Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher, are living under a mysterious family curse: Roderick's senses have become ... See full summary »
James Sibley Watson,
Psychological narrative avantgarde film about a wealthy young businessman who consecutively falls in love with a classy English woman (Pearl), a Russian sculptress (Athalia), and a naive ... See full summary »
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... See full summary »
Set before the French Revolution, the film tells the story of Bernard De Mauprat, a noble orphan, raised by despicable aristocrats, who is saved from the gallows by his cousin Edmée and his... See full summary »
Finis Terræ is a 1929 French silent drama film written and directed by Jean Epstein. The story centres on a small group of men harvesting seaweed off the coast of Brittany, and the problems... See full summary »
A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.
A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to visit his old friend, Roderick Usher. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Roderick and his sister, Madeline, have been afflicted with a ... See full summary »
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
In the tradition of Edgar Allen Poe join the Usher family as they descend into madness. Set in the 1880s a traveler returns to the Usher mansion to try to reconnect with his childhood friends and find out what killed his sister.
The business tycoon Nicolas Saccard is nearly ruined by his rival Gunderman, when he tries to raise capital for his company. To push up the price of his stock, Saccard plans a publicity ... See full summary »
Allan has a hard time finding the Usher's house, which is known to be cursed... But he is a personal friend of Roderick Usher, who lives with his sick wife Madeline and a doctor. Roderick is painting a portrait of Madeline, but every pose exhausts her. Allan worries more and more...Written by
An artistically brilliant version of the famous story
As was inevitable, movies of the silent era depended on their imagery in a way that became less important after the introduction of sound. During the same time period there were a number of hugely significant art movements that would influence the relatively new medium of cinema. Art trends such as cubism, dada, expressionism and surrealism had enormous impact on films of the time. The Fall of the House of Usher is a good example of a film based on 19th century literature but brought to the screen via the artistic sensibilities of the day, namely expressionism and surrealism. Because of this, like its peers such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, it has attained a timeless quality and it will always remain a fascinating art-horror film.
The plot-line such that it is, is about a man named Allan who visits his friend Roderick Usher at his remote mansion. Usher lives with his sick wife Madeline, who suffers from some mysterious unknown disease. He is obsessed in painting a portrait of her. She dies and Usher, unable to accept it, descends into madness.
The tone is definitely downbeat and this is reflected by the gloomy haunting imagery used throughout. The strikingly inventive visuals escalate as the film progresses as a way of reflecting Roderick Usher's journey into insanity. Billowing curtains, close-ups of a giant pendulum, a haunting painting of Usher's wife, a moon-lit trip to the mausoleum and swirling mist are just some of the details captured. The film is overloaded in creepy Gothic atmosphere. Production design is excellent, with the grounds of the mansion populated with dead trees and swirling mist, while the interior has enormously high ceilinged rooms decorated with mirrors, curtains and Gothic furniture. In keeping with the film's artistic bent, everything is photographed quite excellently with many close-ups and unusual angles. The overall feeling of the film is that of a fever-dream which is very much in keeping with the central character's damaged state of mind.
In the best silent films, the storyline is very much secondary to the ambiance. The Fall of the House of Usher is no different and is one of the greatest silent horror films. It's an often quite stunning mood piece and comes highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this