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Scott Lord

Greta Garbo (blog entry) I have heavily revised my writing on Greta Garbo, Victor Sjostrom, Danish Silent Film and Swedish Silent Film. You may have read this before, but this time it in fact is extensive. Please visit the following webpages.

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The Silent Film of Greta Garbo (blog entry) Please view my revision of my webpages on the silent film of Greta Garbo.

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new erotic novel after divorce (blog entry) I like this blog, but my wife and i are no longer speaking and I feel the need to close it.

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Ingmar Bergman search engine (blog entry) Please visit my scottlord Ingmar Bergman search engine and search for the films of Eva Dahlbeck

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blog entry posted Sat, March 10, 2007 - 5:33 PM permalink - 0 comments
<a href="http://scottlordsfi.blogspot.com">Scott Lord</a>
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Greta Garbo



Greta Garbo-Silent Film



"Love?" She laughed softly. "Of course I have been in love. Love is the last and first of a woman's education. How could you express love if you have never felt it? You can imagine, but its not like the feeling- who hasn't been in love?"

Greta Garbo- Photoplay Magazine
Greta Garbo
Biographer Norman Zierold has written that Garbo's plasticity made it possible for her to relect the fantasies of her screen audiences; in this sense she functioned as a recepticle for the emotions of others." In keeping with the Greta Garbo that was nearly unknown to movie audiences for her personal life offscreen and had lurked in the shadows of movie theaters as a recluse after her retirement as though she could at anytime be sitting right beside any of us during without anyone knowing during a movie house screening of one of her films while as spectators we made identifications with each interpellated nuance, I added, "These emotional structures are created within each particular film, often by subject and spectator positioning, the viewer and the film's other characters in relation to the body of the actress, as when her body within the frame creates space between two characters in front of the camera, isolating them near a specific visual motif, or when Garbo briefly moves into the emotion of solitude." But then clearly the relationship between character and landscape and its interaction with subject positioning and or spectatorial position can also differ widely from one director to another, as when comparing almost any of the films of Victor Sjostrom with those of Carl Th. Dreyer.



It began, "By contrast, the value of the silent film that Greta Garbo made in Hollywood is sentimental. The were melodramas made after Greta Garbo was discovered in Europe," and, after giving a brief filmography of the films with the description of The Kiss (Kyssen, Feyeder, seven reels, 1929) being "one of her most beautiful films in that it is one of her most melodramatic" it added that "each film can bee seen only for the being reminded of having first seen each of the films and the darkened room where the decades from the long past can flicker into intrigues and adventures." My Silent Swedish Film webpage, which covered from the turn of century to the advent of sound, was a Geocities webpage. It was also, while in part a filmography of silent film of the Swedish directors of Svenska Bio and Svenska Filmindustri,Mauritz Stiller, Victor Sjostrom, John Brunius and Georg af Klerker, my biography of the actress Greta Garbo. On a sheet of revision tonight I added that "whether one person is watching an old Greta Garbo movie on television while the other is reading, waiting for the other to retire for the evening, with each film, and with each screening, Garbo, like Anna-Lena Hemstrom, who portrays an actress who gradually, surrendering to fantasy believes herself to be each of the characters Greta Garbo played on screen in The Perfect Murder (Det Perfekte Mord, (Eva Isaksen) reintroduces herself to us and in each different characterization is foremost a fashion model before us; Greta Garbo is in a close-up". And yet there is now something more mystical to the ghost of Garbo for any, and maybe every reviewer of of Eva Isaksen's suspense film knowing that in Stockholm, near the Calle Flygare theater, there perhaps may be a young actress named Ottiliana Rolandsson who has left a screening of the film Queen Christina with the words "I am Greta Garbo" slowly forming silently on her lips, and in her hands a copy of a play. I still have a love for silent film, which skyrocketed after having looked at The Last Tycoon and The Garden of Eden; Photoplay magazine of 1927 mentions Fitzgerald being in the process of writing an original screenplay for Constance Talmadge, it later reviewing his adapted work, "Fitzgerald's novel, with its unscrupulous hero, violates some pet screen traditions." The silent film is in fact a deepening of the novel as an art form. Harvard Film has a free series of screenings open to the public at the University; if you rebegin arbitrarily at present, in the here and now, the screenings of silent film are still ongoing and continuing; it has in the past has included The Joyless Street (Die Freudlosse Gasse (G.W. Pabst 1925); my copy of the film I no longer have (my former mentor had a yardsale or something or other). Previous screenings have included Danish film star, Asta Nielsen Tragedy of the Street (Dirnetragodre, Bruno Rahn, 1927). Evidently, The Great Train Robbery (Porter,1903) was still being shown in theaters as late as 1926, added to the feature then playing, whereas it wasn't untill Hamlet (Gade, 1920) that sex symbol Asta Nielsen was introduced to mainstream audiences in the United States. Is it possible that when Greta Garbo visited the home of Basil Rathbone in the masquerade costume of Hamlet, it was a tribute, or nod, to Danish Silent Film star Asta Nielsen? The 1922 film The Beautiful and the Damned directed by William A. Sieter/SydneyFranklin and starring Marie Prevost, if a film accurately reported as being unavailbable for screening, or or the 1926 film The Great Gatsby directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Lois Wilson- within the world of Lost Films, Found Magazines, there are no existant copies of either film, our knowledge of them and curiousity is left for stills taken during the time period; there are no vaults that exist. Both Anna Karenina (J. Gordon Edwards, 1915, five reels), starring Betty Nansen, Mabel Allen and Stella Hammerstein, and The Scarlet Letter (Carl Harbaugh, 1917) starring Mary Martin, are lost, both filmed by Fox Film. When compared to the Fox films starring Theda Bara, Anna Karenina was not particularly a widely publicized, or exploited, film at the time, but it sported a photoplay scripted by Clara S. Beranger. Movie Pictorial Magazine in 1915 in fact compared and contrasted the two actresses in the same article, much like journalists would later do with Garbo and Dietrich, the title reading, "Betty Nansen Theda Bara-The Dsitinguished Scandinavian Actress and the Chic Paraisienne Secured for Feature Films in America" . Moving Picture World reported in 1915 Betty Nansen in Montreal- Famous Danish Actress Visits City to Get Snow Scenes for Anna Karenina Film, the accompanying text to include, "According to the script, a ski meet is held in which the hero competes with a Swedish champion. As there are many followers of the sport locally, and champions to boot, Mr Edwards secured some interesting film." The entire Moving Picture World review  from the Spring of 1915 is as follows, "The premier of the first Fox offering with Betty Nansen, the great Danish actress was given on March 30. The picture, Tolstoi's Anna Karenina proved worthy of this audience's closest attention, although by remarks behind this reviewer, it was plain some were losing the quality of Nansen's restrained and remarkably powerful acting. There was some laughter, strange to say, except that perhaps the picture's meaning was over the heads of a few. There were two weak places in the cast, but this did not affect the result of it as a whole. It is a story of passion, but clean and powerful, a picture eminently fit for contemplation of grown human minds." "The film  was adverised as, "The story of a woman who dared. A Photoplay that stirs and thrills. Holds a grip that never relaxes." J. Gordon Edwards cast Betty Nansen in a second adaptation of the novels of Tolstoy that year with the film A Woman's Resurrection, which Nordisk Film also filmed that year under the title Opstandelese. To return to Greta Garbo and Asta Nielsen, as many as 19 films have been listed as lost and as having directed by Urban Gad, the husband of the earliest of the stars of the silver screen, including Die falsche Asta Nielsen, in which Nielsen plays both her double, Bollette, and then herself.
Silent film

Just as lost films have left behind their accompanying movie posters, as well as full page magazine advertisements that serve very much like movie posters when deciding not if we should see the film but what the film was like when first seen, each hardcover copy of an film adaptation into novel included a dustjacket, art that gives information about missing films: within there being Lost Films, Found Magazines. It is imperative that the word film study be surplanted by the word film appreciation: it was in 1946 that author Iris Barry cautioned the readers of Hollywood Quarterly through the article "Why wait for Posterity" as to films quickly becoming lost and the need to preserve the "romantic" Greta Garbo film The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1925) by saving the prints from deterioration. After explaining that the original two-color technicolor copies of the Black Pirate that had belonged to Douglas Fairbanks and Harvard University, respectively, were in a vault "at the point of final deterioration", and could only be duplicated in black-and-white form, she qualifies that the criteria for screening film need, as with "the early Seastrom films", only be pleasure. "What, really is the point of dragging old films back to light? First, I believe that it benefits the general esteem and standing of the motion picture industry as a whole; for if the great films of the past are not worth taking seriously and are not worth re-examination, then presumably neither are the great films of today. It would be unthinkable if the only books available to literary men and women should be no more than those published in the past year or so."

                        
Silent Garbo I've also since returned to the downloading photos of Greta Garbo that were scanned from the original negative and e-mailed to me by an author who was who was an apprentice of Clarence Sinclair Bull. In that they were photos of Greta Garbo that were left over from the publication, please accept that I may have been the author to introduce those particular photos to Sweden from the vault in which they were kept. Vieira quotes Greta Garbo, "As she said,'I had it all my own way and did it in my own fashion.' This is what ended her carreer and what makes her cinematic legacy the exqisite thing that it is." But it is not only that, having resumed writing I recieved a reply from Norman Zierold, whose biography of Greta Garbo was publishes decades before that of the one written by Mark. A Vieria. My question was phrased,"I need a quote from correspondence on the silent film of Greta Garbo. How do you now feel about any of the particular films,i.e. The Divine Woman?" to which he replied, "No comment I can think of. Are you related to literary agent Sterling Lord?" To begin 2013, Mr. Zierold replied to my having sent him a Christmas card, "Very neat thinking, Scott. And pleased to see that gorgeous photo of Garbo that you used." It seems I owe him a discussion about Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Oversoul, but he nicely repeated his question about my being related to a literary agent. By the way, I took the photo used in this blog for the template background; its tiled and was a kaleidoscope shot from one of my films on You Tube- it is Lena Nyman on the dust-jacket of the hardcover of Vilgot Sjoman's diary of his filming I was Curious Yellow and I was Curious Blue. In brief, the older banner that reads All About Swedish film was sent to me from someone that designs for the Potsdam Museum, which I in turn sent to an artist in California, who added tint to it before I added flash animation. Interestingly, the tinting of photographs dates back to 1932 or before; I have since found that one of the black and white photos scanned from the original negatives taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull and sent to me by author Mark A Vieira came from a negative that was actually tinted, or colorized rather, for publication by Photoplay Magazine. After the reader has seen the portraits of Greta Garbo that are mine, previously swallowed by Yahoo and Flickr, I encourage any attempt to view "Garbo's Garbos", the photographs that belonged to the actress herself. Taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull, Ruth Harriet Louise and George Hurrell, they were scheduled for public view by the Greta Garbo Estate for Christmas 2012, the collection including one particular portrait taken by Ruth Harriet Louise during the filming of The Single Standard ostensibly taken with Greta Garbo posed in front of a Paul Gaugin. I also happened to espy a copy of Photoplay Magazine that had belonged to the actress. Admist the webpage of Juliens Auctions 2012 a description of Greta Garbo's first screen appearance was nestled in between a "Vintage Greta Garbo Portrait" a Valentina Ottoman Silk ovwercoat and a Grey Silk Dress, they being among 800 items. It read, "Garbo's first American film, The Torrent opened in 1926 and her entrancing performance made an international sensation. Here was a woman unlike any previously seen on a film screen." During 1927, Motion Pictur Magazine was as extratextual discourse in the relationship of viewer to viewed within spectatorship was more than interested inthe on and offscreen eyes of Greta Garbo in the interplay of flanneur, as windowshopper, before she brought the objectification of her image as lover-recluse in its article In the Confidences of Andre Ani, The Man Who Dresses the Stars, "He finds it difficult to dress Greta Garbo for she has foreign ideas about dress...she likes shor skirts when she should wear long ones and she has innumerable dislikes." 
Silent FilmSilent Film
These two actresses were found with Swedish Silent Film actor Lars Hanson- Sofia Larssen's webpage on "Sweden's leading matinee idol of the silent era", was also a Geocities webpage before it closed. We we invited to "Also take a moment to drool over the many pictures in the gallery." From a guestbook entry on from a similar geocities page she was evidently then living in Sweden. Of particular interest was the Lars Hanson webpage written by Laurel Howard, also a geocities webpage. She writes that The Saga of Gosta Berling/The Atonement of Gosta Berling was meant to be a four hour film, "Because of the editing there are a lot gaps in the plot. It really is an epic film and needs length to show the full character and plot development...I think this film needs to be on the list for some major restoration." She later writes about "Ketta" in "the horzontal love scenes" that brought The Flesh and the Devil to renown and created a continuing fame, or unique stardom, for Greta Garbo. Webpages like these were a catalyst for my page on Greta Garbo in that it part of a series of five pages on Svenska Filmhistoria, which began chronicling the history of Swedish Silent Film from the turn of the century and I was honored to include a screening of one of the most profound and powerful films directed by Victor Sjostrom before his coming to the United States. Of particular mention is Louise Lageterstrom of the Swedish Film Institute's writing on Greta Garbo are more than worth a revisit.
Scott Lord-Silent Film swedish silent film 1909-1917



Swedish Silent Film
Peter Cowie writes of a voice that was described to Vilgot Sjöman as being 'so nice and gentle' it having 'a quite huskiness that makes it interesting'.
Greta Garbo 'Yes, this is Stiller's room, I know for sure.'

After Greta Garbo took off her glasses to show Ingmar Bergman what she looked like, her watching his face to measure the emotion of the director, she excitedly began discussing her acting in The Saga of Gosta Berling. When they returned to the room, one that had also been used by Molander, Bergman poeticly studied her face.

One of the smaller theaters, one with 133 seats, at Borgavagen 1, is named after Mauritz Stiller, another one with 14 seats named after Julius Jaenzon, cameraman for Svenska Bio. Biografen Victor, with its 364 seats is a permanent tribute to Victor Sjostrom and the 363 ghosts that at anytime may accompany him to, perhaps in search of a new Strindbergian theater known as filmed theater, step into the past. Greta Garbo


Greta Garbo's entrance to Swedish Silent Film

Barry Paris chronicles that it was Kerstin Bernadette that brought Garbo to meet then vetern Swedish Film director Ingmar Bergman, his having requested it in order to have her return to the screen in his film The Silence. In 1965, Raymond Durgnat wrote, "Greta Garbo made her last film in 1941, but nearly twenty five years later there are still rumors of possible new films, and her name can still fill a cinema. Pages later, to his account of her nearly consenting to eloped with John Gilbert and it having happenned that "finally, she hid herself in a ladies lavatory", he added, "Years after his death, Garbo still spoke of him in the present tense: 'Maurice thinks...'. And yet please thoughtfully accept this as an indirect clue from the present author about the enigma of the actress and her decisions as when to film and when to stay out of the poublic eye; it is from one of the only interviews she ever gave published in Photoplay before the advent of sound film, "I love to travel. I would like just to have enough money to travel. I have not place to go- except back to Sweden. I want to go every place." It is mystical that if Greta Garbo did nothing else for us, she traveled though eternity, embracing her time period and then later eluding its glance.
Greta GarboTo those either fascinated by her, or, bluntly, merely eroticlly stimulated by her body, one possible reason for this was alighted upon by the biographer Durgnat, "The obverse of Garbo's divinity was her shyness. There were few close ups of her during Gosta Berling's Saga because of her nervous blink." (He adds that it had continued into her filming with G. W Pabst, who speeded up the camera to adjust for it.) Garbo went to Rasunda to the Svenska Filmindustri studio to meet Stiller for a screen test to be filmed by Julius Jaenzon, whom she happened to meet on a train, a presage to her meeting Ragnar Ring years later. While waiting for the director to arrive, Swedish cinematographer Julius Jaenzon had told Garbo, "You're the loveliest girl I've ever seen walk into the place." She and Mona Martenson were to film The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924, ten reels). Louise Lagterstrom of the Swedish Film Institute introduced the film, and Greta Garbo, in her writing with the title En Fortarande eld, Gosta Berling. During its filming, Greta Garbo and Mona Martenson had stayed in the same hotel room together. The beauty of Mona Martensson is miraculous, a deep beauty that can only be seen as wonderous. In the Story of Greta Garbo, a 1928 interview with Ruth Biery published in Photoplay, Garbo relates of Mortenson's being in Hollywood and of her planning to later return to Sweden. Photoplay, while advertising that the article would appear in their next installment, viewed Garbo as tempermental. In the article, she talks about The Saga of Gosta Berling and of Stiller having given her 'the very best part for my very first picture.' If the reader of 1928 had found where in Photoplay it was continued, "This Star's Interesting Narrative was to include Greta Garbo having said, "I owe everything to Mr. Stiller" The actress related that, for one thing, they both spoke Swedish, as much as she thought that being in the United States and that it was where she could make films. Stiller had imparted to her, 'You must remember two crucial things when you play the role or for that matter any role. First, you must be aware of the period in which the character is living. Second, you must be aware of your self as an actress. If you play the role and forget about your self nothing will come of it.' Appearing separate to the hardcover Garbo biography written by John Bainbridge was his work published in magazine form, which read, "Garbo's Haunted Path To Stardom, A hypnotic Director made over Her very Soul." In it he gives an account of Stiller's first session with Garbo at Rasunda, where he had asked her to act in front of the camera, quoting Stiller as having said, "Have you no feelings? Don you know nothing of sadness and misery? Act, miss, act!" Stiller having instructed that there be closeups shot of Garbo, he is attributed as having afterward imparted, "She is shy." and having added, "She has no technique, so she can't show what she is feeling." During her Photoplay interview, Greta Garbo continued on the film remarking that,' Lars Hanson played my leading man...but there were no love scenes, not even a kiss.' Author Forsythe Hardy writes about Hanson's performance in The Saga of Gosta Berling in his volume Scandinavian Film, published in 1952, "Lars Hanson made a dramatic figure of the clergyman whose rebellious temperment is one of the motivating forces of the story." About Lars Hanson, after having seen The Saga of Gosta Berling, Lillian Gish wrote, 'When I saw it I thought that he would be the ideal Dimmesdale.' There is a similar earlier account written before her autobiography where she is quoted as having said that she had been told to go into the projection room to watch The Saga of Gosta Berling specificly to decide whether Lars Hanson would be aquired by the studio to play against her in an adaptation of Hawthorne's novel, "The moment Lars Hanson appeared on the screen, I knew he was the man we wanted." Interestingly, actor Lars Hanson had been briefly mentioned in the United States in Pantomine magazine during March of 1922, in Out of the Make Up Box, On to the Screen, written by Helen Hancock. "Lars Hanson, who is one of the most versatile actors on the screen, and one of the most versatile artistic breakers of the hearts of the Swedish flapper, is an adept in the art of make-up." An appreciation of the film made by Hanson in Sweden was displayed by photos of Hanson not only as himself, but in greasepaint as men much older than himsself, it including stills from Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, Andre the Red and The Lodge Man. Helen Hancock had only months earlier in Pantomine praised Swedish Silent Film star Lars Hanson in the article How About those Viking Ancestors, A little Talk about Swedish Matinee Idols. The photo caption read, "He looks mild- but dare him to do something" It reads, "A star of the legitimate stage, where for a number of years he has has been one of the principal attractions at the Intima Theatre, Stockholm, this virile specimen of manhood is best known for his psychological characterizations." The author then praised Hanson for his doing his own stunts, acting on screen without a stuntman. To highlight this, the magazine The Film Daily later reviewed the performance of Lars Hanson opposite Lillian Gish, "Hanson may lack looks, but is a splendid dramatic actor." During 1929, Photoplay Magazine reviewed the release of The Legend of Gosta Berling, "the only European film appearance of Greta Garbo before she was sold down the river to Hollywood..It need only be said that Hollywood has made The Glamorous One...You won't die in vain even if you miss this one." Greta Garbo was interviewed in Sweden during the filming of Gosta Berling's Saga by for the magazine Filmjournalen (Filmjournal) by Inga Gaate, who had interviewed Mauritz Stiller in 1924, Garbo in the article having praised Stiller for his direction and having referred to him as Moje. Greta Garbo appears on the cover of Filmjournalen 8, bareshouldered, in 1925. Stiller, incidently, had invited Sten Selander, a poet rather than actor, to Rasunda before his having decided upon Lars Hanson for the film. Jenny Hasselquist also appears in the film- Hasselquist was much like modern Swedish actress Marie Liljedahl in that she was a ballerina, her having been  introduced to readers in the United States in 1922 through Picture-Play Magazine with a photograph it entitled The Resting Sylph. Sven Broman has quoted Greta Garbo as having said, 'We sat in a lovely drawing room and Selma Lagerlöf thanked me for my work in Gosta Berling's Saga and she praised Mauritz Stiller...She also had very warm and lovely eyes.' While filming Gosta Berling's Saga, Stiller had said, 'Garbo is so shy, you realize, she's afraid to show what she feels. She's got no technique you know.', to which the screenwriter to the film, Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius, replied, 'But every aspect of her is beautiful.' By the time Stiller had begun co-writing the script to Gosta Berling's Saga, he and Selma Lagerlöf had begun to disagree in regard to how her novels were to be adapted. Lagerlöf had asked that Stiller be removed from the shooting of the film before the script had been completed, her having as well tried to acquire the rights to the film to vouchsafe its integrity as an adaptation. During the filming Stiller went further; he then included a scene that had not appeared in either the novel or the film's script. Author Forsyth Hardy lists a number of spectacular scenes from the film before describing "one of the quieter scenes" where two actresses explore the relationships that can for between two female characters, "The two women stand face to face, their minds full of bitter memories. No word is spoken, not a guesture made. Then the women, one at either side of the great press begin to turn to it. Moments such as this, when the camera was used to express great depths of feeling, showed Stiller's gifts as a director."   Greta Garbo when interviewed in Photoplay Magazine described being on the set of her first leading character portrayal-Ruth Biery subtitled her second installment to The Story of Greta Garbo with Miss Garbo makes her film debut and appears like a comet in the Northern Sky."She paused again to remember, 'The first days of work I was so scared that I couldn't work. I was sick in earnest...He (Stiller) told me to practice alone. But I knew he was in some corner watching. I looked all around and could not see him, but I knew hw was there. So I would not practice."While visiting Stockholm in 1938, Garbo had asked to view the film, her having said to William Sorensen, "It was the movie I loved most of all." Iris Barry briefly reviewed the film in 1926, "In Sweden, the creative impulse has not some much died down as been bled away" and from that context sees a film that, "shows a gloomy and unusual subject, full of sincere passion and conflict and with the fine somber, photographic quality peculiar to the Scandinavian cinema." There is an account of Mauritz Stiller having introduced Greta Garbo to author Selma Lagerlof and an account of Lagerlof having complimented Garbo on her beauty and her "sorrowful eyes." In particular, Sven Broman has quoted Greta Garbo as having said, "We sat in a lovely drawing room and Selma Lagerlof thanked me for my work in Gosta Berling's Saga and she praised Mauritz Stiller...She also had very warm and lovely eyes." Although far from being a playwright or sceenwriter, Selma Lagerlof flourished as a novelist during the silent film era, despite many of her novels having had having remained unfilmed, including the earlier Invisible Links (1894), The Queens of Kungahalla (1899) and The Miracles of the Antichrist (1897). After her contemporary, Swedish poet Gustaf Froding, had died in 1911, a year during which Lagerlof had published Liljecrona's Home (Liljecrona's Hem), Lagerlof went on to publish Korkalen (Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness, one of the most important novels included in the screen adaptations of the silent era as it appeared on the screen in 1920 directed by Swedish director Victor Sjostrom, in 1911, and Trolls and Men (Troll och manniskor. During 1918 she included the novel The Outcast (Bannlyst) and published a second volume to Trolls and Men in 1921. It was during the filming of Lagerloff's The Phantom Carriage that an ostrich farm that had fallen into desuetude in Rasunda was converted into the Svenska Filmindustri studio, and with that named Filmstaden. Lagerlof wrote the autobiographical novel Marbacka in two parts, her concluding the volume in 1930 and publishing The Diary of Selma Lagerlof in 1932. (Photocredit to still of Greta Garbo:Swedish Film Institute;fair use).



