MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 31,378 this week

The Bells (1926)

 |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  30 July 1926 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 238 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 6 critic

An innkeeper murders a wealthy guest to pay off his debt, but his conscience will not allow him to get away with the crime so easily.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 240 titles
created 14 Jan 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 04 May 2013
 
a list of 194 titles
created 12 Aug 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Bells" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Bells (1926)

The Bells (1926) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Bells.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Blackbird (1926)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Owen Moore, Renée Adorée
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »

Director: Henrik Galeen
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Elizza La Porta, Fritz Alberti
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni
Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Bill Morrison
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil... See full summary »

Directors: Clarence Brown, Maurice Tourneur
Stars: Wallace Beery, Barbara Bedford, Alan Roscoe
The Penalty (1920)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A deformed criminal mastermind plans to loot the city of San Francisco as well as revenge himself on the doctor who mistakenly amputated his legs.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Charles Clary, Doris Pawn, Jim Mason
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, in hopes of freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall
The Monster (1925)
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A meek clerk who doubles as an amateur detective investigates some very strange goings-on at a remote mental sanitarium.

Director: Roland West
Stars: Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The devil takes Maciste down to hell in an attempt to corrupt and ruin his morality.

Director: Guido Brignone
Stars: Bartolomeo Pagano, Elena Sangro, Lucia Zanussi
Noidan kirot (1927)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Teuvo Puro
Stars: Einar Rinne, Heidi Blåfield, Irmeli Viherjuuri
Short | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Victorian London the esteemed Dr. Pyckle uses himself as a guinea pig when he experiments with a new drug that changes him into a compulsive prankster.

Directors: Scott Pembroke, Joe Rock
Stars: Stan Laurel, Julie Leonard, Pete the Dog
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Caroline Frances Cooke ...
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Lorimer Johnston ...
Eddie Phillips ...
Christian (as Edward Phillips)
Lola Todd ...
Laura La Varnie ...
Fortune Teller (as Laura Lavarnie)
...
E. Alyn Warren ...
Jethro Koweski / Baruch Koweski
Edit

Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

remake | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Horror

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1926 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Edited into Light Is Calling (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Competent Rather Than Great
3 February 2008 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Although more than one promoter has been quick to exploit the idea that THE BELLS was inspired by the 1848 Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name, nothing could be further from the truth. Originally created in 1867 as LE JUIF POLONAIS by the incredibly prolific French dramatists Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrain, it was translated, adapted, and re-titled THE BELLS by English playwright Leopold Lewis. Actor Henry Irving's 1871 performance as Mathais was a sensation on the English stage, and in consequence the play was widely performed in the Victorian era.

As the 20th Century began, the stage version of THE BELLS was still so well-remembered that it was adapted to the silent screen at least six times. Little, if any, information is available about these adaptations--with a single exception: the 1926 film starring Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954), brother of stars John and Ethel Barrymore and a noted artist in his own right.

Modern audiences will likely find the story clunky and obvious, but in 1926 it, like the original stage version, was considered a great shocker. Mathais (Barrymore) is an inn-keeper who is in debt to the sinister Gustav von Seyffertitz (Jerome Frantz), who seeks to leverage Mathais' inability to pay into a marriage with Mathais' daughter Annette (Lola Todd.) In order to pay off the debt and secure his bid for the position of burgomeister, Maithas kills and robs a wealthy merchant who stops at the inn on Christmas--and is thereafter tormented by his own guilt and most particularly by the sound of bells, which recall the sleigh bells his victim held when killed.

Today the film is best known for Boris Karloff, who appears in the small but distinctly creepy role of "The Mesmerist;" even so, it is really Lionel Barrymore who endows the thing with interest. Acting styles of the early silent era tended to be very broad, and THE BELLS OFFERS scope for a great deal of scenery chewing, but Barrymore is comparatively restrained in his approach and the entire cast follows suit. In this sense, the film is quite watchable. At the same time, however, the story has been reworked so many times that even here it feels excessively old fashioned and slightly tired.

The print offered here is hardly pristine, but it is very good, and the score is also very well done. The DVD presents a short 1922 French film fantasy, THE CRAZY RAY, which is mildly entertaining as well. But for all the history and celebrated names involved, THE BELLS is a competent film rather than a good or great one, and its appeal will be largely confined to hardcore silent movie fans. Recommended to them.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer Comment | Permalink


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why DVD only 68m gnok2002
Discuss The Bells (1926) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?