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Temptations of a Great City (1911)

Ved Fængslets Port (original title)
A man who is used to depending on his mother to solve his financial debts becomes involved with the daughter of a lender.

Director:

August Blom
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Cast

Credited cast:
Valdemar Psilander ... Aage Hellertz
Clara Pontoppidan ... Anna Hansen (as Clara Wieth)
Augusta Blad Augusta Blad ... Metha Hellertz - Widow
Holger Hofmann Holger Hofmann ... Hansen - Waiter
Richard Christensen Richard Christensen ... Bruun
H.C. Nielsen H.C. Nielsen ... Block
Thora Meincke Thora Meincke ... Stella - Vaudeville Singer
Gudrun Bruun Stephensen Gudrun Bruun Stephensen ... Didi - Vaudeville Singer
Frederik Jacobsen Frederik Jacobsen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elna From Elna From
Julie Henriksen Julie Henriksen ... Maid
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Storyline

A man who is used to depending on his mother to solve his financial debts becomes involved with the daughter of a lender.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | bracelet | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish

Release Date:

July 1911 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Temptations of a Great City See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nordisk Film Kompagni See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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User Reviews

 
Putting in Scene
7 May 2005 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

As evidenced by this film, Danish filmmakers didn't always give much attention to a film's story. I was left with much to infer here. Valdemar Psilander, the major Danish star of the era beside Asta Nielsen, plays a son whose relationship with his mother suffers due to his playboy pursuits and resulting debts. He also becomes romantically involved with his lender's daughter. Anyhow, the story isn't so important, or interesting. Neither is Psilander, although he does seem natural compared to the theatrics of the actress playing his mother.

Of more interest is the attention to mise-en-scène instead of story, plot, editing or camera movement (none of which were very well developed at this time in film history anyway). Nordisk's production values are quite good for the time, which is to be expected, as they were a dominant film producing company then. For the most part, scenes are long takes--keeping cuts to a minimum. Director August Blom fills scenes with multiple, eye darting, actions, such as at the restaurant. That's from the theatre. More principle to cinema is the mirror motif and low-key lighting. The mirror in the room of several scenes between the mother and her son often serves to show off-screen action, so, for example, we see the son is entering the room before he appears in the shot beside his mother. This allows for less crosscutting. There is one scene with stark low-key lighting (which also features a mirror), a now prevalent film technique, which was probably first to be found prominently in Danish cinema. So, in, primarily, America, one can see the first important stages in dissecting a scene, while Danish filmmakers worked on putting in scene.


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