It is not entirely marginal that there are also accounts that Nils Asther had met Greta Garbo in 1924, at the Dramatiska Teatern and that he had then proposed marriage to her, which she apparently declined- the autobiography of Nils Aster, Narrens jag (Fool's Way/The Way of the Jester) was published in Swedish, posthumously. If, in 1928, Ruth Biery was writing about Nils Asther in Photoplay Magazine in order to obtain information about Greta Garbo, she does in fact show him in a favorable light and was genuinely interested in the actor, "Nils Asther, like Greta Garbo, was trained in the small studios of Sweden. He was accustomed to accept acting as an art rather than a short cut to wealth, fortune or position." Like Greta Garbo, Mary Johnson travelled from Sweden to Germany. Mary Johnson had starred with Gosta Ekman in the first film directed by John W. Brunius, Puss and Boots (Masterkattan i stovlar) in 1918 for Film Industri Inc Scandia. The film was co-written by John W. Brunius and Sam Ask and was the first in which actress Ann Carlsten was to appear. The following year Scandia merged with Scandia to team Charles Magnusson with Nils Bouveng to run AB Svensk Filmindustri. Having been an actress for several films directed by George af Klerker, Mary Johnson was also that year to appear in the Swedish silent film Stovstadsfaror, directed by Manne Gothson and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Appearing with Johnson in the film were Agda Helin, Tekl Sjoblom and Lilly Cronwin. Significantly, Johnson returned to the screen to act for director John W. Brunius and cameraman Hugo Edlund in 1923 for the film Johan Ulfstjerna in which she starred with Anna Olin, Einar Hanson and Berta Hilberg. To lend a sense of the film as a vehicle for the actress, author Forsyth Hardy has written, "Brunius could work effectively on alarge canvas." Significantly, that same year the actress mary Johnson starred for silent film director Mauritz Stiller and cameraman Julius Jaenzon in the film Gunnar Hedes Saga, in which she starred with Pauline Brunius, Stina Berg, and Einar Hansson. The film was an adaptation of the novel Herrgarssagen. When reviewed in the United States during 1924 while screened as The Blizzard although the film was reported as an adaptation of "The Story of a Country House", the review featured two stills and the subtitle "Swedish Production is Entertaining."; it ran, "This is highly dramatic and interesting, with several excellant scenes of reindeer swimming across a wide sream and following their leader blindly. The stampede is most realistic and well filmed. The rest of the film is quite ordinary and drags near the end." Einar Hanson appeared as Gunnar Hede on the cover of Filmnyheter during 1923; it is an issue in which there article that reads "Mary Johnson, var Svenska Filmingenue framfor kameran".

Swedish Silent Film Swedish Silent Film
Silent Greta Garbo





After the Saga of Gosta Berling was shot, Greta Garbo briefly returned to the Royal Dramatic Theater before being brought to Berlin for its premiere- Stiller was also with Greta Garbo for the premiere of The Joyless Street. There was a photograph of Greta Garbo and Mauritz Stiller in Berlin adorning the writing of Louise Lagterstrom of the Swedish Film Institute- she credits Stiller's discovery of Greta Garbo in its title "Siller's Kreation" In a Berlin hotel room, Stiller had said to Greta Garbo, "That's better. Put your feet on that stool. You're tired. A film star is always tired. It impresses people." Although she seldom gave interviews, Greta Garbo described her going to Berlin in an interview with Ruth Biery published in Photoplay, "Miss Lundequist, a very big Swedish actress, who played in the picture, went with us. She is a most marvellous person...So much soul and so tired always. Berlin was wonderful to us...We went on stage. They sent us many flowers. They had sent to Stockholm for us and made it a very big time for us...While we were there, that one week for the opening people spoke to Mr. Stiller about our coming to America." Bosley Crowther, in his biography Hollywood Rajah, chronicles that while in Berlin, Mayer had screened a film directed in Sweden by Stiller after Seastrom had recommended that they meet. "It was full of snow and reiindeer...Stiller had someone call the next day and say he would like to show Mayer his latest film Gosta Berling's Saga from a novel by Selma Lagerlof. They met at a screening room." Stiller, "a tall, lanterned-jaw man who could not speak English" (Crowther) was asked during the film who Greta Garbo, "a lovely, slender, spiritual-looking blonde", was. Apparently Stiller megaphoned in Swedish, "Look at the picture! Look at the direction!" The next day the three had dinner.

Paul Rotha described Greta Garbo in the film The Joyless Street in his volume The Film Till Now, "But Greta Garbo, by reason of the sympathetic understanding of Pabst, brought a quality of lovliness into her playing as the professor's elder daughter. Her frail beauty, cold as an ice flower warmed by the sun stood secure in the starving city of Vienna, untouched by the vice and lust that dwelt in the dark little street." Garbo was to have made a second film for Pabst but declined. Before travelling to Turkey to film Odalisque from Smolna, Greta Garbo returned to Stockholm, appearing on the Swedish stage in the play The Invisible Man, written by Lagerkvist. Stiller had written the script to the film The Odalisque of Smolny and had brought Jaenzon, Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius and Garbo to Turkey only to have the film be left unmade. In the film, Greta Garbo was to portray a harem girl; there were rehearsals held of a exterior where Garbo was to meet her lover. There is a reference to the film made by Greta Garbo in a 1928 interview for Photoplay Magazine,

''We never started on that picture. The company went broke. Mr. Stiller had to go back to Germany to see about the money which was not coming. I was alone in Constantinople. Oh, yes, Einar Hansen,' she paused, 'the Swedish boy who was killed here in Hollywood not so long ago- was there too. He was to play with me in the picture. But I did not see him often.'' In Denmark, Einar Hanson had appeared in the films The Bilberries (Takt, Ture Og Tosser, Lau Lauritzen, 1924) and Mists of the Past (Fra Piazza del Popolo Anders W. Sandberg, 1925), the latter having starred Karina Bell.

When interviewed in 1924, Stiller had said, 'You have to leave room for people's imagination. The film camera registers everything with such merciless clarity. We really have to leave something for the audience to interpret.' Irregardless of how accurate one clue about the film left behind by Photoplay magazine in 1930 may be its title, the magazine claiming that it would be rereleased in the United States under the title "When Lights are Red", "Garbo's supporting cast consists of Einar Hansen, the young actor who met with an accidental death in Hollywood several years ago and Werner Krauss. Garbo was exotic in those days, too, but not the calm, poises woman of the world she is today." Ake Sundberg quotes Greta Garbo as having said, "I saw Hanson seldom. He was so ashamed of his ragged beard that he hardly dared show himself." The actor was sporting the beard for the requirements of the script. In That Gustafsson Girl, written for Photoplay Magazine by Sundberg in 1930, Mauritz Stiller is attributed as having been the first European director to shoot in close-up, to shift the camera and to find "new, striking angles" "Constantinople had fascinated the Swedish girl, who had never been away from the cold countries." There would be a letter from Greta Garbo to Vera Schmiterlow sent from Constantinople. Stiller had, "written much of the story himself" and that there was a rewrite of the script required is seen as having contributed to the films having been left uncompleted. Forsyth Hardy gives an account of the film then bearing the title Konstantinopel. Accompanying the history of the film not having had been being made is the atmosphere, or innuendo, that circulated among journalists, particularly those from other European cities that had travelled to Stockholm, their heaving linked Stiller and Garbo romanticlly, to a point where there was "the rumor that Garbo married Mauritz Stiller, the Swedish motion picture director, back in 1924 when they were both working on a picture in Constantinople...Garbo, said the whispers, is a widow." One could interpret that these were encouraged by Greta Garbo having been a recluse. As late as 1933, after the Garbo image had been established, Axel Ingwerson published an article in Photoplay entitled, "Did Garbo Marry Stiller?" with the subtitle, "Is there any b asis in fact for this strange rumor." Ingwerson continued and while describing Stiller included, "The original story was that Garbo had married Stiller in Constantinople under a mutual pledge of secrecy. That Garbo, furthermore, would have kept the marriage a secret forever if she hadn't found it necessary to put forward her claim to Stiller's estate."

Bengt Forslund notes that the filming of an adaptation of Anna Karenina had at first been thought of for actress Lillian Gish, who in Sweden, Greta Garbo had seen in the film The White Sister. In her autobiography, Gish wrote, 'I often saw the young Garbo on the lot. She was then the protege of the Swedish director Mauritz Stiller. Stiller often left her on my set. He would take her to lunch and then bring her back, and Garbo would sit there watching.' When refilmed, her Hollywood screen test would be filmed by Stiller and, purportedly spliced into the rushes of The Torrent, seen by director Monta Bell, who then insisted the script of the film be given to Garbo. Garbo's second screentest had been photographed by Henrik Sartov, who later explained that the earlier test had lacked proper lighting and that a lens he had devised had allowed him to articulate depth while filming her. Cameraman William Daniels had photographed the earlier test. Greta Garbo-Silent Film Lillian Gish relates a conversation between her and Sartov about Garbo where Gish asked him if he could photograph a screentest of Garbo, "Garbo's temperment reflected the rain and gloom of the long dark Scandinavian winters. At first Garbo was reluctant to accept the role in the film, although it was a large role that had been considered for Norma Shearer, Stiller having advised, 'It can lead to a better parts later.' to which she replied, 'How can I take direction from someone I don't know.' Monta Bell had directed Norma Shearer in the film After Midnight (1921). The subtitle to one section of The Story of Greta Garbo As told by her to Ruth Biery, published in Photo-play during 1929, reads "Tempermental or misunderstood". In it Greta Garbo relates the events that led up to her having left the studio for less than a week, "Then it was for months here before I was to work with Mr. Stiller. When it couldn't be arranged, they put me in The Torrent with Mr. Monta Bell directing...It was very hard work but i did not mind that. I was at the studio every morning at seven o'clock and worked until six every evening." She goes further while explaining that there was a language barrier that would later contribute to Mauritz Stiller also being taken off her next picture, "Mr. Stiller is an artist. he does not understand about the American factories. He has always made his own pictures in Europe where he is the master. In our country it is always the small studio." The production stills of Greta Garbo during the filming of The Torrent were photographed by Ruth Harriet Louise; Robert Dance and Bruce Robertson, in their volume Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography, note that Greta Garbo was in Ruth Harriet Louise's studio within months of having filmed, but also note that before photographing Greta Garbo, Louise had created her "first published Hollywood image", that of Vilma Banky from the film Dark Angel in the September 1925 issue of Photoplay. Ruth Harriet Louise also published an early portrait of Greta Garbo in Motion Picture Classic magazine. During 1927 Photoplay added to the dynamic of extra-textual discourse and the spectator's relation to fantasy by making photographer Ruth Harriet Louise into either a real person or a celebrity, and or both, "Ruth Harriet Louise just couldn't keep away from the camera even at her own wedding...Ruth dashed behind the cameras to make certain that the lighting effects were just as she would have them...Now we wonder if Mr. Jacobson, a scenario writer at Universal followed the lead of his only-woman-photographer mate and wrote the newspaper accounts of the wedding." It was on the set of The Torrent that author Sven-Hugo Borg was introduced to Stiller, who in turn then informed Garbo that he was her assigned translator while under Monta Bell's direction. In The Private Life of Greta Garbo by her most intimate friend, Borg relates that bell had turned to him and had said of her, "What a voice! If we could only use it. Of the film he notes, "Of course she was constantly with Stiller, spending every possible moment with him; but thought that when the camera's eye was flashed upon her, the picture would decide her fate began, he would not be there terrified her." Borg continued as the interpreter of Greta Garbo until 1929. Photoplay Magazine looked at the film during 1926, "Monte Bell stands well in the foreground of those directors who can take a simple story and so fill it with true touches that the characters emerge real human beings and the resulting film becomes a small masterpiece....Greta Garbo, the new Swedish importation is very lovely." National Board of Review magazine during 1926 typified the film with, "The story preserves a European atmosphere in which parents still have the least say about their children's marriages." Eugene V Brewster began the watching of Greta Garbo on the part of Motion Picture Classic magazine with his own view, "At Metro-Goldwyn Studion they showed me a few reels of Greta Garbo's unfinished picture. This striking, young Swedish actress will doubtless appeal to many, but somehow i couldn't see the great coming star in her that the company expects." Fredrick James Smith continued for Motion Picture Classic with Greta Garbo Arrives, The newcomer is a somber-eyed Norsewoman, one Greta Garbo, who seems to have more possibilites than anyone since Pola negri of Passion...She isn't afraid to act. That she was able to stand out of an inferiror story, poorly directed, is all the more to her credit...The Ibanez story is full of claptrap, including the dam that bursts without having anything to do with the story. Monta Bell has tossed it into film form without any apparent interest." It was quickly followed by the article "The Northern Star, The Screen's Newest Meteor is a moody daughter of Sweden", written by Alice L. Tildesley. It was very soon after that Greta Garbo began a love letter with her movie going audiences that would be nearly contained to her appearances in front of the camera only- Photoplay author Myrtle West that year published an article on Greta Garbo that year entitled That Stockholm Venus, and although it can almost be reduced to paragraphs confirming the need of an interpreter on the part of Greta Garbo when she had first reached Hollywood, and while it connects her with Anna Q. Nilsson and Greta Nissen in her being unfamiliar to Hollywood, it begins with, "Greta was very worried. A frown corrugated her brow." and concludes, "A face that you would remember long after the body had crumbled away.". It attempts to describe her first impression on Hollywood, "Greta has no desire to join the vacous circle of teas, dinners and dances into which this favored newcomer is invited. Besides, she has little time for men...or love. This by her own admission." The picture of Greta Garbo in a chair seated next to a lion, Garbo photographed outdoors on what at first looks like a bench and the lion posing with his front feet elevated on a log, as it was published in Motion Picture Magazine during 1926, was printed without her name; the photo-caption reads, "$10.00 for the best title to this picture." It was followed pages later with "Why Girls leave Sweden, "Presenting to you Miss Greta Garbo- a lady who is said to have all the qualifications of a star." Journalist Rilla Page Palmborg followed that with the article, The Mysterious Stranger, which began with "She is a mystery to those of her own profession!" The photograph accompanying the article was taken by Ruth Harriet Louise. " 'Ever since I can remember I must be an actress,' she explained in suprisingly good English, when I asked her to telll us about herself." Louise Lagterstrom of the Swedish Film Institute adorned her writing on the arrival of Greta Garbo in Hollywood, Mot Hollywood, with a photo taken in 1924 by Arnold Grethes, almost reiterating that Garbo was photographed extensively, often posing as a photo-model for publicity stills, before her living in self-imposed exile.

Greta Garbo

While waiting for the next film to be made by Greta Garbo, during 1926 Photoplay magazine printed, "Yet an automobile almost kept Greta from Metro. Mayer had seen Miss Garbo's work in a foreign made film, 'The Atonement of Gosta Berling'. This picture is incidentlly directed by Mauritz Stiller, who is directing the second Garbo opus and it is considered an artistic gem, but a positive flop as far as American audiences are concerned. For that reason it probably will never be released here." The article continued that Greta Garbo knew that movie stars were provided with limousines whereas Mayer would include one in her contract, insisting that they were bought by the actors and actresses themselves.

