him rest, and the murdered man's spirit drives the innkeeper nearly mad. The victim's brother calls for an inquest and brings with him a sideshow mesmerist supposedly able to read minds. Mathias, as burgomaster, is called upon to conduct the inquest, but under the intuitive eye of the mesmerist cannot resist torment of his own conscience. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Immediate inspiration for the Sept. 1926 film seems to have been the April 1926 New York stage adaptation (one of many). On Broadway that April, director Rollo Lloyd also acted the lead role of Mathias (played by Lionel Barrymore's in the film) and Edward Loeffler played the mesmerist (Boris Karloff in the film). J.M. Kerrigan (later seen in a number of John Ford films) on Broadway '26 played Father Walter. See more »
I'm taking an interest in silent horror films at the moment, so far I have seen this film and Nosferatu. Nosferatu is of cause much better, with a real style and sense of horror. This movie is rather dull and boring in places although it does have points of note. The starting of the film is good introducing all the characters and the setting, but then it takes a little while to get into the plot. The murder and the lead up to it is another high point, with a good use of tinting to show where things are turning bad. The use of the sleigh bells is important to outline the bells the innkeeper is haunted by. The ending is rather short and rather unsatisfying with not enough explanation of what happens at the end. Overall not bad but not really more than average.
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