John Redmond is a "long-haired" youngster who belongs to a wealthy family. But due to the fact that he likes very much to live an extravagant life amidst bad company (the 20's also had those kind of people ), he spoils his life. A victim of a dirty trick by one of his supposed friends, he goes to prison for a crime he never committed. It will be there, thanks to the prison's clergyman, that Herr Redmond finally is able to get back his well-mannered life. Thanks to newfound faith, he becomes a clergyman too - preaching the gospel and using his life as a bad example. In this way, he helps the poor people who live a more miserable life accustomed as they are to the slums rather than his elegant districts.
"Evangeliemandens Liv" is a "Nordisk" film production filmed by the efficient and versatile Danish director, Holger-Madsen. It is a terrible fact that he is an unknown film director even amongst silent film fans. That's because Herrr Holger-Madsen was a film technique pioneer, thus endowing his films with a peculiar and innovative style for the time. In making his production he had in his service one of Denmark's greatest film stars - Valdemar Psilander - fair and perfect in his role as a dilettante on his way to becoming a self-sacrificing clergyman.
The film is an elegant and efficient film production although it lacks emotion in the development of the story; it's an excessively correct film, or "politically correct" as today's long-haired say nowadays. For that reason, the spectator especially celebrates the chance to see two of the alternative ending scenes of the film distributed for the Russian and Swedish film markets.
The Danish version ends with Herr Redmond and a youngster who has been reconverted to a decent life thanks to the faith of the clergyman, rushing into the squalor room of the youngster's wife in the nick of time to prevent her suicide as she tries to hang herself, tired of living a sad existence without any hope.
The Russian version ends with the girl achieving her aim - that is, hanging herself in the room well, it's a notorious fact, with little exaggeration, how inhuman the communists can be
Cold as death are the Swedish but less brutal than the Russians. So in their version the girl is saved "in extremis" thanks to the clergyman and her husband. They get her down with the rope still around her neck from the ceiling, but fortunately and thanks to their first aid, the girl recovers easily and is able to resume her miserable existence
These three different endings endow the final part of the film with varying emotional and dramatic quality for a story too predictable in its intent to serve as a cautionary story.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count is waiting for his personal confessor, hoping both of us will redeem our sins thanks to Porto's wine.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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