There is a report that M.G.M purchased the talking picture rights to both The Temptress and The Torrent in 1932. Bengt Forslund writes, 'Her first two films, The Torrent and The Temptress, both in 1926, were insignificant, but showed that she had appeal- the audience liked her.' The screenplays to the first two films in which Greta Garbo had appeared, The Torrent and The Temptress (nine reels) both had been adaptations of the novels of Vincente Blasco Ibanez, their having been titled Among the Orange Trees and The Earth Belongs to Everyone, respectively. The novels written by Vincente Blasco Ibanez also include The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse filmed after Blood and Sand, in 1921, Enemies of Women (Crosland), starring Alma Rubens and Marie Nostrum, filmed in 1926 . When interviewed by Motion Picture Classic magazine, Vincente Belasco Ibanez was quoted as having said, "The future of the camera is limitless. Now it is not going ahead very fast. There is no standard in the cinema. Who do the artists not get together and set up standards?" Photoplay reviewed the film, "While this Vincente Belasco Ibanez story is crammed full of melodramatic action- much of it preposterous-Greta Garbo makes the proceedings not only believable, but compelling...Such a role strains at the probabilities, but Miss Garbo makes Elena highly effective. She is beautiful, she flashes and scintillates with singular appeal...The Temptress is all Greta Garbo. Nothing else matters." Ruth Biery in 1932 intimated that Stiller was removed from The Temptress because of an objection made by Antonio Moreno, the director having insisted that the actor wear a pompadour to compensate for Garbo's having had been being the taller of the two. Bosley Crowther's account of it in his biography of Mayer depicts Stiller as possibly unfamiliar with the studios in the United States, "Stiller was allowed to start this one, but proved too finicky and slow, one of those 'difficult' directors that were now being got out of the studio." The advertisements in magazines that were part of Metro Goldwyn Mayer publicity for that time period did in fact, like the earlier "Eminent Authors Series", present to readers a growing collection of foreign directors imported by the studio. Before the release of the film, Motion Picture Magazine featured a photograph of Mauritz Stiller and Greta Garbo on the film's set, captioned with, "The dancing scenes of Greta Garbo and Antonio Moreno in The Temptress, which Mauritz Stiller is directing in this photograph, were filmed by a camera attached to a moving platform which followed them about the floor." If this were Stiller's only contribution to, or influence upon classical narrative and the temporal-spatial relationships of camera to subject in film, it would be notable, excepting that Stiller had previously filmed in Sweden and built the traditions of film making there as one of its pioneers under Charles Magnusson. The magazine also published a photograph of Greta Garbo "vamping" before the film's release, capitoned, "Judging from the oval photograph above, The Temptress is well named. Although Greta Garbo has only been on the American screen for a short time, she enjoys quite a vogue." It then reviewed the film, "It must be admitted that The Temptress is a bore...Greta Garbo as the unhappy Temptress has a role which requires precisely nothing."

Charles Affron particularly looks to the entrances that Greta Garbo makes during the opening scenes of her silent film and notes that silent film director Fred Niblo, after taking the helm upon Stiller's leaving the filming of The Temptress, studies Garbo's beauty, her ethereality, by adding a second screen entrance of his own where Garbo, clasping flowers, is exiting a carriage- he then illustrates its use in Niblo's later film The Mysterious Lady (Den Mystika kvinna, 1928, nine reels) where Garbo, in the middle of watching an opera is seen by Conrad Nagel as he is making his entrance and then by the camera in a profile close shot. In the sequence, the camera is authorial in accordance with the action of the scene; Garbo's look is momentarily uninterrupted as Nagel, almost an interloper, is introduced into the scene by his entering the frame and by the camera nearing her as she is near motionlessly surveying the proscenium, the theater in the film a public sphere of address that envelopes its characters to where Garbo, and her act of watching becomes the subject of the cinematic address and the object of both Nagel's and the audience's interest. Affron writes that it may have been Stiller's keeping Garbo on the screen and in front of the camera that had been among the reasons for his being replaced on the set of The Temptress.


Author Mark A. Vieira was asked by Turner Classic Movies to provide audio narrative commentary to the film The Temptress for its The Garbo Silents collection, his on occaision quoting the actress during the film as well as his quoting from her correspondence. The Temptress begins with a blue-tinted exterior shot, Fred Niblo then cutting what seems to be an opera house during which there are lights from the cieling that sway back and forth across a costume dance. During the next scene Garbo in an evening gown that is folded like a robe enters a drawing room where there is a visitor that has been invited to dinner. During the dinner, there is an pullback shot over a table that is elaborately included in the scene, it having been designed almost as though the scene from a pre-code film in the plunging necklines of its tight clinging evening gowns in contrast most of the films scenes that seem bookended between the beginning and end of the film. After a series of exterior shots filmed by assistant director H. Bruce Humberstone, Lionel Barrymore is introduced in the film, Greta Garbo shortly thereafter reintroduced as the camera cuts away from her before it is finished panning up, it cutting back after an interpolated shot to finish panning from her waist upward, the camera slowly reflecting upon the unexpectedness of her being reunited with the other characters. Director Fred Niblo had apparently also taken over behind the camera for Lynn Shores during the shooting of The Devil Dancer (1927, eight reels), actress Gilda Gray having had been being on the set.

In a scene where Garbo is shown in an extreme close up sitting with Lionel Barrymore, author Mark A. Vieira chooses to discuss that whereas previously close ups had often been used in silent film as being concerned with a different plane of action as other shots filmed from other camera distances, Niblo seems to include closeups into the characterization through a use of lighting and diffusion while filming. Irregardless of this, later in the film there is extreme close up of Garbo that is abruptly cut almost on a reverse angle right before her and her lover are about to kiss. The character movement of the two nearing each other is held, if only briefly, Garbo near stunning as the camera only briefly contains her within the frame. There in the film is a scene with a rainstorm and flood that, and although it was more than quite concievably added to the plotline for its excitement, is almost a haunting acknowledgement of the camerawork of either Mauritz Stiller or Victor Sjostrom in Sweden and the role of nature in Swedish silent film, in this instance an acknowledgement punctuated by Greta Garbo, who is seen right before the rain during a night exterior in the mountains, alone with her lover in a series of close shots, her then being only briefly seen in profile during the thunder and lightning and then again in one of the most beautiful evening gowns of the film, her shoulders bare as she is reading a letter.


The Exceptional Photoplays department of National Board of Review magazine credited William Daniels and Gaetano Gaudio as having been the photographers of the film The Temptress, "The Temptress brings Greta Garbo to the attention of American audiences as an actress of note and unusual beauty...She is not half a minute on the screen before you know her for an artist, pliable and lovely. This big starring vehicle gives her the ample opportunity to prove her versatility...The first Paris sequence is the equal in tonal quality and feeling of anything that has been done in films. It is true with strong character drawing. Miss Garbo makes Elena a breathing person." Mauritz Stiller-Silent Film

While Garbo was finishing the The Temptress, Stiller, having written the script before the script department had reworked its plot, had begun shooting Hotel Imperial (1927, eight reels) for Paramount; she went to the preview of the film. Greta Garbo had said, 'Stiller was getting his bearings and coming into his own. I could see that he was getting his chance.' The conversation between the two actresses related in retrospect by Pola Negri may almost seem eerie, her account beginning with a telephone call from Mauritz Stiller, "May I be permitted to bring along a friend? She does not know many people here yet. Greta Garbo." After dinner Negri gave Garbo advice in creating for herself a unique personna, something individual, her going so far as to say, "Never be aloof or private" with Garbo adding the rejoinder without noting that they were both actresses that had worked abroad that they were in fact both remaining private while in Hollywood and Negri telling Garbo that she would soon have to film without Stiller. Negri writes, "She held her head high. A look of intense interest was spreading over that perfectly chiseled face, making it the one thing that one would not have thought possible: even more beautiful." In a letter to Lars Saxon, Greta Garbo wrote, 'Stiller's going to start working with Pola Negri. I'm still very lonely, not that I mind, except occaisionally.'

Of Stiller's camerawork in the film, Kenneth MacGowan wrote, 'Hung from an overhead trolley, his camera moved through the lobby and the four rooms on each side of it.' In a brief review of the film R.E. Sherwood complimented Stiller on his use of camera postion and shot structure, but while praising Stiller as a director and the film's "visual qualities", which included "trick lighting" among its camera effects, which according to the author harken back to earlier "photo-acrobatics" from silent film director F.W. Murnau, Sherwood sees a lack of depth or meaning in the film's screenplay or its message as an organic whole in its having moment. Whether or not the United States can be viewed as imperial, as it is as seen by Dianne Negra, she writes about Pola Negri's character in Stiller's film, her almost connecting thematically the difference between Negri's role in the film and earlier vamp roles with the film's ending and its reuniting of Negri and her lover in a plotline similar to that of Sjöstrom's The Divine Woman (En Gudomlig Kvinna). 'The film closes with its most emphatic equation of romance and war as a close up of a kiss between Anna and Almay fades to the images of marching troops.' Mauritz Stiller, when invited to a private screening of Hotel Imperial for Max Reinhardt had said, 'Thank you. But if not for Pola, I could not have made it.' Photoplay Magazine reviewed the film favorably, "Here is a new Pola Negri in a film story at once absorbing and splendidly directed...Actually, "Hotel Imperial" is another variation of the heroine at the mercy of the invading army and beloved by the dashing spy. This has been adroitly retold here, untill it assumes qualities of interest and supspense...Miss Negri at last has a role that is ideal..."Hotel Imperial" places Stiller at the formost of our imported directors."

Stiller also directed Pola Negri, and Clive Brook, in Barbed Wire (1927, seven reels). When Stiller directed the actress again, with Einar Hanson in The Woman on Trial (1927, six reels), Photoplay reviewed the film as "An unusually fine story and one that offers Pola Negri a chance for penetrating character study. Not for children." The previous year Pola Negri had starred in the films The Crown of Lies (Buchowetski, five reels) and Good and Naughty (Malcom St. Clair, six reels). In her autobiography, Memoirs of a Star, Pola Negri describes her first meeting with Greta Garbo.'To tell the truth, I was also very curious about the girl...She smiled wistfully, as we shook hands...Through dinner she was resolutely silent...', her then giving an account of their conversation and of her having given Garbo advice. The Street of Sin (1928, seven reels) starring Fay Wray and Olga Barclanova was begun by Stiller and finished by the director Joseph von Sternberg. It would be Stiller's last attempt to film in the United States before returning to Sweden in late 1927 and presently there are no copies of the film. Author Paul Rotha reviewed "that most extraordinary of movies" shortly after the release of the film, "No expense was spared on its making. The script was well-balanceed;the continuity was go Wed, December 26, 2012 - 8:11 PM permalink


Victor Sjostrom-Silent Film



"The Image Makers see their images emerge out of the story. And then suddenly: darkness."- Per Olov Enquist in Bildmakarna, a fictional account of Victor Sjostrom, Julius Jaenzon, Tora Teje and Selma Lagerlof


My Silent Swedish Film webpage, which covered from the turn of century to the advent of sound, was, before its having been transferred at the last minute, a Geocities webpage. It was also, while in part a filmography of silent film of the Swedish directors of Svenska Bio and Svenska Filmindustri; Mauritz Stiller, Victor Sjostrom, John Brunius and Georg af Klerker, and with them the camerman Julius Jaenzon. The silent film is in fact a deepening of the novel as an art form. If I was not to be present that evening, I jotted down my having noticed that Harvard Film has a free series of screenings open to the public at the University, which if you rebegin this month, includes The Joyless Street (Die Freudlosse Gasse (G.W. Pabst 1925); my copy of the film I no longer have (my former mentor had a yardsale or something or other). The 1922 film The Beautiful and the Damned directed by William A. Sieter/SydneyFranklin and starring Marie Prevost, if a film accurately reported as being unavailbable for screening, or or the 1926 film The Great Gatsby directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Lois Wilson- within the world of Lost Films, Found Magazines, there are no existant copies of either film, our knowledge of them and curiousity is left for stills taken during the time period; there are no vaults that exist.

The characters portrayed on-screen by Ruth Taylor and Alice White may be familiar to present audiences, but the scenario co-written with John Emerson by the author of the novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Anita Loos, and directed by Malcom St. Clair in 1927 is also among the silent film listed as lost film. One novel, One Increasing Purpose, seems intriguing in that it seems only possible that it is missing, filmed in 1926, it was advertised as being the next great work to have been written by A.S.M Hutchinson after If Winter Comes; as good as the drama may have been, it was filmed in England and seems elusive in being included in lists of lost-missing films. Although only its director, Leslie H. Hiscott, may know the whereabouts of The Missing Rembrant, die hard fans of Arthur Wotner and Ian Fleming can only wonder. And yet there are several films that are now lost that appeared not only on the theater marquee, but in bookstores; Grosset and Dunlap having published Photoplay Editions of films rewritten as novels, in including intertextual photos, the illustrated photoplay edition of the novel London After Midnight, written by Marie Coolidge Rask, was published in 1928. Just as lost films have left behind their accompanying movie posters, as well as full page magazine advertisements that serve very much like movie posters when deciding not if we should see the film but what the film was like when first seen, each hardcover copy of an film adaptation into novel included a dustjacket, art that gives information about missing films: within there being Lost Films, Found Magazines. In regard to the 1918 film Mania (Evyen Illes), not only can it be included in Lost Films, Found Magazines, but it has been restored by the National Film Inatitute (Filmoteka Nardowa), who when announcing its premiere wrote, "its contents pertain to universal truths". The film is notable for its starring Pola Negri and the set design to the film having had been being crafted by Paul Leni. It is imperative that the word film study be surplanted by the word film appreciation: it was in 1946 that author Iris Barry cautioned the readers of Hollywood Quarterly through the article "Why wait for Posterity" as to films quickly becoming lost and the need to preserve the "romantic" Greta Garbo film The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1925) by saving the prints from deterioration. After explaining that the original two-color technicolor copies of the Black Pirate that had belonged to Douglas Fairbanks and Harvard University, respectively, were in a vault "at the point of final deterioration", and could only be duplicated in black-and-white form, she qualifies that the criteria for screening film need, as with "the early Seastrom films", only be pleasure. "What, really is the point of dragging old films back to light? First, I believe that it benefits the general esteem and standing of the motion picture industry as a whole; for if the great films of the past are not worth taking seriously and are not worth re-examination, then presumably neither are the great films of today. It would be unthinkable if the only books available to literary men and women should be no more than those published in the past year or so."  To echo her by my now finding this during the centennial of the two reeler in the United States  and of Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller having become contemporaries at Svenska Bio ,  the biography of actress Greta Garbo penned by the present author on Geocities webpage encompassed the long waiting period before what was to be the last film to be made by Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, which happenned to be during the centennial of the one reel narrative film, "Of the utmost importance is an appreciation of film, film as a visual literature. film as the narrative image, and while any appreciation of film would be incomplete without the films of Ingmar Bergman, every appreciation of film can begin with the films of the silent period, with the watching of the films themselves, their once belonging to a valiant new form of literautre. Silent film directors in both Sweden and the United States quickly developed film technique, including the making of films of greater length during the advent of the feature film, to where viewer interest was increased by the varying shot lengths within a scene structure, films that more than still meet the criterion of having storylines, often adventurous, often melodramatic, that bring that interest to the character when taken scene by scene by the audience." The study of silent film is an essential study not only in that the screenplay evolved or emerged from the photoplay, but in that it is imperative to the appreciation of film technique. In my earlier webpage written before the death of Ingmar Bergman I quoted Terry Ramsaye on Silent Film,"Griffith began to work at a syntax for screen narration...While Griffith may not have originated the closeup and like elements of technique, he did establish for them their function."

Is The Mystery of Room 643 (1914) a lost film?

                        
Swedish Film-Victor Sjostromsilent-film


Scott Lord-Silent Film Victor Sjostrom: Swedish Silent Film
Greta Garbo 'Yes, this is Stiller's room, I know for sure.'

After Greta Garbo took off her glasses to show Ingmar Bergman what she looked like.

One of the smaller theaters, one with 133 seats, at Borgavagen 1, is named after Mauritz Stiller, another one with 14 seats named after Julius Jaenzon, cameraman for Svenska Bio. Biografen Victor, with its 364 seats is a permanent tribute to Victor Sjostrom and the 363 ghosts that at anytime may accompany him to, perhaps in search of a new Strindbergian theater known as filmed theater, step into the past.
During her Photoplay interview, Greta Garbo continued on the film remarking that,' Lars Hanson played my leading man...but there were no love scenes, not even a kiss.' About Lars Hanson, after having seen The Saga of Gosta Berling, Lillian Gish wrote, 'When I saw it I thought that he would be the ideal Dimmesdale.' There is a similar earlier account written before her autobiography where she is quoted as having said that she had been told to go into the projection room to watch The Saga of Gosta Berling specificly to decide whether Lars Hanson would be aquired by the studio to play against her in an adaptation of Hawthorne's novel, "The moment Lars Hanson appeared on the screen, I knew he was the man we wanted." Interestingly, actor Lars Hanson had been briefly mentioned in the United States in Pantomine magazine during March of 1922, in Out of the Make Up Box, On to the Screen, written by Helen Hancock. "Lars Hanson, who is one of the most versatile actors on the screen, and one of the most versatile artistic breakers of the hearts of the Swedish flapper, is an adept in the art of make-up." An appreciation of the film made by Hanson in Sweden was displayed by photos of Hanson not only as himself, but in greasepaint as men much older than himsself, it including stills from Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, Andre the Red and The Lodge Man. Helen Hancock had only months earlier in Pantomine praised Swedish Silent Film star Lars Hanson in the article How About those Viking Ancestors, A little Talk about Swedish Matinee Idols. The photo caption read, "He looks mild- but dare him to do something" It reads, "A star of the legitimate stage, where for a number of years he has has been one of the principal attractions at the Intima Theatre, Stockholm, this virile specimen of manhood is best known for his psychological characterizations." The author then praised Hanson for his doing his own stunts, acting on screen without a stuntman. To highlight this, the magazine The Film Daily later reviewed the performance of Lars Hanson opposite Lillian Gish, "Hanson may lack looks, but is a splendid dramatic actor." During 1929, Photoplay Magazine reviewed the release of The Legend of Gosta Berling, "the only European film appearance of Greta Garbo before she was sold down the river to Hollywood..It need only be said that Hollywood has made The Glamorous One...You won't die in vain even if you miss this one." Greta Garbo was interviewed in Sweden during the filming of Gosta Berling's Saga by for the magazine Filmjournalen (Filmjournal) by Inga Gaate, who had interviewed Mauritz Stiller in 1924, Garbo in the article having praised Stiller for his direction and having referred to him as Moje. Greta Garbo appears on the cover of Filmjournalen 8, bareshouldered, in 1925. Stiller, incidently, had invited Sten Selander, a poet rather than actor, to Rasunda before his having decided upon Lars Hanson for the film. Jenny Hasselquist also appears in the film- Hasselquist was much like modern Swedish actress Marie Liljedahl in that she was a ballerina, her having been  introduced to readers in the United States in 1922 through Picture-Play Magazine with a photograph it entitled The Resting Sylph. Sven Broman has quoted Greta Garbo as having said, 'We sat in a lovely drawing room and Selma Lagerlöf thanked me for my work in Gosta Berling's Saga and she praised Mauritz Stiller...She also had very warm and lovely eyes.' While filming Gosta Berling's Saga, Stiller had said, 'Garbo is so shy, you realize, she's afraid to show what she feels. She's got no technique you know.', to which the screenwriter to the film, Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius, replied, 'But every aspect of her is beautiful.' By the time Stiller had begun co-writing the script to Gosta Berling's Saga, he and Selma Lagerlöf had begun to disagree in regard to how her novels were to be adapted. Lagerlöf had asked that Stiller be removed from the shooting of the film before the script had been completed, her having as well tried to acquire the rights to the film to vouchsafe its integrity as an adaptation. During the filming Stiller went further; he then included a scene that had not appeared in either the novel or the film's script. Iris Barry briefly reviewed the film in 1926, "In Sweden, the creative impulse has not some much died down as been bled away" and from that context sees a film that, "shows a gloomy and unusual subject, full of sincere passion and conflict and with the fine somber, photographic quality peculiar to the Scandinavian cinema." There is an account of Mauritz Stiller having introduced Greta Garbo to author Selma Lagerlof and an account of Lagerlof having complimented Garbo on her beauty and her "sorrowful eyes." In particular, Sven Broman has quoted Greta Garbo as having said, "We sat in a lovely drawing room and Selma Lagerlof thanked me for my work in Gosta Berling's Saga and she praised Mauritz Stiller...She also had very warm and lovely eyes." Although far from being a playwright or sceenwriter, Selma Lagerlof flourished as a novelist during the silent film era, despite many of her novels having had having remained unfilmed, including the earlier Invisible Links (1894), The Queens of Kungahalla (1899) and The Miracles of the Antichrist (1897). After her contemporary, Swedish poet Gustaf Froding, had died in 1911, a year during which Lagerlof had published Liljecrona's Home (Liljecrona's Hem), Lagerlof went on to publish Korkalen (Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness, one of the most important novels included in the screen adaptations of the silent era as it appeared on the screen in 1920 directed by Swedish director Victor Sjostrom, in 1911, and Trolls and Men (Troll och manniskor. During 1918 she included the novel The Outcast (Bannlyst) and published a second volume to Trolls and Men in 1921. It was during the filming of Lagerloff's The Phantom Carriage that an ostrich farm that had fallen into desuetude in Rasunda was converted into the Svenska Filmindustri studio, and with that named Filmstaden. Lagerlof wrote the autobiographical novel Marbacka in two parts, her concluding the volume in 1930 and publishing The Diary of Selma Lagerlof in 1932.

