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John Redmond, the Evangelist (1915)

Evangeliemandens liv (original title)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Valdemar Psilander ...
John Redmond - The Evangelist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Bech ...
Judge
Augusta Blad ...
Mrs. Redmond - John's Mother
Axel Boesen ...
Convict / Party Guest
Else Frölich ...
A Floosy
Alma Hinding ...
Nelly Gray - Seamstress
Frederik Jacobsen ...
Mr. Redmond - Bank Manager
Peter Jørgensen
Svend Kornbeck ...
Ironfist / Charley
Oscar Nielsen
Ingeborg Olsen
Johannes Ring ...
Vicar
Carl Schenstrøm
Robert Schyberg
Birger von Cotta-Schønberg ...
Billy Sanders
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18 February 1915 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

John Redmond, the Evangelist  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Reforming the Sensational
7 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

The opening sequence of Valdemar Psilander "preparing" for his role is pretentious and ridiculous, introducing the overly theatrical performance Psilander gives as an evangelist preacher. From the three films I've seen with him, Psilander seemed an okay actor given film acting at the time, but, here, he falls folly to the common way of pretending to be religious and moral in a film that's supposedly the same, that is, by being stiff and rigid in pseudo-reverence. Apparently, many filmmakers thought muscle tension and lacking vivacity were next to godliness.

Furthermore, the film's pacing is rather slow and meandering (but at least it's only an hour long). The exception to all of this is the beginning of the flashback sequence. The lurid episodes of sex and crime leading to the protagonist's imprisonment and reformation are congruous with the thread of sensational film in Danish silent cinéma. The rest of the film (except for the climax), with its lackluster reverence, is quite opposed to what one expects from the era.

There are also some interesting film techniques here. A zoom and dissolve simultaneously for the transitions around the flashback to the sensational. There's low-key lighting, including a silhouette of a woman undressing. The filmmakers actually stopped filming to add lighting before resuming scenes when the preacher turned on a lamp, seemingly lighting the set by itself. The window that features prominently in these scenes at the preacher's room adds to the overall effectiveness of the mise-en-scène.

(By the way, the timing and execution of that gunshot scene sure was wretched.)


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