6.6/10
288
14 user 7 critic

The Bells (1926)

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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mathias
Caroline Frances Cooke ...
Catharine
...
Jerome Frantz
...
Hans
Eddie Phillips ...
Christian (as Edward Phillips)
Lola Todd ...
Annette
Laura La Varnie ...
Fortune Teller (as Laura Lavarnie)
...
The Mesmerist
...
Jethro Koweski / Baruch Koweski
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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>

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Crime | Drama | Horror

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30 July 1926 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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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 »

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User Reviews

 
Less Than Mesmerising
1 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

My objection to this is not with the story itself, but with the absolute paucity of imagination involved in converting this from play to film.

You can easily count the cinematic moments - the bloody hands, the filter color changes to denote Barrymore's state of mind, the ghostly split-screen compositions...they seem to distract from the 'play' more than they amplify any notions that this is supposed to be a movie. The ideas are not worth studying or seeking out.

I don't give this my lowest rating, which I reserve for those movies that offend in some way. At worst, this is ineffectual.


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