Like Greta Garbo, Mary Johnson travelled from Sweden to Germany. Mary Johnson had starred with Gosta Ekman in the first film directed by John W. Brunius, Puss and Boots (Masterkattan i stovlar) in 1918 for Film Industri Inc Scandia. The film was co-written by John W. Brunius and Sam Ask and was the first in which actress Ann Carlsten was to appear. The following year Scandia merged with Scandia to team Charles Magnusson with Nils Bouveng to run AB Svensk Filmindustri. Having been an actress for several films directed by George af Klerker, Mary Johnson was also that year to appear in the Swedish silent film Stovstadsfaror, directed by Manne Gothson and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Appearing with Johnson in the film were Agda Helin, Tekl Sjoblom and Lilly Cronwin. Actress Mary Johnson returned to the screen to act for director John W. Brunius and cameraman Hugo Edlund in 1923 for the film Johan Ulfstjerna in which she starred with Anna Olin, Einar Hansson and Berta Hilberg. To add a sense of the film as a vehicle for the actress, author Forsyth Hardy has written, "Brunius could work effectively on a large canvass." Significantly, that same year Johnson starred for silent film director Mauritz Stiller and cameraman Julius Jaenzon in the film Gunnar Hedes Saga, in which she starred with Pauline Brunius, Stina Berg, and Einar Hansson. The film was an adaptation of the novel Herrgarssagen. When reviewed in the United States during 1924 while screened as The Blizzard although the film was reported as an adaptation of "The Story of a Country House", the review featured two stills and the subtitle "Swedish Production is Entertaining."; it ran, "This is highly dramatic and interesting, with several excellant scenes of reindeer swimming across a wide stream and following their leader blindly. The stampede is most realistic and well filmed. The rest of the film is quite ordinary and drags near the end." A second review from the United States seemed all too similar, "unusual entertainment through a strong dramatic story. A bit gruesome but splendidly acted...Drama bordering on tragedy...It is unusual in theme and from a dramatic standpoint, a thoroughly strong and foreceful theme." The reindeer stampede was hailed for its "genuine thrills" which were "splendidly pictorial" but from that point onward in the plotline, the story was said to "drag slightly." and its interest said to begin to disappear. While the direction of Mauritz Stiller was seen as "unusually good; displays great sense of dramatic values", "Mary Johnson is pleasing though rather lacking in expression." Einar Hanson appeared as Gunnar Hede on the cover of Filmnyheter during 1923; it is an issue in which there is an article that reads "Mary Johnson, var Svenska Filmingenue framfor kameran". On reviewing Sir Arne's Treasure/Snows of Destiny in 1922, Exceptional Photoplays wrote, "Mary Johnson, if she has a chance to become known on the American screen, will show us what it is to be lovely without being vapid, with the magic of a child and the magic of a woman- tenderness and sweetness that is not chiefly a product of simpering smiles and fluffy curls." Forsyth Hardy looks at the entire film, "Herr Arne's Penger was essentially visual in expression. Stiller and Gustav Molander, who collaborated in writing the scenario, appeared to have absorbed the values of the Lagerlof story and translated them imaginatively into film form. The film had dramatic balance. It also had a visual harmony absent from some of the earlier films where the transition from interior to exterior was too abrupt."

Swedish Silent Film Swedish Silent Film As many as 19 films have been listed as lost and as having been directed by Peter Urban Gad, the husband of the earliest of silent stars of the silver screen, including Die falsche Asta Nielsen (1915), in which Nielsen plays both her double, Bolette, and herself. By 1922, Danish Silent Film director Peter Urban Gad had finished directing what would be his last silent film produced in Germany, The Ascension of Hannele Mattern (Hanneles Himmelfahrt), actress Margate Schlegel fulfilling the title role. If only to characterize Gad as an artist or intellectual, author Thomas J. Sanders writes, "Most emphatic was the prominent Danish author and director Urban Gad, who in early 1919 identified monumentalism, brutality and sentimentality as America's dominant film traits and advised German producers  to focus on internal consistency and substance." Bela Belaz introduces the new subjects and new characters of the "form language" with a discussion of Urban Gad, "Urban Gad, the famous Danish film producer, wrote a book on film as far back as 1918...According to him every film should be place in some specific natural enviornment which must affect the human beings living in it and plays a part in directing their lives and destinies." Belaz, in Theory of Film: character and growth of a new art, looks at "photographed theater", and that including Scandinavian Film, as no longer being only the "photographed play", that nature itself could be included in the cast of players by the "dramatic features through the present action of the immediate effect of nature on the moods and feelings of human beings which sometimes excersise a decisive influence in their fate."


Mauritz Stiller-Silent Film

While Garbo was finishing the The Temptress, Stiller, having written the script before the script department had reworked its plot, had begun shooting Hotel Imperial (1927, eight reels) for Paramount; she went to the preview of the film. Greta Garbo had said, 'Stiller was getting his bearings and coming into his own. I could see that he was getting his chance.' The conversation between the two actresses related in retrospect by Pola Negri may almost seem eerie, her account beginning with a telephone call from Mauritz Stiller, "May I be permitted to bring along a friend? She does not know many people here yet. Greta Garbo." After dinner Negri gave Garbo advice in creating for herself a unique personna, something individual, her going so far as to say, "Never be aloof or private" with Garbo adding the rejoinder without noting that they were both actresses that had worked abroad that they were in fact both remaining private while in Hollywood and Negri telling garbo that she would soon have to film without Stiller. Negri writes, "She held her head high. A look of intense interest was spreading over that perfectly chiseled face, making it the one thing that one would not have thought possible: even more beautiful."

Of Stiller's camerawork in the film, Kenneth MacGowan wrote, 'Hung from an overhead trolley, his camera moved through the lobby and the four rooms on each side of it.' In a brief review of the film R.E. Sherwood complimented Stiller on his use of camera postion and shot structure, but while praising Stiller as a director and the film's "visual qualities", which included "trick lighting" among its camera effects, which according to the author harken back to earlier "photo-acrobatics" from silent film director F.W. Murnau, Sherwood sees a lack of depth or meaning in the film's screenplay or its message as an organic whole in its having moment. Whether or not the United States can be viewed as imperial, as it is as seen by Dianne Negra, she writes about Pola Negri's character in Stiller's film, her almost connecting thematically the difference between Negri's role in the film and earlier vamp roles with the film's ending and its reuniting of Negri and her lover in a plotline similar to that of Sjöstrom's The Divine Woman (En Gudomlig Kvinna). 'The film closes with its most emphatic equation of romance and war as a close up of a kiss between Anna and Almay fades to the images of marching troops.' Mauritz Stiller, when invited to a private screening of Hotel Imperial for Max Reinhardt had said, 'Thank you. But if not for Pola, I could not have made it.' Photoplay Magazine reviewed the film favorably, "Here is a new Pola Negri in a film story at once absorbing and splendidly directed...Actually, "Hotel Imperial" is another variation of the heroine at the mercy of the invading army and beloved by the dashing spy. This has been adroitly retold here, untill it assumes qualities of interest and supspense...Miss Negri at last has a role that is ideal..."Hotel Imperial" places Stiller at the formost of our imported directors." In The Negri Legend, A new view of Pola Negri written by one who really knows her, Helen Carlise of Motion Picture Magazine wrote, "In Hotel Imperial we see a world figure who having sufferred much, having learned much, can with her great gift of artistry portray the soul of a Woman." When reviewed by Film Daily it was deemed that, "Although the vehicle does not offer her anything particularly fine, Pola Negri makes a fairly unimportant role outstanding...There is ready made exploitation in the star's name and the mention of her latest production."

Stiller also directed Pola Negri, and Clive Brook, in Barbed Wire (Ned med vapen 1927, seven reels). Moiton Picture Magazine wrote, "Again in Barbed Wire, Pola Negri proves herself one of our great screen artists. It would seem that Pola is to match the European pictures in which we first knew her, after her appearing in countless poor American productions." When Stiller directed the actress again, with Einar Hanson in The Woman on Trial (En kvinnas bekannelse 1927, six reels), Photoplay reviewed the film as "An unusually fine story and one that offers Pola Negri a chance for penetrating character study. Not for children." During 1927, Film Daily foreshadowed, quietly and not ominously enough, that, "Immediately following The Woman of Trail, Pola Negri is planning a vacation trip to Europe." It had earlier that year reported that "Cortez Opposite Negri, Ricardo Cortez will play opposite Pola Negri in Confession." A month later it reported, "Pola Negri began work yesterday on A Woman on Trial with Mauritz Stiller directing and Ricardo Cortez and Lido Mannetti in the lead roles" That year Paramount advertised Negri as "The Empress of Emotions". Negri was in Paris during the early Spring while Stiller was viewing the rushes and working on the cutting. It was reported that upon her return from Europe that she would make one more picture for Paramount before filming and already decided film slated to be filmed with Rowland V. Lee- it was elaborated that, "Although she is now a princess by virtue of her recent marraige, Pola Negri will not retire from the screen." She had by then wedded Prince Devani. The previous year Pola Negri had starred in the films The Crown of Lies (Buchowetski, five reels) and Good and Naughty (Malcom St. Clair, six reels). In her autobiography, Memoirs of a Star, Pola Negri describes her first meeting with Greta Garbo.'To tell the truth, I was also very curious about the girl...She smiled wistfully, as we shook hands...Through dinner she was resolutely silent...', her then giving an account of their conversation and of her having given Garbo advice. The Street of Sin (Syndens gata 1928, seven reels) starring Fay Wray and Olga Barclanova was begun by Stiller and finished by the director Joseph von Sternberg. It would be Stiller's last attempt to film in the United States before returning to Sweden in late 1927 and presently there are no copies of the film. Kenneth MacGowan writing about the film notes, 'The film was more distinguished for its players-Jannings and Olga Barclanova- than for its script by Joseph Sternberg. Sternberg's work on Stiller's film has been credited as having secured his position as the writer and director ofthe silent films The Last Command (1928) with Evelyn Brent and The Case of Lena Smith (1929) with Esther Ralston. During 1928, actress Olga Barclanova also appeared in the films The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni, ten reels), The Dove (Roland West, nine reels), Forgotten Faces (Victor Schertzinger, eight reels), Avalanche (Otto Brower, five reels) and Three Sinners (Rowland V. Lee, eight reels). Three Sinners, with Warner Baxter was the second film to pair Olga Backlanova and Pola Negri, their both having appeared in the film Cloak of Death in 1915. During 1928, Photoplay Magazine announced, "Lucy Doraine, of Hungary has been signed by Paramount. She is reported to be the successor to Pola Negri." During 1928, Fay Wray appeared in the films Legion of the Condemned (William Wellman, eight reels), The First Kiss (Rowland V. Lee). It was the year she began her lengthy first marriage to playwright screenwriter John Monk Saunders. Legion of the Condemned also that year appeared in bookstore. The Grosset Dunlap Photoplay Edition advertised John Monk Saunders as having been the author of Wings and published the film as a novel rewritten from one narrative form into another by Eustace H Ball, with illustrations from the film. Ball himself was an author, his having written the mystery novel The Scarlet Fox and had previously adapted into novel form the photoplay of the Douglas Fairbanks film The Gaucho. Pola Negri during 1929 had starred in The Secret Hour (eight reels), directed by Rowland V Lee.

Among the events of 1924 was a visit by silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to Stockholm, Sweden. The two had that year appeared on the September cover of Motion Picture Magazine in the United States. There are accounts that while in Sweden, Pickford and Fairbanks sailed on the small vessel The Loris with Greta Garbo and Mauritz Stiller, their departing from Lilla Skuggan, and before arriving in Saltsjobaden, their passing where Charles Magnusson lived at Skarpo.

King Vidor in 1924 paired John Gilbert and Aileen Pringle in two films, Wife of the Centaur, with Kate Lester, and His Hour. Conrad Nagel would that year team with Aileeen Pringle for the film Three Weeks. Nagel would appear on the screen with Eleanor Boardman for the 1924 film Sinners in Silk (Henley) and then the following year for The Only Thing, directed by Jack Conway. Silent Film actress Norma Shearer, in 1924, was starring in Broadway After Dark (Monta Bell, seven reels) with Anna Q. Nilsson, The Snob (Monta Bell, seven reels) with John Gilbert, Empty Hands (Victor Fleming, seven reels), Married Flirts (Robert Vignola, seven reels) with Conrad Nagel and The Wolfman (Edward Mortimer, six reels) with John Gilbert. The next year she starred in Pretty Ladies (Monta Bell, six reels), one of the films that she had been given by being a contract player at the MGM studio, it having afforded her a cameo role. The film was based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns and had featured Conrad Nagel. Also that year Shearer appeared in the films Waking Up the Town (James Cruze, six reels), Lady of the Night (Monta Bell, six reels) and His Secretary (seven reels). She continued with Conrad Nagel the following year in The Waning Sex (seven reels) and appeared in Upstage (Monta Bell, seven reels). When an interviewer had asked Conrad Nagel if he had been in love with Norma Shearer, Nagel equivocated, 'Every man who knew or worked with her was in love with her. She had an unusual grace and tact, and she was very sensitive to other people's feelings.' Pola Negri appeared in two films directed by Dimitri Buchowetski during 1924, Men, with Robert Frazer and Lily of the Dust.

In the United States, Exceptional Photoplays, in an article titled The Swedish Photoplays distinguished the film of Svenska Bio for their "quality of compostition" and "imaginative presentation" by introducing Mortal Clay, "Costume plays are often unconvincing on the screen because they fail to reproduce period atmosphere, but Mortal Clay (banal in nothing but its name) has succeded in creating for us the spirit of the Twelfth century...The plot is dramaticlly sound and absorbingly interesting. But the real claim to greatness which the picture posseses lies in the splendid composition of its scenes and incomparable lovliness of its lighting effects. There is a certain architectural maganificience in the picture". The magazine noted that Victor Seastrom was both actor and director and commended a "fineness of shading" in his performance. In the United States, during 1923 it was reported that the Sjostrom film Mortal Clay was screened by Little Theaters Inc, "an organization recently formed to boost the artistic standards of motion pictures." (Film Daily) During January of 1922, Victor Sjostrom was already known in the United States as Victor Seastrom. Apparently he was then the object of the desire of the female spectator, which is reflected in the extratextual discourse of Helen Hancock, in Pantomine Magazine, who wrote, "We have kept Victor Seastrom untill the last. Because perhaps Mr. Seastrom might not like to be called a matinee idol- leaving that phrase to younger and perhaps handsomer men. But he is one, just the same...Of the heavy, rugged type, portraying men of strong emotions and virile personalites." She claims he was one of the foremost directors and a pioneer, and then compliments him on being an actor of the legitimate stage. Director Victor Sjostrom had left Sweden for Hollywood in 1922 upon the completion of the film The Hellship. The Film Daily during January of 1923 announced that Sjostrom had signed with Metro: Victor Sjostrom had become Victor Seastrom, "Seastrom under the contract signed is understood to have the right to act in as well as direct his productions." Three months later it announced that Paul Bern was engaged to write continuity for The Master of Man. Oddly, as the studio was using Seastrom's name before filming had completed to advertise that "Godldwyn is doing big things.", the publication added to the extratextural discourse with "Americanizing Sweden by Films, Victor Seastrom, in a recent address stated that Sweden is fast becoming Americanized by American motion pictures." Early in June of 1923, it tersely reported, "Victor Seastrom has started shooting on Master of Man and later that month, if only to allow itself to be more concise, reported, "Edith Erastoff, a popular Swedish dramatic star, and wife of Victor Seastrom is en route to the Pacific Coast to join her husband who is Master of Man for Goldwyn." The film stars Mae Busch. Film Daily had avoided speculation for months before announcing, "Nagel replaces Schildkraut. Conrad nagel will play the leading masculine role in Master of Man, which Victor Seastrom is now making for Goldwyn. Joseph Schildkraut was originally cast for the role." It soon added that "Hobart Bosworth will have an important role" before reporting in September that Sjostrom had finished while Alan Crosland was nearing the completion of his film Three Weeks. Motion Picture Magazine had a similar, but conflicting report during 1923, "Gost Ekman, matinee hero of Stockholm is coming over for the first American picture to be made by Victor Seastrom, the famous Swedish director...He plays in stock during the winter months- in pictures every summer. Seastrom's wife, Edith Erastoff, who usually plays opposite Ekman is coming to Hollywood to be with her husband. He has not stated whether she will go in the movies." During 1924 Carl Sandberg reviewed the film Name the Man (eight reels), his remarking upon Sjostrom's use of lighting, which, whether or not it may have had been a use of realism or naturalism, seemed underplayed to Sandberg and based on the enviornment rather than made more elaborate or as being artificial. "He was an actor, rated as Sweden's best, and his voice leads actors into slow, certain moods." Iris Barry is timely writing in 1924, imparting to the readers of Lets Go to The Movies, "Victor Seastrom, who had made Swedish pictures before Germany had begun its work (and too good to be popular) went last and they had they idiocy to put him to turning one of Hall Caine's intensely stupid stories into moving pictures. He did the best he could and played about a bit with the Yankee studio devices." And yet rather than providing a synopsis to the film, Motion Picture Magazine in 1923 relegated the novelization of the film to Peter Andrews. "She half rose as he returned and his bathrobe which she had flung around her slipped down, perhaps farther than it needed to." It was accompanied by a table explaining the cast of the film directed by Victor Seastrom and a capition which read, "told in short story form by permission from the Goldwyn Production of the scenario by Paul Bern." In his volume The Film Till Now, author Paul Rotha resonates a tone that can be likened to other critics his contemporary, "I cannot recall any example of a European director, who, on coming to Hollywood, made film better, or even as good as he did in his own surroundings." After mentioning Murnau, Leni and Lubitsch, the opines, "Sjostrom's Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness is preferable to Name the Man."

