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 ... See full summary »
Oscar Friedrich Werndorff
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
After reading the Edgar Allen Poe poem, this film seems like an adequate representation of its original moods and feelings. Plus, you've got great talents like Lionel Barrymore and Boris Karloff (even though he has a small role) moving this picture down its macarbe path. So, if you enjoy silent films, this one will probably float your boat. The only complaint I have is in the the 1998 release's choice of music. It seems overly cheesy to be associated with Edgar Allen Poe. Although, the use of silence and sleigh bells adds a lot to the impact of the film. Intriguing with a good pace (plus, it's only 67 minutes, so if you can't sit through long silent films like "Birth of a Nation," then this one is for you.).
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