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A young man of society wants to make an expedition to Africa, but his fiancée asks him for help about one of her fathers guests shortly before his planed departure. Her suspects about that guest were serious, this man tries to steal one of her fathers rubin, and she and her fiance are kidnapped and brought to a house, where strange things happen. The whole thing becomes a nightmare under the direction of a mysterious Mr. Satan. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Once thought lost, this film lives up to its reputation
A young man longing for adventure end up in the middle of a robbery and trapped in castle like home where some very strange people are wandering about. It all builds as all the "old dark house" conventions are played up to the max before it ends in a manner that is both logically right and completely wrong. I dare not say anything else since this is such fun to watch.
Benjamin Christensen's Seven Footprints to Satan was thought lost for years. During that time it gained a reputation as one of the great films. Thankfully the re-emergence of an Italian titled print proves that Christensen had indeed made what is probably one of the greatest "old dark house" thrillers ever made.
This movie is a blast. There are hooded villains, sliding panels, dwarfs,half humans, gorillas, weirdly shaped people and a sense of fun lacking from many movies of this type. Its a damn near perfect blueprint of how to make a movie like this. The film is also an absolute masterpiece of the directors art. I've never/rarely seen a film that is such a marriage of image and story with camera moves that pure genius. This is a film to study if you want to see how to make a movie.
The movie as it stands has two problems. First the title cards are in Italian, which makes watching it difficult if you don't read the language. I don't. Only after reading a synopsis of the entire plot was I able to really enjoy the madness that was going on on screen. The other problem is that this film is silent. I had always thought it was purely a silent film, however the entries on IMDb and my watching of the film make me think that perhaps part of this was indeed sound. There are sequences that contain a great deal of on screen talking and very little titling which lead me to think there once was more to this film than there is now.
See this movie. This is a masterpiece. Its also a lot of fun.
Now if someone like Criterion or Kino could get their hands on this and set about restoring it we'd all be so much richer.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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