1922 was a year during which Gustaf Molander's second film, Amatorfilmen, the first film in which actress Elsa Ebbengen-Thorblad was to appear, brought actress Mimi Pollack to Swedish movie audiences. Molander had made the film The King of Boda (Tyrranny of Hate, Bodakungen) in 1920. It was the first film to be photographed by Swedish cinematographer Adrian Bjurman and starred Egil Eide and Wanda Rothgardt. Karin Molander had in 1920 starred in two films by Mauritz Stiller, in When We Are Married (Erotikon) with Lars Hanson, Tora Teje, and Glucken Cederberg, and in Fiskebyn. She also that year appeared in the film Bomben, directed by Rune Carlsten. And yet Karin Molander would only later be mentioned to audiences in the United States, Photoplay Magazine noting in 1926 that she was no longer in Sweden and no longer married to Gustaf Molander, "With Lars Hanson came his wife, Karin Nolander, leading woman in the Royal State Theater of Stockholm and billed as 'Sweden's most beautiful woman' She hasn't appeared on the screen yet, but it shouldn't be long now with so many good Scandinavian directors over here." Pictured together, a 1927 photocaption from Photoplay Magazine read, "When Mr. and Mrs. Lars Hanson worked for Swedish companies, Mrs. Hanson was popular on the European screen as karin Nolander. But now that her husband has made a hit in this country, she has retired and decided to let his gather all the glory for the family."
Victor Seastrom/><img alt=



As an act of spectatorship, Iris Barry looked at film directors in the United States, "Seastrom, the Swedish director, is a man whom America has ruined. In Sweden, one cannot help feeling the cinema has steered its own sweet course irrespective of a desire to please the people at all costs...There has been much poetry and a great deal of fancy in Swedish films." The Film Daily advised, "Keep your eye on Seastrom. He is liable to do some things that will make him one of the most important directors in this country." Readers in Sweden can affectionately know that it added, "Incidentally, if they can prevail upon him to act in one of of his productions he will also prove suprising." Photoplay magazine featured a magnificient photo Victor Sjostrom during 1923 in which he is holding a megaphone while standing next to his camera and camera crew in a foot of water while on location, shooting a scene from the middle of a stream; it is the same photo that appeared in Screenland Magazine, which, during October of 1923, in addition to that featured cameraman Charles Van in a photograph, his having been on the set of The Master of Man. The title of the article, written by Constance Palmer Littlefield, was New Hope for the American < Photoplay. It described the film Mortal Clay directed in Sweden by Victor Sjostrom as a film that was more artistic than commercial and anticipates the director's next film as there being on the screen "food for comparision", the soon to also be an adaption of the writing of Sir Hall Caine with The Master of Man, directed in the United States by Victor Seastrom. Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine had been secretary to Dante Gabriel Rosetti during the last year of the painter's life, his novels having been adapted to the screen by George Fitzmaurice, who filmed Barbara LaMarr in The Eternal City (1923) and by Hugh Ford, who filmed Katherine McDonald and Katherine Griffith in The Woman Thou Gavest Me (1919.) "But in Victor Seastrom lies hope. Since his coming to us from Sweden, he has been instrumental in organizing the Little Theatre movement of the screen." Screenland Magazine notes that

Joseph Schildkraut was originally been slated for the lead role in the film untill his scenes were reshot with Conrad Nagel. Where the article is continued, to the back pages of the magazine issue, there begins an interview with Victor Sjostrom where he is asked about the size of Svenska Filmindustri, to which there is the account of his having replied, "'Well-," and this strong man actually faltered, choosing his words, so carefully, 'It is quite large." When describing the size of the studios themselves. Victor Sjostrom, the actor, almost deferentially reveals himself, Victor Seastrom, the film director while answering that not all of the studios at Rasunda were as large as Goldwyn's huge Stage Six, "'Maybe as large as this,' he waved his hand inclusively at the courtroom, which is not large as sets go".Cinematographer Charles Van Enger not only photographed the 1924 film Name the Man (Infor hogre ratt), directed by Victor Sjöstrom, but also that year photographed the films Lovers' Lane (Phil Rosen, seven reels) with actress Gertrude Olmstead, Three Women (Lubitsch, eight reels) with May McAvoy, Forbidden Paradise (Lubitsch, eight reels) with Pola Negri and Daughters of Pleasure (six reels) and Daring Youth (six reels), both directed by William Beaudine. The Film Daily reviewed the film's script. "It has the usual strength of a Hall Caine story is there, and in spots where censors weild wicked shears, there may be some difficulty...It is a gripping drama, of the type of Anna Christie. As with most films, the magazine added its "Box Office Angle" and advice for the film's "Exploitation", it suggesting to rely upon the name recognition of Hall Caine in that it was the first film Victor Sjostrom had made in the United States, but promised the film would make a financially turn a profit and included one of Conrad Nagel's very best performances, "Of strong appeal to women. Love story will hold them to the very end. Unusual treatment of rather old theme." Filmnyheter in 1923 ran the heading "Victor Sjostroms nya film bestamd. Infor Hogre ratt av Hall Caine." It began with, "Ett telegram fran Victor Sjostrom meddlar att for vilken film han forst skall gripa sig an med hos Goldwyn." and ended with, "Som nan ser, en stark och dramatisk handling ihed det etiska innehall Victor Sjostrom alltid sokt for sinafilmer."

Photoplay returned to Seastrom in 1925, "When Victor Seastrom presented his verion of Hall Caine's Name the Man, we were dissappointed. he failed to rise much above the level of a fourth rate novel." They reversed their postion with He Who Gets Slapped, rating it superb and claiming it would lift Sjostrom to "the top rank of directors". While in the United States, Victor Sjostrom, under the name Victor Seastrom, was to direct the first feature released by Metro Goldwyn mayer, He Who Gets Slapped (Hans som for orfilarne, 1924 seven reels), starring Jack Gilbert, Norma Shearer and Lon Chaney. Photoplay wrote, "All this is unfolded in a series of beautiful camera pictures, technically faultless. It is told celarly and directly in pantomine, as is the right function of the photoplay. True, there are subtitles, but in the main they are philosophic (and well written) comments on the action. " Motion Picture Magazine wrote, "The director has never permitted the irony of the play to touch the mark of bitterness and the result is a touching, warm and at moments, tender narrative." Of Chaney's performance, it added, "The picture is a clean-cut score for Lon Chaney, who climbed to fame as a "master of make-up" and is now justifying his place in the sun of popularity with a display of an amazing skill in the delineation of character." Pictures and Picturegoer Magazine reported in early 1924, "Goldwyn will not allow the title of Victor Seastrom's new film to be made public. It is a film version of a popular novel." Months later it added, "Victor Seastrom is working for Goldwyn now...His next film will be called The Tree in the Garden and his leading lady is Norma Shearer." It then crescendoed, "After all his big talk, Victor Seastrom is now making He Who Gets Slapped."
Victor Seastrom-Silent Film Victor Seastrom-Silent Film Victor Seastrom-Silent Film



King Vidor in 1924 paired John Gilbert and Aileen Pringle in two films, Wife of the Centaur with Kate Lester, and His Hour. Norwegian film director Tancred Ibsen, while briefly in Hollywood, worked on the set design to the Vidor film His Hour. Monta Bell that year directed John Gilbert in The Snob (seven reels).

In Sweden, Karin Boye was publishing her second volume of poetry, Hidden Lands, her continuing in 1927 with the volume The Hearths. She had published her first work, Clouds two years earlier, a year when Swedish poet Birger Sjoberg had published Frida's Songs.

In 1925, Edmund Goulding began directing with Sun-Up Sally (six reels), starring Conrad Nagel and Irene and Sally (six reels), starring Constance Bennett, following the two films with Paris (six reels). Notably, Clarence Brown in 1925 directed Rudolph Valentino in the film The Eagle, which is of interest not only for its introduction of the pull-back shot, a tracking shot moving away from its subject similar to the present day zoom-out, but it was also one of the first films for which Adrain had designed the costumes, the other that year having had been being Her Sister From Paris.

Basil Rathbone, who co-starred with Greta Garbo, under the direction of Clarence Brown, in the sound version of Anna Karenina, wrote of his aquaintance with her in his autobiography, In and Out of Character. "I first met Miss Garbo in 1928 when Ouida and I were invited to lunch with Jack Gilbert one Sunday." Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of the film Flesh and the Devil. Of his starring in film with her, he wrote, "And so upon the morning previously arranged I called upon Miss Garbo. The house, a small one, was as silent as the grave. There was no indication it might be occupied." Rathbone had also appeared in silent films- Trouping with Ellen (T. Hayes Hunter, seven reels) in 1924, The Masked Bride (Christy Cabanne, six reels), starring Mae Murray, in 1925 and The Great Deception (Howard Higgin, six reels) in 1926. Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of Flesh and the Devil. On learning that Greta Garbo had already had the film Mata Hari in production, Pola Negri deciding between scripts that were in her studio's story department chose A Woman Commands as her first sound film, in which she starred with Basil Rathbone. Of Rathbone she wrote in her autobiography, 'As an actor, I suspected Rathbone might be a little stiff and unromantic for the role, but he made a test that was suprisingly good.' Directed by Paul L.Stein, the films also stars Reginald Owen and Roland Young.

Silent Film Victor Seastrom



During 1925 actress Vilma Banky was filming for George Fitzmaurice rather than Victor Sjostrom, who featured her in his first sound film, A Lady To Love, that being before her Hungarian accent purportedly had contributed to an unacceptance on the part of movie going audiences. The Great Goldwyn, an early biography on producer Sam Goldwyn written by Alva Johnston, gives an account of her having been brought to the United States States, "He discovered Miss Banky when he saw her picture in a photograph shop in Budapest. This was a feit, because when the photograph was sent to Hollywood, the Goldwyn executives could see no possibilites in her. She arrived in Hollywood herself a few days after her photograph. Miss Banky was bewildered on her arrival in Hollywood. 'I thought I was being tricked,' she told an interpreter, 'I didn't believe the man was Goldwyn untill he gave me two thousand dollars.'" During 1925, Victor Sjostrom, brought Lewis Stone and Alice Terry to the screen in the film Confessions of a Queen (Kungar i landsflykt). Photoplay wrote, According to all reports Alice Terry has knocked them dizzy with The Great Divide...It will be interesting to observe this brilliant woman under the director of Victor Seastrom." With Sjostrom was a cinematographer that became widely used on the back lots of the silent films of the decade to turn flicker into fantasy, Percy Hilburn, his having worked with several directors, notably Reginald Barker, George Melford, Fred Niblo and Monta Bell. Picturegoer Magazine reviewed the film, "Confessions of a Queen is a Ruritanian theme, with a long suffering Queen- Alice Terry, and a dissolute King- Lewis Stone; and here the acting of the principals lifts Seastrom's production shoulder-high above the ordinary." Sjostrom's film was written by Agnes Christine Johnson, adapted from The Painted Laugh a novel by Alphonse Daudet. Picturegoer magazine saw Sjostrom's contribution to film as being exemplary as a literate director, "You may have noticed that Seastrom has changed the titles- this however is not an example of vandalism; he changed the stories too, and, if I may say so, with all deference to the authors, has changed them for the better...Yes they have box office appeal, but they are still and sober, artistic and sombre." To the present author, it seems that this is in part due to Sjostrom having been an actor during the time of August Strindberg and in part a nod to his having worked with Selma Lagerlof, harkening back to when the reverse was true for Mauritz Stiller and his break with Lagerlof over how faithfully her writings should have beeen adapted.

In Sweden, Par Lagerkvist that year published the novel Guest of Reality (Gas hos verkligheten). It is an account of the events of his childhood an his claim of his reluctance to accept religous ideals. In Sweden, Olaf Molander directed Lady of the Camellias (Damen med kameliorna, 1925), starring Ivan Hedqvist and Hilda Borgström and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Forsyth Hardy writes, "The film derived some distinction from the delicately composed interiors and from the touching performance Tora Teje gave in response to Molander's skilled direction." In 1926 Molanderfollowed with Married Life (Giftas), starring Hilda Borgström and Margit Manstad, also photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson and in 1927 with Only a Dancing Girl, which he wrote and directed. Gustaf Molander in 1925 directed the film Constable Paulus' Easter Bomb (Polis Paulis' Easter Bomb). William Larsson that year directed the films Broderna Ostermans huskors and For hemmet och flickan, with Jenny Tschernichin and Elsa Widborg in what would be the first film in which she was to appear. John W. Brunius in 1925 directed the film Charles XII (Karl XII), photographed by Hugo Edlund and starring Gösta Ekman, Pauline Brunius and Mona Martenson. Its screenplay was written by Hjalmar Bergman and Ivar Johansson. Many of the scenes of Brunius' film were shot on the actual historical locations and battlesites, it having had been being one of the most expensive films to have been made in Sweden up untill that time. Gosta Ekman had earlier been seen as leading man in the United States, as a "romantic type" In Pantomine magazine it was surveyed that, "he plays the impudent, but loveable adventurer to life and his slender blonde figure lends itself most admirably to graceful interpretations of this kind." Photoplay magazine saw Ekman in a similar way, describing him in 1923 as "the Swedish shiek" (the Swedish Valentino) and predicted his soon aquiring famem in the United States, as it did that year with Sigrid Holmqvist. Photoplay reported, "Arriving with him from Stockholm was Edith Erastoff, the wife of Victor Seastrom, the Swedish director who is now working for Goldwyn. Miss Erastoff played opposite Mr. Ekman at the Stockholm Theater....'A beautiful boy,' says director Seastrom, 'Too beautiful- but he is a great actor and never hesitates to conceal his good looks for a character part which demands make-up.'" The magazine that year speculated that "in all probability" Ekman woulod appear on screen in a version of "Three Weeks", concievably opposite actress Theda Bara. In Sweden, in 1925 Ragnar Ring directed the film Tre Kroner (1925), following the next year with the film Butikskultur. Ett kopmanshus i skargarden starring Anna Wallin and Anna Carlsten was written and directed by Hjalmer Peters, its photographer Hellwig Rimmen.

In Finland, the film The Northeners/The Bothnians (Pohjalaisis) was recently screened for the first time since its first run release in 1925. Directed by Jalmari Landensue, the film was photographed by a camerman that would film on several occaisions for the directors Konrad Tallroth, Erkki Karu and Teuro Puro. In Germany, Scandinavian film director Svens Gade positioned actress Asta Nielsen in front of the lens in Hamlet (1920). Directing in the United States in 1925, his films included Fifth Avenue Models adapted from the novel The Best in Life by Muriel Coxen, Siege and Peacock Feathers (seven reels) with Jacqueline Logan; in 1926 they were to include Watch Your Wife (seven reels), Into Her Kingdom (seven reels) with Corinne Griffith and Einar Hanson and The Blonde Saint (seven reels), adapted from the novel Isle of Life by Stephen Whitman and starring Lewis Stone and Ann Rork. Gade would later become a scenario writer rather than director, one instance being Symphony for Universal, directed by F. Harmon Weight.







It was in 1926 that Lillian Gish, while filming La Boheme (King Vidor, nine reels) with John Gilbert, had met Victor Sjöström. Lillian Gish was quoted by an early biographer as having said that it was on the set of La Boheme that she began working with Frances Marion on the continuity behind The Scarlet Letter. Photoplay Magazine in 1926 added a photocaption to a still from Victor Sjostrom's film, for they had trouble getting Lillian to put torrid temperature into her La Boheme scenes. Here is Lillian sending hot looks to Lars Hanson. Motion Picture Magazine included the character Pearl from the film adaptation with a portrait of Lillian Gish taken by Ruth Harriet Louise entitled "Lillian's Protoge". Quoted by Liberty Magazine during 1927, Lillian Gish said, "King Vidor directed La Boheme, and one of the best cameramen in my experience, Hendrik Sartov, lent his aid...We finished it on a Saturday, and without waiting for my weeks holiday, we began The Scarlet Letter on Monday."

There is an account of Victor Sjostrom's shooting the exterior scenes to the film The Scarlet Letter in which during the film he climbed down from a platform after Swedish silent film director Mauritz Stiller had announce that he was there, Stiller then saying, "This is Garbo." Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller had met in Stockholm the day before the shooting of the 1912 film The Gardner/The Broken Spring Rose was to begin at the studio in Lindingo, Bengt Forslund later chronicling that "Sjostrom didn't know Stiller befroe they became associated at Svenska Bio, but he was aware of his reputation." Photoplay reviewed the 1926 film, "Hawthorne's classic and somber study of the New England conscience has just been somberly translated to the screen. Lillian Gish wears the red letter of sin with her stock virginal sweetness failing to grasp the force of Hester Prynne's will power and intelligence...The camerawork has been perfectly handled but the puritans have been seen with a slightly Swedish eye by director Victor Seastrom. They are dour rather than high minded fanatics....Take your handkerchiefs and the older children". Decades before Lillian Gish published her autobiography The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me, she had layered some its preliminary by laying out its chronicle during conversations to biographer Albert Bigelow Paine, author of Life and Lillian Gish. Paine quotes her discussing her having been on the set with Victor Sjostrom, "He got the spirit of the story exactly, and was hinself a fine actor, the finest that ever directed me. I never worked with anyone I liked better than Seastrom. He was Scandinavian- thorough and prompt. If Mr. Seastrom said we would start at eight, or half past, the camera was ready at that time, and so were we." Gish connects this to an illness in her family while filming The Scarlett Letter, "At the studio, Seastrom said that by working day and night we could do the remaining two weeks on the picture in the three days I had left...We didn't waste a moment and during those three days there was very little sleep for anyone." Sidney Sutherland, author of the several installments of Lillian Gish, The Incomparable Being: The Story of Great Tragedienne that appeared in Liberty Magazine during 1927 quoted the silent film actress, "We finished The Scarlet Letter on schedule. eight weeks having been allotted to it by Mr. Thalberg, but we found we would require about two weeks for certain retakes and changes. Just as we began this added work, I recieved word from London my mother was dying...That would give me just to finish up the fourteen days necessary for the retakes. I told Mr Thalberg and Victor Seastrom, my director, and we worked forty eight hours, without more than two hours sleep. Interiors were made all night and outdoor scenes every moment of sunlight." The Film Daily magazine reviewed the work of actress Lillian Gish, "Another very credible performance. At times Miss Gish reaches real heights." It reviewed the film favorably, "Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Victor Seastrom are to be congratulated for their courage in telling this dramatic without any extraneous and unnecessary flourishes", but also advice as to its "Exploitation". "No ballyhoo for this. It isn't that type of a picture. The import of the letter A which Lillian Gish carries like a cross might be used to arouse interest." It was a set where "Lillian Gish is gelatinzining the famous Scarlet Letter" as seen by Photoplay of that year. Motion Picture Classic published stills of Lillian Gish taken by Milton Brown. It reviewed the film with "Miss Gish's Hester should be an interesting addtion to her gallery of suffering heroines."
Silent FilmVictor Seastrom-Silent Film




 In 1935, the magazine International Photographer quoted cameraman Bert Longworth, ""Only by the correct usage of lights can photography be raised to the standard of art.'" The magazine continued, "His first job in motion pictures was with Universal. Among the pictures he shot the stills on were The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. After three years he transferred to M.G.M. Studio where he was the first man to take portraits of Greta Garbo and covered her two early hits Flesh and the Devil and The Temptress." An issue of Film Fun during 1922 also pointed out the same need for lighting to be essential to film-making, "Lighting is one of the most important elements in the making of a good picture... In Sweden, they have only four months during the year in which the sun shines and during that time they work eighteen hours a day. The Swedish pictures have a peculiar luminousity which we do not seem able to obtain in this country and it is probably due to the intense brightness of the sun." Included in the article are stills from the Swedish Silent films Synovia of Sundown Hill, The Dawn of Love and A Gay Knight.

