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Eerie Tales (1919)

Unheimliche Geschichten (original title)
A demon, a reaper, and a supernatural prostitute read gothic short stories and act them out.

Director:

Richard Oswald

Writers:

Anselma Heine (story "Die Erscheinung"), Robert Liebmann (story "Die Hand") | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Anita Berber Anita Berber ... Die Dirne (framing story) / Woman (ep.1) / Girlfriend (ep.2) / Wife of drunk (ep.3) / Sister of club president (ep.4) / Wife (ep.5)
Conrad Veidt ... Der Tod (framing story) / The stranger (ep.1) / The assassin (ep.2) / Traveller (ep.3) / Club president (ep.4) / Husband (ep.5)
Reinhold Schünzel ... Der Teufel (framing story) / Former husband (ep.1) / Murderer (ep,2) / Drunk (ep.3) / Artur Silas,detective (ep.4) / Travelling Baron (ep.5)
Hugo Döblin Hugo Döblin
Paul Morgan
Georg John
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Storyline

After the old-books shop closes, portraits of the Strumpet, Death, and the Devil come to life and amuse themselves by reading stories--about themselves, of course, in various guises and eras. Four of the stories are literary horror stories (one by Poe, one by R. L. Stevenson), and the last one is a comedy involving a fake haunting. Written by Judy Shoaf

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Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

5 November 1919 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Eerie Tales See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Conrad Veidt and Reinhold Schunzel were again directed by Richard Oswald (I) in the same year as the gay-themed Anders als die Andern (1919). The films share several filming locations as well. See more »

Connections

Remade as The Living Dead (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Weird Tales
15 October 2017 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

By 1919 feature films were now long enough to accommodate more than just one story (as 'Intolerance' had amply demonstrated), and 'Unheimliche Geschichten' provides five; replete with spooky special effects and atmospherically lit interiors shot by Carl Hoffmann that make good use of depth of field. (The apprehensive-looking fellow who appears in the prologue with Reinhold Schunzel and Conrad Veidt is director Richard Oswald.)

'The Black Cat' and 'The Suicide Club' (episodes 3 and 4) will already be familiar to most viewers, while the first episode presumably draws upon the same urban legend that originated during the Paris Exposition of 1889 that was most famously filmed as 'So Long at the Fair' in 1950. I don't know how widely seen this film was during the 20's, but plenty of the imagery found its way into later, more famous movies (the ghostly clutching hand in 'The Beast with Five Fingers', the button that can kill the person sitting in a particular chair at the reading of SPECTRE's financial reports in 'Thunderball', for example).

With his creepy demeanour, slicked-back hair and tights, moon-faced Reinhold Schunzel as Satan resembles The Riddler, while in the first episode he looks like Kurt Raab. It's always good to see Conrad Veidt; but the film is particularly valuable as a record of the naughty Weimar-era cabaret dancer Anita Berber, whose adoption of formal male attire in 'Dr Mabuse' was later made famous by her erstwhile girlfriend Marlene Dietrich, and who was the subject of a famous portrait by Otto Dix in 1925. She burned herself out young but here gets ample opportunity to display her worldly presence in several different roles, as well as her famous androgyny and dancing agility doing the splits in tights and a short smock that display her legs while simultaneously making her resemble a female Hamlet.


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