Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »
Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »
Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »
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
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 »
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.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this