Silent Film: Lost Film, Found Magazines

There were 478 silent films made in Sweden; of them only 192 still exist, although there are copies of fragments from a number of them. Added to that, countless Danish silent films produced by Ole Olsen for Nordisk Films Kompagni are "presumably lost": the Danish Film Institute notes that approximately 1600 silent short and feature films were made whereas only 250 films presently exist, Not the only webpage concerned with the preservation of Silent Film, the lost films webpage from Berlin show clips and stills from fifty silent film that it claims are "unknown or unidentified". Bengt Forslund penned a brief paragraph about the silent film The Divine Woman (En Gudomlig Kvinna, 1928), directed by Victor Sjostrom under the name Victor Seastrom, "This was written 35 years ago and even at that stage all prints seem to have vanished. There is not much hope of finding one today since Garbo's films have been the subject of more research than those of most other stars.". Lon Chaney is quoted as having said, "I told Garbo that mystery served me well and it would do as much for her." Forslund reflected upon the exisiting early silent film of the Swedish director, "Even more regrettable is that out of the 31 films directed by Sjostrom during this period, only three have survived, and out of the other 8 films in which he acted, not a single one remains." It was Norma Shearer who was to star opposite Lon Chaney in the other M.G.M directed by Victor Sjostrom under the name Seastrom of which there are no existant copies, that film being Tower of Lies (1924, seven reels). Photoplay Magazine reviewed the film in a way that doesn't discourage Fri, December 21, 2012 - 5:01 PM permalink


Victor Sjostrom-Silent Film



Danish Silent Film: Sherlock Holmes at Elsinore/Sherlock Holmes pa Marienlyst; the Nordisk Film Kompagni and Carl Th. Dreyer


Silent Swedish Film



                        








Scott Lord-Silent Film Swedish Silent Film


Motion Picture Magazine during 1923 wrote, "Sigrid Holmquist has come to Lasky's to appear in The Gentlemen of Leisure. She is a Swedish Mary Pickford" Holmquist had appeared under the direction of Lau Lauritzen in 1920 in the film Love and Bear Hunting (Karlek och Bjornjakt) before coming to the United States to appear in the film directed by Joseph Henabery and also during 1923 appeared in an adaptation of the Kipling novel The Light that Failed (George Melford) with Jaqueline Logan. She had also appreared in the 1922 film The Prophet's Paradise directed by Alan Crosland.

 As many as 19 films have been listed as lost and as having been directed by Peter Urban Gad, the husband of the earliest of silent stars of the silver screen, including Die falsche Asta Nielsen (1915), in which Nielsen plays both her double, Bolette, and herself. By 1922, Danish Silent Film director Peter Urban Gad had finished directing what would be his last silent film produced in Germany, The Ascension of Hannele Mattern (Hanneles Himmelfahrt), actress Margate Schlegel fulfilling the title role. If only to characterize Gad as an artist or intellectual, author Thomas J. Sanders writes, "Most emphatic was the prominent Danish author and director Urban Gad, who in early 1919 identified monumentalism, brutality and sentimentality as America's dominant film traits and advised German producers  to focus on internal consistency and substance." Bela Belaz introduces the new subjects and new characters of the "form language" with a discussion of Urban Gad, "Urban Gad, the famous Danish film producer, wrote a book on film as far back as 1918...According to him every film should be place in some specific natural enviornment which must affect the human beings living in it and plays a part in directing their lives and destinies." Belaz, in Theory of Film: character and growth of a new art, looks at "photographed theater", and that including Scandinavian Film, as no longer being only the "photographed play", that nature itself could be included in the cast of players by the "dramatic features through the present action of the immediate effect of nature on the moods and feelings of human beings which sometimes excersise a decisive influence in their fate." Although The Silent Cinema, authored by Liam O'Leary, is a "Pictureback" and includes numerous stills from films that are lost and represents them as though they were available for screening at the time of its 1965 printing, it not only presages internet writing with its combination of filmography and chronology, but astutely alerts us that while becoming an even more vesatile drama actress, Asta Neislen had found new directors with whom to film. During 1922, she appeared in an on screen production of the writing of Stendhal with Vanina (Vanina, order die galgenhochziet), directed by Arthur von Gerlach and photographed by Fredrik Fuglsang.

Sherlock Holmes pa Marienlyst/Sherlock Holmes at Elsinore

Basil Rathbone, who co-starred with Greta Garbo, under the direction of Clarence Brown, in the sound version of Anna Karenina, wrote of his aquaintance with her in his autobiography, In and Out of Character. "I first met Miss Garbo in 1928 when Ouida and I were invited to lunch with Jack Gilbert one Sunday." Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of the film Flesh and the Devil. Of his starring in film with her, he wrote, "And so upon the morning previously arranged I called upon Miss Garbo. The house, a small one, was as silent as the grave. There was no indication it might be occupied." Rathbone had also appeared in silent films- Trouping with Ellen (T. Hayes Hunter, seven reels) in 1924, The Masked Bride (Christy Cabanne, six reels), starring Mae Murray, in 1925 and The Great Deception (Howard Higgin, six reels) in 1926. Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of Flesh and the Devil. Anna Karenina (1914), filmed by J. Gordon Edwards, had starred Betty Nansen. On learning that Greta Garbo had already had the film Mata Hari in production, Pola Negri deciding between scripts that were in her studio's story department chose A Woman Commands as her first sound film, in which she starred with Basil Rathbone. Of Rathbone she wrote in her autobiography, 'As an actor, I suspected Rathbone might be a little stiff and unromantic for the role, but he made a test that was suprisingly good.' Directed by Paul L.Stein, the films also stars Reginald Owen and Roland Young. Ronald Colman had begun as a screen actor in England as well with the films The Live Wire (Dewhurst, 1917), The Toilers (1919), Sheba (Hepworth, 1919), Snow in the Desert (1919) and The Black Spider (1920). Like Basil Rathbone, William Powell had also appeared in silent films, among those being Romola (Henry King, 1924 twelve reels) with Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and The Beautiful City (Kenneth Webb, 1925) with Dorothy Gish. William Powel also appeared with Fay Wray and Richard Arlen in the 1929 silent Four Feathers directed by Merrian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.

And like Rathbone, another Sherlock Holmes, Clive Brook who appeared in the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Dean) and in the title role of Sherlock Holmes (Howard) in the film of 1930, was appearing in silent films during the early 1920's, including Woman to Woman (Cutts 1923) and Out to Win (Clift, 1923). As part of an interesting study, Clive Brook had appeared in the mysteries Trent's Last Case (1920), directed by Richard Garrick and based on the novel by E.C. Bentley and The Loudwater Mystery (1921), based on the novel by Edgar Jepson, before his appearing with Isobel Elsom in the 1923 film A Debt of Honor directed by Maurice Elvey. One of the most sought after lost, or missing films, listed by the British Film Institute as having been filmed but not surviving today in an existing print is The Mystery of the Red Barn (Maria Marton) dircted by Maurice Elvey in 1913. The following year Elvey was to direct the mysteries The Cup Final Mystery and Her Luck in London. One of the first directors Philip St John Basil Rathbone had appeared in front of the camera for had been Maurice Elvey, who had directed the 1921 film, The Fruitful Vine, adapted for the screen from the novel. To complement the films made in the United States, Sherlock Holmes of 1916 starring William Gillette and Sherlock Holmes (nine reels) of 1922, starring John Barrymore, John Barrymore not only in the title role but also in a dual role as Moriarty: Maurice Elvey in 1921 directed actor Eille Norwood in the first 15 of 45 shorts in which he would star as Sherlock Holmes. In addition to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which would include The Empty House, The Solitary Cyclist, The Man With The Twisted Lip, A Case of Identity, The Copper Beeches, The Beryl Coronet, The Priory School, The Yellow Face and The Dying Detective, Elvey that year directed Norwood in The Sign of the Four and in the silent Sherlock Holmes film The Hound of the Baskervilles. After his having directed Matheson Long in the Stoll Film Company's 1919 production of the film Mr. Wu, Maurice Elvey had been earlier teamed with Eille Norwood in 1920 for two silent films before their having entered into the Sherlock Holmes series, The Hundreth Chance, adapted from the novel, and The Tavern Knight, also adapted from the novel. George Ridgewell would direct Eille Norwood in 30 short films in which he would star as the consulting detective, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1922) and The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1923), among them being The Boscome Valley Mystery (1922), The Six Napoleons (1922), The Golden Pince-Nez (1922), The Reigate Squires (1922), The Musgrave Ritual (1922), Black Peter, The Norwood Builder, The Red Circle, The Stockbrokers Clerk, The Abbey Grange, The Engineer's Thumb (1923), The Dancing Men (1923), The Mystery of Thor Bridge (1923) and The Cardboard Box . George Ridgewell during 1922 also directed the mystery The Crimson Circle with Clifton Boyne. In regard to Maurice Elvey, there still lies the possibility that modern detective of lost film could find any conceivable treasure; in 1926 the director filmed several films in a series entitled Haunted Houses and Castles of Great Britain. Like Holmes, counterpart Nyland Smith, portrayed Fred Paul, was extended into a second series of films, the British studio and director A. E. Coleby, after having completed The Mystery of Dr. Fu Man Chu (1923), which when completed ran to fifteen individual short stories, having added The Further Mysteries of Dr. Fu Man Chu to make the number of adventures twenty two. During 1924, the studio added a series of silent adventures entitled Thrilling Stories from the Strand Magazine.


By all sccounts, Sherlock Holmes at Elsinore Sherlock Holmes pa Marienlyst, written by Danish author Carl Muusmann during 1906 and republished by the Baker Street Irregulars on the fiftieth anniversay of its first appearance, has not been translated into filmic for and on to the screen, it detailing the pariculars to a visit Holmes made to a seaside hotel. Nor has The Vanished Footman, published in the Danish magazine Maaneds-Magisinet in 1910 by Severin Christensen. Sherlock Holmes in a New Light, an anthology of short stories published in Sweden by Sture Stig and the New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which he followed with two years later, also seem missing. What Carl Muusmann had in fact written in 1903 that was to find its way into Danish cinema was a novel that Carl Th Dreyer had adapted while a scriptwriter for Nordisk, Fange no 113, directed by Holger-Madsen in 1917 and he had contributed to a script Dreyer had been involved with in 1917 entitled Herregaards Mysteriet. Carl Muusmann had written the background material that went to three films directed by Hjalmer Davidson during 1915 and 1916, Manegens Born, Grevide Clara and Filmens Datter (The Films Datter, adapted from a novel published in 1914. Denmark had had its own early silent cinema with the Nordisk Film Kompagni, founded in 1906, and Swedish film historian Forsyth Hardy can be quoted as having written, "The Danes claim to have made the first dramatic film, in 1903." Most of its early narrative films having had been being directed by Viggo Larsen, they were for the most part "thrillers, tragedies and love stories" (Astrid Soderberg Widding) or "the social melodarama and dime novel that made a hit from 1910 onwards" (Bengt Forslund). Anna Strauss, while examining Danish silent film as an international cinema, cinema that was exported, writes that, "Danish film was associated with 'social drama' and 'erotic melodrama', so much so that she examines the alternative endings that were filmed in order to export narrative films (not films that are lost, but seperately filmed final acts to conclude their respective feature films). Mysteries like Pat Corner (Masterdetektiven) and Nat Pinkerton, The Anarchists Plot (Det Mislykkede attentat), both in which the director Viggo Larsen appeared on screen with Elith Pio, had appeared in Denmark not as early as 1909 but earlier, the Danish photographer Axel Graatjaer Sorensen having begun filming for Larsen in 1906 and having had continued solely for Larsen untill 1911, when he then began photographing first for Danish silent film director August Blom and then for danish silent film director Urban Gad under the name Axel Graatjkjae. Viggo Larsen by 1910, was in Germany, where he directed and starred with Wanda Treumann in Arsene Lupin Against Sherlock Holmes (Arsene Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes), which appears to have been a series consisting of The Old Secretaire, The Blue Diamond, The Fake Rembrandts, Arsene Lupin Escapes, and The Finish of Arsene Lupin.  In 1911 he directed the more successful Sherlock Holmes contra Professor Moriarty, which having been filmed by Vitascope, was two reels in length.  In Denmark, Larsen had played Holmesin one reel films to Holger-Madsen's Raffles in both Sherlock Holmes Risks His Life (Sherlock Holmes i livsfare,1908), a film in which Otto Dethefsen appeared as Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes Two, both films photographed by Axel Sorensen. Einar Zangenberg played the armchair detective in Larsen's Sherlock Holmes Three and in Hotel Thieves (Hotelmystierne) in 1911, after which Zangerberg stepped behind the camera as director in 1912 to bring the photography of Poul Eibye to the screen in the films Kvindhjerter and Efter Dodsspriset, both with Edith Psilander, The Last Hurdle (Den Sidste Hurdle, in which he appeared on screen with Edith Psilander, and The Marconi-Operater (The Marconi Telegrafisten. Viggo Larsen would also direct the Sherlock Holmes films The Singer's Diamond (Sangerindens daiamanter (1908), starring Holger Madsen with Aage Brandt as the singer, The Gray Lady (Den Graa Dame, 1909) and Cab Number 519 (Drokes 519), in which Larsen would play the consulting detective with co-star August Blom. The Baker Street Journal mentions that the Nordisk Film The Gray Lady is often held to be the first film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles despite that it "does not feature a hound at all, but rather a phantom lady used for much the same purpose." Before becoming one of the finest, and most prolific, of Danish silent film directors, August Blom also starred as an actor with Viggo Larsen in front of the camera of Axel Sorensen in the film A Father's Grief (Fadern (1909), directed by Larsen. Ole Olsen in 1910 produced Sherlock Holmes in the Claws of the Confidence Men (Sherlock Holmes i Bondefangerkler) for Nordisk Films Kompagni, in which Otto Langoni starred as Holmes with the actress Ellen Kornbech. Langoni appeared as Holmes in the 1911 films Den Sorte A Haand (Mordet id Bakerstreet with the actress Ingeborg Rasmussen and in The Bogus Governess Den forklaedete Barnepige, both listed by the Danish Film Institute as being photographed by an unknown director-a pastiche titled Den Sorte Haand was filmed by William Augustinus. Translators had added the tiltles Night of Terror and Who is She to the films produced by Nordisk Film chronicling the adventures Sherlock Holmes. Alwin Nuess would portray Sherlock Holmes in the films The One Million Dollar Bond (Millionobilgationen in 1911 and in The Hound of the Baskervilles (Rudolf Meinert) in 1914. The Baker Street Journal attributes the photography of The Hound of The Baskervilles to Karl Fruend; it also adds a sequel that was sped off under the title The Isolated House (Das einsarne Haus),  Alwin Nuess continued playing Holmes in in the 1915 films William Voss and A Scream in the Night. .

 There is in fact a film made in Hungary during 1908 and starring Bauman Karoly that is purportedly a synchronized sound film listed as Sherlock Hochmes, which is astonishingly early when compared to the Swedish Biophon synchronized sound film of that year He Who Catches a Crook (Hans som Klara Boven), a film which under the title He Who Takes Care of a Villian, produced by Franz G Wiberg in Kristianstad Sweden, is thought by film historians to be a film that was never released theatrically. More sensational may seem the Hungarian silent filming of Dracula, Dracula's Death (Drakula halala), which is believed to be a lost film of which there are no existant copies. More of a comedy than pastiche, Den firbende Sherlock Holmes directed by Lau Lauritzen for Nordisk in 1918 and starring Rasmus Christiansen, from its posters would seem to lack mystery, despite its being compared to the films made in the United States by Benjamin Christensen.

The one reel film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes or Held for Ransom directed in the United States by Stuart Blackton in 1905 and drawn from The Sign of Four, is thought to be a lost film. Harry Benham would later play Sherlock Holmes in in the two reeler Sherlock Holmes Solves the Sign of the Four, written and directed in the United States by Lloyd Lonergan. The film listed by the Library of Congress as being from 1912 and titled The Stolen Papers, while being listed as being from the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur C. Doyle and having no director was in all probability directed by George Treville, with he himself starring in the role of Holmes.
Danish Silent Film

During 1914, The Great Northern Special Feature Film Company advertised, "The Must Baffling Mystery Ever Filmed", By Whose Hand? which promised "Interest and Thrills from Beginning to End". The Great Northern Film Company released "Preferred Feature Attractions". Nordisk Film decidedly advertised the film The Stolen Treaty in 1913, and Great Northern that year distributed the silent film The Stolen Secret (three reels). That year it also announced the film The White Ghost (Den Hivide Dame, 1913) directed by Holger-Madsen and starring Rita Sacchetto. The cameraman to the film had been Maurius Clausen, who with Holger Madsen was particularly noted for continuing the lighting effects that were singular to early Danish Silent Film. Although Ingvald Oes, the director of Great Northern was quoted as having said that three fourths of the films shown in Scandinavia were were filmed in the United States, despite whether his film had been widely seen in the United States as a Great Northern Film Company silent film, Forest Holger Madsen not only directed The White Ghost that year, but also directed the films The Mechanical Saw and During the Plauge for Nordisk Film. It was a year that Danish audiences were present while Vilhelm Gluckstadt brought the film Den Sorte Variete, starring Gudrun Houlberg to the screen. Author Ron Mottram recently published the article The Great Northern Film Company: Nordisk Film in the American Motion Picture Market, out lining the transactions between Ole Olsen and Oes, president of Great Northern, that transpired between 1908-1917. Olsen had originally agreed to send more than one hundred silent films to the United States. 143 fiction films were filmed by Nordisk Film during 1914 according to the present company, one that as its continuous existence reached into the 21st century had celebrated 100 years of filmmaking in its present location, Valby, Denmark. Olsen took the position of managing director of Nordisk in 1911, a year during which Denmark had become the first country to make multi-reel films, bringing the running-time up to three quarters of an hour. It was for Nordisk Films Kompani that year that August Blom had directed Asta Neilsen in the film The Ballet Dancer (Balletdanserinden). Olsen had in fact entertained the view that the demand for film exceeded its production rate, which led him to export. Olsen require that aternative endings be fimed so that fims coud be sent to foreign audiences, one of these being a different ending of August Blom's film Atlantis (1913) and another being Holger-Madsen's film Evangeliemanders Liv, the ending of both films having been changed suit Russian audiences.

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The actress Asta Nielsen also during 1911 appeared with Valdemar Psilander in The Black Dream (Dem Sorte Drom), thought to be remarkable for the the use of silhouette, by  Asta Neilsen's husband, Peter Urban Gad, the film's director. Even more startling to audiences that year was the Norwegian silent The Demon (Daemonen), directed by Jens Christian Gunderson, a film that quickly followed the subject matter of Nielsen's film The Abyss by including erotic dances between Per Krough and actress Carla Rasmussen. Photographed by Alfred Lind and starring Ellen Tenger, the film was almost responsible for an early rating system that would allow only adults into theaters.



 Before her having appeared in several films directed by August Blom, exceptionally pretty Danish film actress Ebba Thomsen first appeared on the screen under the direction of Robert Dinesen in two films, When Bacchus Reigns (Den glade Lojtnant) and Lystrallan. Ebba Thomsen was brought to the screen by director Robert Dinesen for two films during 1913, Under the Lighthouse Beam (Under Blinkfyrets Straaler/Out on the Deep) and Dovstymmelegatet. Betty Nansen, before leaving Denmark to film in the United States, made two films advertised heavily in the United States as being from The Great Northern Film Company during 1913,  A Paradise Lost (Bristet Lykke, August Blom) and Princess Elena (The Princesses' Dilema, Holger Madesen, her being introduced in the latter with "featuring the distinguished tragedienne Miss Betty Nansen in the title role.

