Original title: L'Inferno
- 1h 11m
Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.
The world's first (non-Aussie) feature film still packs a punch
When did this film first make its appearance in America? The notes in the DVD say that the film was not widely released until after the First World War, but I've found the following quote in "The Warner Bros. Story" by Clive Hirschhorn, telling what the Warner brothers did after Edison's infamous Trust had "persuaded" them to sell their film exchange business, which would have been in 1911 or 1912, "It was only a matter of months, however, before Sam Warner returned from a trip to New York having bought the rights for a five-reeler called Dante's Inferno based on the famous poem. Sam's idea was to take the film on the road, together with a narrator, who, while the movie unspooled, would read extracts from the original poem. The idea worked. The film opened in Hartford, Connecticut, and, according to Jack Warner, you could hear the cash registers ringing all the way to Ohio. The tour netted them $1,500 which Sam and Jack blew on a crap game in New York." The 2004 DVD release actually follows in Sam's footsteps by having some of the words sung, with music by Tangerine Dream. The music creates a dreamlike atmosphere which helps to overcome the creaky aspects of the film. I feel that an over-the-top, heavily dramatic orchestral soundtrack wouldn't work, as the creakiness would undermine the music. The credits at the start and end of the film were in keeping with those I've seen on other silent movie DVD's, except that they put some fuzzy stills behind them, so I found myself wondering if the entire movie was going to be that indistinct. The film turned out to be in pretty good condition overall, but it did vary a bit, as you'd expect in a film this old. This very important movie is easily worthwhile for any fan of silent film, and it is interesting enough to show to others as well, with the modern soundtrack providing a cushion of familiarity for those who aren't used to silent film. Highly recommended!
- Jun 9, 2005
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