(Review originally written at 28 February 2007)

Not as well known as the English, American, German and French cinema, though cinema from Sweden from the '20's was also quite good, interesting and revolutionary.

This is a movie that is made great by its story. The story is told in 'A Christmas Carol' kind of way, in which the death himself confronts the deceased with his past, present and what could have been. It's of course a story that concentrates on morals and it does this very well. The message comes across as very powerful and effective. This is of course also definitely due to the effective directing from the father of Swedish cinema; Victor Sjöström.

The story is based on the novel by other Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. The story is adapted by Victor Sjöström himself, who perhaps should had taken out a few more elements, to let the story and movie flow better. It perhaps takes a bit too long before the movie starts to take form and the story gets clear but when the movie does take form and pace it becomes a really wonderful one.

The movie does not only have a great story, it also is a good looking one. The movie uses some early and effective effects and uses some different color filters to create the right mood and to indicate what it past, present and 'future'.

Sjöström did not only wrote and directed this movie, he also plays the main character. Of course the acting in the movie is over-the-top at times, by todays standards but not as bad as in for instance early German movies was the case. And after all, this movie is more about its story and morals than it is about the acting, so it really doesn't matter much, or distracts.

A really great and effective underrated silent-movie classic from Sweden.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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