" If only a footnote, Vitagraph in 1917 had brought the novel Arsen Lupin (Paul Scardon, five reels) to the screen with Earle Williams as the titular character; a year earlier George Loan Tucker had filmed a British rendering of the drama; far from being a footnote is the fact that there no existing print of what seems to be the first feature filming of Doyle's armchair detective, A Study in Scarlet, directed by George Pearson in 1914 being among one of the most sought after films listed as missing by the British Film Institute.W. Scott Darling, a favorite of the present author, was certainly writing mystery scripts in Hollywood during 1920, his scenario to 813 (Scott Sidney-Charles Christie), based on an Arsene Lupin story written by Maurice Leblanc, was reviewed under the title Mystery Novel Loses interest In Screen Adaptation. It purportedly lost "some of its excitement and suspense in the pictorization...There is a morbid element to the tale which becomes unneccesarily vivid in the picture form." Apparently, "Lupin falls in love with Delores Castlebank, widow of the murdered man." At the bottom of the page, the magazine offerred a "box office analysis for the exhibitor" with "The Name of Arsene Lupin and A Promise of Mystery, Your Best Bets" and prompted, "If you want a catchline, this will do: Added, subtracted, divided, the mysterious numbers gave the answer 813. What does it mean?" Perplexing to the readers of the present author is that. although there is no reason to qualify the film as being "lost" the fact that the title of the film is a number, 813 makes it missing from catalogues of film that are not lost as well as those that are.
Danish Silent Film

Were I a projectionist in Denmark, due to the scarcity of early film available today and how seminal early Danish silent film may be to the study of the origins of the mystery and detective film, I would enthusiasticly arrange a screening of the silent film Dr Nicholson and the Blue Diamond (Dr. Nicholson og den blaa Diamant, starring Edith Psilander, recently donated by the Danish Film Institute for public internet screening. What seems remarkable about the film is its running time, which is an hour. Among the early danish narrative films of Viggo Larsen were The Black Mask (Den Sorte Maske (1906), Revenge (1906), Anarkistens svigermor (1907), with actress Margrethe Jespersen, The Lion Hunt (Lovejaten (1906), The Bankruptcy (Falliten, 1907), and, The Magic Bed (Tryllesaekken (1907); it is thought that Viggo Larsen was quite possibly the first director to cut from one long shot of a scene to its reverse angle, a long shot of the scene from an opposite angle during the film The Robber's Sweetie (Rovens Brod, 1907), starring Clara Nebelong.

Interstingly, Julius Jaenzon had filmed The Dangers of a Fisherman's Life, An Ocean Drama (Fiskarliv ets farer et Drama paa havet as an early Norwegian silent film under the direction of Hugo Hermansen. Salsvinnapolttajet (The Moonshiners, directed in Finland during 1907 by Teuro Puro and Louis Sparre, is presently considered a lost film. The photographer is listed as having been Frans Engstrom. Interestingly enough, author Marguerite Engberg writes that photoplay dramatists were instructed to limit the use of inter-titles and thereby depict narrative as visual whenever possible. To parallel this, a steady number of guides on creative writing that can be found in the category of Photodrama or photodramatist appeared in the United State between 1912 and 1920, whether or not many seem more lurid than the films themselves- to arbitrarily look at them, to find a sense of meaning as to what early photo-drama plot was, there is Photodrama: the philosophy of its principles, the nature of its plot, its dramatic construction, from 1914, written by Henry Albert Phillips. It contains a chapter on Visualization: "Visualized action takes first and foremost place in the photoplay; all other matters are harmonious trappings and devices or illusion that decorate creaking machines with esthetic realities. Inserted matter, unless artisticlly used, becomes theatric instead of dramatic. The volume continues on to examine subjects like how characterization in the short story and photoplay differ and how there is a necessity within plot to create an "obstacle", the author striving to "analyze photo-drama, to embody it as a new and complete for of drama-literary art."  Author Anna Strauss is of great assistance when writing about this, "In Nordisk, writers were instructed to compose 'simple stories, which were easily understood not only in Denmark, but everywhere', 'to use as few intertitles as possible' instead telling the story 'by means of the pictures shown.'" Her article includes that Nordisk films were rewritten with their endings shot twice for view in particular foriegn theaters, Strauus referring to the author Casper Tyberg in claiming that the changing of the films ending to an unhappy one was idiosyncratic to Ole Olsen and his view of exportation, or if you will, exploitation.   The Danish Marguerite Engberg author sees a shift in Danish filmmaking during 1910 to a more sensational film with the work of August Blom (The Temptations of the Great City, Ved Faengslets Port, 1911;The Price of Beauty, Den Farliiege Alder, 1911), a shift that brought the subject of the camera from historical costume films to the more exciting modern period. With multi-reel films of longer running length, Fotorama, Kosmorama and Nordisk Film Kompagni added to film the erotic melodrama. Engberg notes that not only did early Danish cinema popularize the detective and mystery, it also addressed sex, "The woman of the erotic melodrama is as a rule an active partner in the lover story. It is often she who makes the decisions, she who is the sexually active one." She credits as August Blom creating the vamp with his The Vampire Dancer (Vampyrrdanserinden (1911) and she does in fact claim that chronologically, Vampyren (The Vampire, 1912), directed by Mauritz Stiller was a direct result of its influence.



     In his biographical filmography, David Bordwell traces an early period where both A. W. Sandberg and Carl Th. Dreyer were journalists before enlisting with Nordisk Films Kompagni: the former in 1913, Sandberg in fact having photographed and directed Else Frolich in the film The Mysterious Flashlight (Det Gamle Fyrtaarn/Smuglersskibets Dodsfart), the latter part-time also in 1913 untill 1915, when Dreyer had apparently worked as though in a script departmartment and had contributed no fewer than seventeen scripts within two years, that, whether literary adaptations or not, had been either shelved unfilmed untill possibly reinterpreted by the director or filmed under a change of title. They include from 1915: The False Finger (De Falske Fingre), The Count of Oslo (Greven af Oslo), The Man in the Moon (Manden i manen), Adventure Ship (Eventyrskribet), The Dead Passenger (Den Dod Passager), The Secret Gifts (De hemmelighedsfude gaver), The Strandrobbers of Grimsby (Strandroverne it Grimby, The Rats (Rotterne); and from 1916: The arm of the Law (Lovensarm), The Golden Plague (Den gulde pest), Stolen Happiness (Stjalen lykke), The Money or the Life (Penger eller livet), Dance of Death (Dodedanseren), The Financier, The Man Who Destroyed a Town (Manden der lagde byen ode).

The Danish Film Institute and Lisabeth Richter Larsen have recently printed a short statement on Dreyer and what they hope to unearth during the study of his film and publication of his manuscripts, "So far, no radically new discovery has been made that will turn our image of Dreyer and his films upsidedown. We are not, after all, the first to work through the Dreyer collection. Many Dreyer scholars have trawled through it- Maurice Drouzy, Casper Tyberg, Edvin Kau, David Bordwell, Dale and Jean Drum." Added to these were also Morten Egholmand and Amanda Doxtater. There certainly is a consensus that Dreyer ha been given two seperate contracts from Nordisk, one in early 1913 and the other, a prologation that extendended there sphere of his responsibilities, in 1915.  The second contract gives his the auspices of being a script consultant, as well as making him the head of literary adaptations at Nordisk, those to not only  include the work of authors Harald Tandrup, Einar Rousthoj, but within Dreyer's new freedom during w\hich he became a literary agent, his acquiring scripts before Nordisk had commissioned him to adapt them,  also included were  new writers, among them being Carl Muusman. And yet as a scriptwriter, Dreyer not only wrote intertitles and continuity, but worked on narrative in regard to its structure with the editors during the cutting- it may be that the cutting rate, or the average shot length may be invaluable to look at when bringing early narrative films into estimation when studying the photoplay. Danish silent film director Carl Th Dreyer was to direct every screenplay he was to direct. Tom Milner, who begins his volume on Dreyer with an account of his having seen the director at a screening of Getrude, quotes him as having said, "I know that I am not a poet. I know that I am not a great playwright. That is why I prefer to collaborate with a true poet and with a true playwright."  Forsyth Hardy recognized Carl Dreyer as having been a screenwriter at Nordisk during 1912 while a young journalist before his having directed, in that he was "One figure that links the Danish cinema of yesterday and today." The Danish Film Museum, now part of the Danish Film Institute, credits Dreyer with an acting role as an extra-supporting character in the film Leap to Death/Dodridet, which he wrote the screenplay to in 1912, the director of the film having been Rasmus Ottesen, and the principle actress having been Kate Hollborg. Dryer in 1913 wrote the screenplays to The Baloon Explosion (The Hidden Message/Balloneskplosionen, Kay van de Ala Kuhle), which again not only afforded a small role to Dreyer as actor but also to Rasmus Ottesen, it having starred  Emilie Sannom, The Secret of the Old Cabinet (Chatollets hemmilighed, Hjalmar Davidsen) starring Ella Sprange and photographed by Louis Larsen, Hans og Grethe (Elkskovs-Opfindsomhed/Won By Waiting Sofus Wolder), starring Gerd Edgede Nissen and Ellen Aggerholm and The War Correspondent (Krigskorrespondent, William Gluckstadt) starring Grethe Ditlevsen, Ellen Tegner and Emilie Sannom. In 1914, Dreyer contributed the script to Down With Your Weapons (Ned Med Vaabne, Holger Madsen), photographed by Marius Clausen and starring Augusta Blad. Author Forsyth Hardy likened the film Lay Down Your Arms to the film Pro Patria by virtue of its timely subject matter theme, "In filmmaking and other matters Denmark took its posisiton as a neutral country and in several productions sought to press the cause of peace." In doing this, Hardy lightens upon that after peace had been arrive at, Denmark economiclly had brought its film production to a near standstill, reviving it with adaptations of the novel of Charles Dickens and Captain Matryat.

August Blom's 1916 film The Spider's Prey (Rovedderkoppen), starring Rita Sacchetto, had been written by Carl Dreter and Sven Elverstad. That year Dreyer had also co-scripted with Viggo Carling the film Evelyn the Beautiful (Den Skonne Evelyn, directed by Anders Wilhelm Sandberg. Photographed by Einar Olsen, the film returned Rita Sacchetto to the screen.





Technicolor and artificial lighting were used in tandem for the first time in 1924 by director George Fitzmaurice to bring Irene Rich, Alma Rubens, Betty Bouton and Constance Bennett to the screen in the film Cytherea (eight reels). Screenland magazine noted that the scripts filmed by Fitzmaurice were often submitted by his wife, and that Ouida Bergere, more frequently remembered, or referred to, as the lover of Basil Rathbone, "was a successful actress before she began to write for pictures." The present author almost found it of more personal interest that there was an author named Faith Service that wrote for Motion Picture Classics more than anything. During 1920 it featured a portrait of the film director George Fitzmaurice and his relationship to the screenwriter, but also included a fictionalized version of the script to the silent film On With the Dance, its scenario written by Ouida Bergere. Faith Service regularly appeared in the magazine as an author that adapted the photoplay into the short story, with the subtitle "fictionalized by permission" or "told in story form, her having typed out the plots to the films Victory Miss Hobbs, Remodeling a Husband and The World and His Wife and She Loves and Lies, it being to the present author fascinating that the stills to films that now may be lost appear next to their transposition into a differeton art form. That year Gladys Hall fictionalized the scenario to the film Way Down East, condensing its charactizations into a handful of pages, the spectator of 1920 reading what would soon be on the screen in front of them, perhaps while viewing the star as a commodity within the extra-textual discourse of the fan magazine but with the familiar art form of the magazine short story installment. About the director Fitzmaurice, the Motion Picture Classics published, "For Fitzmaurice owes his remarkable ability to attain beautiful pictures- admirable in light, shade and grouping- to his early training as a painter, Maurice Tourneur owes his skill in the same field to the same source......En passme it is interesting to note the commraderie of Fitzmaurice and his wife, known to the scenario world as Ouida Bergere. 'We work together on every production,' explains the director." Faith Service was also distinguished as having been published in Photoplay magazine. Is the Mystery of Room 643 a Lost Film? There are many photoplays that during their first theater run were adapted from screen images into third person narrative, original screenplays that were published as magazine fiction after rewritten by magazine staff writers that, with stills from each film, have been preserved in regard to their storyline, characterization and that still exist as they did on celluloid and silver nitrate. The Essanay Film The Return of Richard Neal (1915), starring Nell Craig, and earlier chapters with Francis X. Bushman staring as in "adventures of the private investigator" are not listed as lost, but presently some lists they are not found to be existant. The film appears in story form , with several film stills,in Picture Stories Magazine. It has caught the attention of the present author that Edna Mayo may be an actress with which modern audiences could have been be more familiar with; her Essanay film Stars, Their Courses Change (1915, three reels) seems to be unlisted as being missing while having had appeared in Motion Picture World Magazine- in light of there having been the documentary The Unknown Chaplin, both films would appear to currently be lost. There is every indication that the film Ponjola, starring Anna Q. Nilsson is missing from compendiums on lost film, although it appeared in full page magazine advertisements it seemingly to have been left unlisted. It also appeared in a Photoplay Edition published by Grosset and Dunlap the year of its release, the dustjacket of the 1923 novel rewritten from the screen by Cyntheia Stockley reading, "Illustrated with scenes from the photoplay. A First National Picture". Of course not every film made by the Stoll Film Corporation is lost and missing, but as it seems like a smaller studio, two films from 1923 appear to be unlisted, The Tidal Wave (Hill) and Bars of Iron (Thorston). Any film featured in Picture Stories Magazine during 1914-1915 could be later found to be a lost film. His Last Chance was featured as a work of fiction as novelized in Picture Stories Magazine and does not presently appear to be included in list of films that have been lost; the magazine cover advertises the periodical as being the "Illustrated Films Monthly". The title reads "Adapted from the IMP drama by Rosa Beaulaire", but neglects to name the actors and actresses in the stills and the name of the director of the film. The same issue includes the photoplay On the Verge of War in short story form with only "Adapted from the 101 Bison Film by Owen Garth. The Riddle of The Green Umbrella on the other hand credits Alice Joyce as a girl detective "from the two reel Kalem detective story" who is solving the murder of a professor; the film is not listed as being lost and is absent from lists of films that are decidedly not lost. The Triumph of Venus, advertised in the pages of Photoplay during 1918 is another film that seems yet to be put on lists of missing silent films. What I did happen to find in the pages of Photoplay Magazine was the six page novelization of the chapter-play, or serial, The Eagle's Eye directed by George Lessey and Wellington Player in 1918. With the novelization of the photoplay are published stills from the film, stills that show frames from a silver screen flicker that no longer survives. The lost silent film starred actress Marguerite Snow.Author 


Danish film director Carl Th. Dreyer in 1925 filmed Thou Shalt Honor Thy Wife (Master of the House, Den Skal Aere Din Hustru), which the director co-wrote with Sven Rindholm. Photographed by Goerge Schneevoigt, the films stars Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose and Mathilde Nielsen. In his book Transcendental Style in Film, the director Paul Schrader (Autofocus) characetrizes Dreyer's early film by their use of mise-en-scene, likening them, in their use of interiors and 'revelatory guesture', in particular to the Intimate Theater of Strindberg. Dreyer, in a foreward to a collection of four of his screenplays, writes, 'I am convinced that presenlty a tragic poet of the cinema will appear, whose problem will be to find, within the structure of the cinema's framework, the form and style appropriate to tragedy.' During the film Master of the House, Dreyer stylisticly uses the iris shot while cutting between close and medium interior shots, including and iris shot filmed over the shoulder of a character exiting through a doorway and an iris shot of her entering again later in the scene, and , more notably, the director during the middle of a scene uses iris shots while cutting between a close up and a medium closeshot; during the latter a second character, that of the protagonist's wife in the film, can been seen entering the frame of the shot from the right of the irised screen and then reentering during the length of the shot. Husband and wife are both shown in intercut iris closeups during a dialouge sequence within the middle of a prolonged interior scene, the exceptional beauty of the actress held by the camera as her eyes silently wait for her husband to speak. In his biography of Greta Garbo, Raymond Durgnat quotes "the austerest of all film directors", Carl Dreyer, although the quote seems superfluous or decorative to the essay, as having said, "Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land no one can never tire of exploring." The context was that Garbo, being a film star, was an object of art.

Early Danish sound film director Alice O'Fredricks appeared as an actress in two Danish silent films in 1925, Sunshine Valley (Solskinsdalen) with Karen Winther, directed for Nordisk Film by Emanuel Gregers, and Lights from Circus Life (Sidelights of the Sawdust Ring/Det Store Hjerte) with Ebba Thomsen, Margarethe Schegel and Mathilde Nielsen, directed by August Blom. She had appeared a year earlier with Clara Pontoppidan in a film produced by Edda Film, Hadda Padda, directed by Gudmundar Kamban and also starring Ingeborg Sigurjonsson. Gudmundur Kamban in 1926 for Nordisk Film directed Gunnar Tolnaes, Hanna Ralph and Agnete Kamban int the film Det Sovende Hus

In Finland, the film The Northeners/The Bothnians (Pohjalaisis) was recently screened for the first time since its first run release in 1925. Directed by Jalmari Landensue, the film was photographed by a camerman that would film on several occaisions for the directors Konrad Tallroth, Erkki Karu and Teuro Puro. In Germany, Scandinavian film director Svens Gade positioned actress Asta Nielsen in front of the lens in Hamlet (1920). Directing in the United States in 1925, his films included Fifth Avenue Models adapted from the novel The Best in Life by Muriel Coxen, Siege and Peacock Feathers (seven reels) with Jacqueline Logan; in 1926 they were to include Watch Your Wife (seven reels), Into Her Kingdom (seven reels) with Corinne Griffith and Einar Hanson and The Blonde Saint (seven reels), adapted from the novel Isle of Life by Stephen Whitman and starring Lewis Stone and Ann Rork. Gade would later become a scenario writer rather than director, one instance being Symphony for Universal, directed by F. Harmon Weight.

During his absence from Europe, Dadaist Hans Richter photographed avaunt-guard silent film during 1925, including Ghosts Before Breakfast, and Filmstudie. Richter is not specificlly referred to in the 1922 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine that published legend Tristan Tzara with the article Some Memoirs of Dadaism, an account of the movement which has undertaken to free French art from its classical rigidities, but as a chronicle of the Tzara's 1920 return to Paris it explores Dadaism as an international endeavor while introducing Dadaist meetings, which were to include Paul Eluard, Andre Breton (A Tempest in a Glass of Water), Louis Aragon (The Glass Syringe), and Hans Arp (Clean Wrinkles), as Dadaist Theater, and therefore Dadaist Festival. If it is seen that Modernism in art was removed from cinema, also writing in Vanity Fair was Edmund Wilson, who wrote The Aesthetic Upheaval in France, the Influence of jazz in Paris and the Americanization of French Literature and Art. "For the younger artists in France have competely thrown overboard the ideals of perfection and form, of grace and measure and tranquility, which we Americans are accustomed to think of as their most valuable possession." Although it was in 1928 that Germaine Dulac filmed The Seashell and the Clergyman, written by Antonin Artaud, her film The Smiling Mrs. Beudet brings her work back into 1923. Duchamp, whom the present author has long admired for the paintings Nude Descending a Staircase would eventually turn from the meanings imbued within the human figure is the poetic meanings, associations, it can geometricly, within plane and shadow, hold, to a more plastic ready-made interpretation of angle and curve, his having filmed Anemic Cinema in 1927, leaving spatial questions of the human form delineated by action to Jean Cocteau with The Blood of the Poet, a film of which the present author is as equally fond. Paul Rotha adds the appellation Absolute Film to Abstract Film, "The abstract film is a primary example of unity of filmic purpose." A series of abstract visual images could be brought into visual abstract patterns with abstract forms that were in movement, seen through the relations of mercurial geometric figures to each other. "The screen is a blackboard to Eggeling." Rotha refers to the films Light and Rythym (Bruguiere and Blaketon), Light and Shade, and Montparnasse (Desalv). The Flood (Louis Delluc, 1923), while being a catalyst to the experimental film of the period, is attributed with having been "derived from the Swedes" (O'Leary). The film still lauded Delluc as a proponent of the experimental film and he has been referred to as one of the first film critics, his having written about the theater, untill inveigled toward the film by his hife, actress Eve Francis. In her volume Let's Go to the Movies, Iris Barry wrote, "There is a lady called Gertrude Stein, who writes books composes entirely of words; meaning is a thing she avoids. She has her enthusiasts, who conted, quite rightly, that writers must make patterns in words and that old words must be pressed into new meanings...She is in fact the same case as the absract films as Paris, which equally scrupulously avoid meaning." Long ago, the present author was fond of her novel Ida.

n regard to D.W. Griffith still filming during the 1920's and Thomas Ince having been part of Triangle, it may have been that the photodramatists of the silent era in the United States had by 1925 seen a transformation. In a volume entitled Modern Photoplay Writing, published in 1922, Howard T. Dimick wrote, Thus the present era might be called the era of the detailed synopsis, which has evolved out of the era of the scenario." It concludes his thought from the previous sentence, "The modern playwright submits his story in the form of a detailed synopsis, amounting in length to a short story, casting the dramatic form, establishing the events, developing the characters, introducing the atmosphere, but minus all dialogue and moralizing not pertinent to the demands of the mechanism it is intended for, the camera." He adds that previously the scenario had been submitted to set the dramatic form and that the synopsis would not be able to veer from the dramatic line as developed, whereas in a more modern era, the synopsis had become a dramatic form of continuity. In a slightly earlier volume, Scenario Writing Today, published in 1921, Grace Lytton crawled to page 146 before adding the chapter Writing the Brief Synopsis or Outline and discusses the part played by the scenario editor, "Your brief synopsis is your card of introduction to the scenario editor...An outline of the plot is really all that is indispensible." Interestingly, she adds to the synopsis and scenario, continuity, but claims that, "The continuity will be written in the studio and if you send it one it will probably not be used" while optimisticlly claiming continuity writing, the adding of a full developed novel like description after the scenario and synopsis, to be a valuable thing to study in that its practice imporved scenario writing.

A director that had worked with Griffith, Jack Conway, who had himself dropped out of highschool, would direct Jack Pickford in the 1926 film Brown of Harvard with Mary Brian, Mary Alden and Francis X Bushman. Ever since, there have been various murders and questionable characters surrounding the University. Sometimes sinister, it often boil down to that as a University, it has its own unique way of whether it does or doesn't know whom is attending, and or whom isn't. Conway was also to direct the film Soulmates that year. In the United States, in 1926, Dorothy Gish would begin filming with Herbert W. Wilcox, under whose direction she made the films Nell Gwyn (1926) with Randle Ayerton and Julie Compton, London (1927), with John Manners and Elissa Landi, Tip Toes (1927) with John Manners and Mme. Pompadour (1927), written by Frances Marion and starring Antonio Moreno. It was in 1926 that Lillian Gish, while filming La Boheme (King Vidor, nine reels) with John Gilbert, had met Victor Sjöström.




During 1923, Universal Weekly, a magazine published by Universal Jewel and Universal-Super Jewel films, featured advertisements for two of the reigning movie queens at Universal, Priscilla Dean, who was appearing in Drifting, and Virginia Valli, appearing on screen in A Lady of Quality. It claimed that "millions will read this advertising in The Saturday Evening Post." and included outlines for particular Exploitation Campaigns. During the summer of 1925, Lon Chaney was on the magazine's cover for the film The Phantom of the Opera. The author Ian Conrich sees the film made in the United States by Universal Studios between 1923-1928 as being horror-spectacular, full legnth films that, along with the films of Douglas Fairbanks, tried to near the large-scale production standard of Griffith. Silent film pioneer D. W. Griffith had already by 1922 promised audiences entering the dark of the silver-nitrate screen's public sphere of reception One Exciting Night, a film purportedly built more for atmosphere and devices that would gradually become standard in mystery film than for plot twists and complications, its emphasis having been on trap doors that lead to hidden passageways known only to ghostlike persons. After starring in the film, Henry Hull was interviewed by Picture Play magazine and said, "But on the screen without my voice and without artificial disguise, what would I be. i wondered. 'But we don't photograph the face,' Mr Griffith assured me, 'we photograph the thought, the soul.'" Carol Dempster, who appears in the film was known to audiences as having been paired with John Barrymore in the film Sherlock Holmes. By 1923 Silent Film director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau had already made The Haunted Castle and Nosferatu, his continuing with Phantom and Driven from Home. The former cast Lil Dagover with Frieda Richard, and actress who filmed under the direction of several, in not numerous, silent filmmakers and appeared in Robert Dinesen's film Claire (Die Geschichte eines jugen madchens, 1924). Whether or not pertinent to every Nosferatu-Vampyr hollywood tale, if the idea of a precise, fully descriptive shootingscript intiated by silent film director Thomas Ince can be rediscovered from the photoplay, paricularly if it can be reconcieved passed any nouveau roman or nouvelle vague notion of film poetry only as an avaunt guarde act, it is interesting, without feeling that Griffith worked entirely without a script or that Ince wrote novels in the form of picture plays, that author Kenneth Macgowan associates Murnau with his camerman Karl Fruend and scriptwriter Carl Mayer in a way that makes theirs a reinterpretation of the ideas of keeping a shootingscript and of adding within it cameramovements that popularized the use of cameramobiltiy. "Mayer's scripts were detailed. They indicated every shot...In order to visualize action nad movements as he wrote, he used a camera viewfinder, a device that shows what ones shot will cover." From these script camera instructions Freund added subjectivity, reinterpreting the shootingscript with point of view. Still, it is certainly evident that by 1927, the horror film and art film would merge in eerie, atmospheric silent film essay on shadowplay and the black and white tones of mood and suspense, Paul Leni's The Cat and the Canary. To add to the mystery of silent film director Rubert Julian, the sound remake of the film The Cat and The Canary entitled The Cat Creeps (1930) is lost. Stills from the film show actress Helen Twelvetrees in the lead role. From a screenplay adapted from the novel by the Universal/Jewel script department, director Rupert Julian in 1925 would throw swirling silver shadows across the screen waiting untill Mary Philbin would remove the mask of the Phantom of the Opera. The Mystery of the Yellow Room, written by Gaston Leroux had been filmed earlier, in 1919, with Joseph von Sterberg as its assistant director, the film written and directed by Emile Chautard. Behind the mask and costumed in red during the tinted sequences, silent film actor Lon Chaney not only filmed on the famous Phantom of the Opera backlot, but he also appered in front of the camera at MGM, where he that year starred with Gertrude Olmsted in The Monster (Roland West, seven reels) and with Mae Busch in the silent film The Unholy Three (Tod Browning, seven reels). Mary Philbin later appeared in the 1928 silent Drums of Love (D. W. Griffith, nine reels) and in the 1929 silent The Last Performance (Paul Frejos, seven reels). Before becoming known to audiences as the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, Clive Brook would appear with Jetta Goudal. After running advertisements for the film Phantom of the Opera, The Reel Journal, a sister publication to New England Film News, announced that the two would be paired together at DeMille studios under the direction of Rupert Julian during 1926 in the film Three Faces East, whereas Universal was to be filming The Radio Detective, "a mystery story by Arthur B. Reeve, as a chapter-play" Upon being invited to follow a story that began in Victorian-Edwardian London, 1925 Silent Film audiences were also that year thrilled by the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle as they were led by Challenger on an expedition into The Lost World through the magic lantern silent film. In 1925, Bela Lugosi had appeared on theater marquees starring in the film The Midnight Girl (Wilfred Noy, seven reels), with Lila Lee and Garreth Hughes. Lila Lee would appear under the direction of Scott Pembroke in the film The Black Pearl (1928,six years). Although two years earlier, he had appeared in the film Silent Command (J. Gordon Edwards, eight reels), it may be noted that Bela Lugosi appeared of the screen under the direction of F. W. Murnau while in front of the lens of Karl Fruend in the silent film Dr. Jeckell and Mr.Hyde/The Head of Janus (Der Januskopf, 1920), filmed in Germany. Lugosi would in 1929 on screen appear under the direction of Tod Browning with Conrad Nagel in The Thirteenth Chair, a mystery made more spine tingling by the appearances of actresses Lelila Hymas, Margaret Wycherly, Helene Millard and Mary Forbes. That year, The Last Warning, from the play by Thomas F. Fallon, would conclude the career of film director Paul Leni. Universal had entered the film Dark Stairways (Robert F. Hill) with the actress Ruth Dwyer into the filming of mystery in 1924. Photoplay in 1929 reviewed The Thirteenth Hour, an MGM entry, "Another mystery yarn with secret panels, trapdoors, underground passages and a series of other mysterious what-nots", only to later add Paramount's Something Always Happens, "It's dangerous business, girls, to pray to for something to "happen". You might get such a surprise as Esther Ralston gets when she finds herself in this haunted house of musty stains, sliding panels, walking chairs, ect." Not only is it uncertain from where magician Harry Houdini screened silent film in 1927, but the name of his director is shrouded in a cranking up of the kem light, he being listed as producer of his silent film. When he appearred in the the film The Grim Game (1919), serial "cliffhangers", adventure films much like the Danish melodramas and silent Sherlock Holmes, were still being made, the title of his being The Master of Mystery. He continued with the silent film Terror Island (1920), The Soul of Bronze (1921), The Man From Beyond (1922) and Halldane of the Secret Service (1923). Not only was there Houdini, the query Does Rudy Speak from Beyond- Natacha Rambova Talks of the Spirit Messages she claims to have recieved from Valentino appreared in Photoplay Magazine during 1927 from the pen of Fredrick James Smith. In 1935, the magazine International Photographer quoted cameraman Bert Longworth, ""Only by the correct usage of lights can photography be raised to the standard of art.'" The magazine continued, "His first job in motion pictures was with Universal. Among the pictures he shot the stills on were The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. After three years he transferred to M.G.M. Studio where he was the first man to take portraits of Greta Garbo and covered her two early hits Flesh and the Devil and The Temptress." An issue of Film Fun during 1922 also pointed out the same need for lighting to be essential to film-making, "Lighting is one of the most important elements in the making of a good picture... In Sweden, they have only four months during the year in which the sun shines and during that time they work eighteen hours a day. The Swedish pictures have a peculiar luminousity which we do not seem able to obtain in this country and it is probably due to the intense brightness of the sun." Included in the article are stills from the Swedish Silent films Synovia of Sundown Hill, The Dawn of Love and A Gay Knight.

Silent Film: Lost Film, Found Magazines

There were 478 silent films made in Sweden; of them only 192 still exist, although there are copies of fragments from a number of them. Added to that, countless Danish silent films produced by Ole Olsen for Nordisk Films Kompagni are "presumably lost": the Danish Film Institute notes that approximately 1600 silent short and feature films were made whereas only 250 films presently exist, Not the only webpage concerned with the preservation of Silent Film, the lost films webpage from Berlin show clips and stills from fifty silent film that it claims are "unknown or unidentified". Bengt Forslund penned a brief paragraph about the silent film The Divine Woman (En Gudomlig Kvinna, 1928), directed by Victor Sjostrom under the name Victor Seastrom, "This was written 35 years ago and even at that stage all prints seem to have vanished. There is not much hope of finding one today since Garbo's films have been the subject of more research than those of most other stars.". Lon Chaney is quoted as having said, "I told Garbo that mystery served me well and it would do as much for her." Forslund reflected upon the exisiting early silent film of the Swedish director, "Even more regrettable is that out of the 31 films directed by Sjostrom during this period, only three have survived, and out of the other 8 films in which he acted, not a single one remains." It was Norma Shearer who was to star opposite Lon Chaney in the other M.G.M directed by Victor Sjostrom under the name Se Sun, November 25, 2012 - 5:01 PM permalink


Victor Sjostrom-Silent Film



Swedish Silent Film: Lost Film, Found Magazines

Victor Sjostrom


My Silent Swedish Film webpage, which covered from the turn of century to the advent of sound, was, before its having been transferred at the last minute, a Geocities webpage. I still have a love for silent film, which skyrocketed after having looked at The Last Tycoon and The Garden of Eden; Photoplay magazine of 1927 mentions Fitzgerald being in the process of writing an original screenplay for Constance Talmadge, it later reviewing his adapted work, "Fitzgerald's novel, with its unscrupulous hero, violates some pet screen traditions." The silent film is in fact a deepening of the novel as an art form. Waldemar Young was credited for writing the scenario of  the film Off Shore Pirate (1921), adapted from the short story written by  Scott Fitzgerald.  If I was not to be present that evening, I jotted down my having noticed that Harvard Film has a free series of screenings open to the public at the University, which if you rebegin this month, includes The Joyless Street (Die Freudlosse Gasse (G.W. Pabst 1925); my copy of the film I no longer have (my former mentor had a yardsale or something or other). Previous screenings have included Danish film star, Asta Nielsen Tragedy of the Street (Dirnetragodre, Bruno Rahn, 1927). Evidently, The Great Train Robbery (Porter,1903) was still being shown in theaters as late as 1926, added to the feature then playing, whereas it wasn't untill Hamlet (Gade, 1920) that sex symbol Asta Nielsen was introduced to mainstream audiences in the United States. Is it possible that when Greta Garbo visited the home of Basil Rathbone in the masquerade costume of Hamlet, it was a tribute, or nod, to Danish Silent Film star Asta Nielsen? As research, the recent European claim that it is impossible to screen two films by Sam Brakage, The Boy and the Sea and Silent Sand Sense Stars Subotnick and Sender, seems to avoid being mysterious as it teeters on being ludicrous, and the present author sees little probability that they have decomposed-what will not be seen at Harvard University, or at the Universities of Sweden or Denmark, is the 1922 film The Beautiful and the Damned directed by William A. Sieter/SydneyFranklin and starring Marie Prevost, if a film accurately reported as being unavailbable for screening, or or the 1926 film The Great Gatsby directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Lois Wilson- within the world of Lost Films, Found Magazines, there are no existant copies of either film, our knowledge of them and curiousity is left for stills taken during the time period; there are no vaults that exist.For that matter, there little likelihood of a copy of The Villiage Blacksmith (1922, eight reels) directed by John Ford going on sale; there are no copies of it anywhere: similarly The Courtship of Miles Standish (Fredrick M Sullivan, 1923) is lost but two pages of full page advertisements of Charles Ray and Enid Bennett were found by the present author in The Film Daily from the year of its first run. Both Anna Karenina (J. Gordon Edward, 1915, five reels), starring Betty Nansen and Stella Hammerstein, and The Scarlet Letter (Carl Harbaugh, 1917) starring Mary Martin, are lost, both filmed by Fox Film.

The characters portrayed on-screen by Ruth Taylor and Alice White may be familiar to present audiences, but the scenario co-written with John Emerson by the author of the novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Anita Loos, and directed by Malcom St. Clair in 1927 is also among the silent film listed as lost film. One novel, One Increasing Purpose, seems intriguing in that it seems only possible that it is missing, filmed in 1926, it was advertised as being the next great work to have been written by A.S.M Hutchinson after If Winter Comes; as good as the drama may have been, it was filmed in England and seems elusive in being included in lists of lost-missing films. 

Although only its director, Leslie H. Hiscott, may know the whereabouts of The Missing Rembrant, die hard fans of Arthur Wotner and Ian Fleming can only wonder. The director is not only known to fans of Sherlock Holmes but is also listed as the director of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, under the title Alibi, and of the film Black Coffee.

 And yet there are several films that are now lost that appeared not only on the theater marquee, but in bookstores; Grosset and Dunlap having published Photoplay Editions of films rewritten as novels, in including intertextual photos, the illustrated photoplay edition of the novel London After Midnight, written by Marie Coolidge Rask, was published in 1928. Just as lost films have left behind their accompanying movie posters, as well as full page magazine advertisements that serve very much like movie posters when deciding not if we should see the film but what the film was like when first seen, each hardcover copy of an film adaptation into novel included a dustjacket, art that gives information about missing films: within there being Lost Films, Found Magazines. In regard to the 1918 film Mania (Evyen Illes), not only can it be included in Lost Films, Found Magazines, but it has been restored by the National Film Inatitute (Filmoteka Nardowa), who when announcing its premiere wrote, "its contents pertain to universal truths". The film is notable for its starring Pola Negri and the set design to the film having had been being crafted by Paul Leni. It is imperative that the word film study be surplanted by the word film appreciation: it was in 1946 that author Iris Barry cautioned the readers of Hollywood Quarterly through the article "Why wait for Posterity" as to films quickly becoming lost and the need to preserve the "romantic" Greta Garbo film The Saga of Gosta Berling (Stiller, 1925) by saving the prints from deterioration. After explaining that the original two-color technicolor copies of the Black Pirate that had belonged to Douglas Fairbanks and Harvard University, respectively, were in a vault "at the point of final deterioration", and could only be duplicated in black-and-white form, she qualifies that the criteria for screening film need, as with "the early Seastrom films", only be pleasure. "What, really is the point of dragging old films back to light? First, I believe that it benefits the general esteem and standing of the motion picture industry as a whole; for if the great films of the past are not worth taking seriously and are not worth re-examination, then presumably neither are the great films of today. It would be unthinkable if the only books available to literary men and women should be no more than those published in the past year or so."  To echo her by my now finding this during the centennial of the two reeler in the United States  and of Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller having become contemporaries at Svenska Bio ,  the biography of actress Greta Garbo penned by the present author on Geocities webpage encompassed the long waiting period before what was to be the last film to be made by Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, which happenned to be during the centennial of the one reel narrative film, "Of the utmost importance is an appreciation of film, film as a visual literature. film as the narrative image, and while any appreciation of film would be incomplete without the films of Ingmar Bergman, every appreciation of film can begin with the films of the silent period, with the watching of the films themselves, their once belonging to a valiant new form of literautre. Silent film directors in both Sweden and the United States quickly developed film technique, including the making of films of greater length during the advent of the feature film, to where viewer interest was increased by the varying shot lengths within a scene structure, films that more than still meet the criterion of having storylines, often adventurous, often melodramatic, that bring that interest to the character when taken scene by scene by the audience."

Whether or not there were pirates off the coast of Boston, the naval battles of the War of 1812 were immortalized, not only in the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, but in the film Old Ironsides (twelve reels), starring Ester Ralston, directed by James Cruze in 1926; it is a film that there has always been a copy of and not in need of restoration, but like The Black Pirate, which employed technicolor, the film is more renowned for its early use of Magnascope than its story of the high seas. Three years before James Cruze had directed Hollywood (eight reels) for Paramount, which featured cameos by Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The film has not been seen since it was first reviewed by Robert E. Sherwood, the printed article one of the only ways of our knowing its subject, "James Cruze treated Hollywood as a fantasy rather than a grimly realistic drama...Miss Drown, as Angela, was wistful, appealing and supremely pathetic. Her wide eyes seemed to increase in depth and in softness with each fresh disappointment...She is a tremendous success in this her first picture." Is The Mystery of Room 643 (1914) a lost film?

                        
Swedish Silent FilmSwedish Silent Film




Scott Lord-Silent Film Swedish Silent Film
Helen Hancock had only months earlier in Pantomine praised Swedish Silent Film star Lars Hanson in the article How About those Viking Ancestors, A little Talk about Swedish Matinee Idols. Like Greta Garbo, Mary Johnson travelled from Sweden to Germany. Mary Johnson had starred with Gosta Ekman in the first film directed by John W. Brunius, Puss and Boots (Masterkattan i stovlar) in 1918 for Film Industri Inc Scandia. The film was co-written by John W. Brunius and Sam Ask and was the first in which actress Ann Carlsten was to appear. The following year Scandia merged with Scandia to team Charles Magnusson with Nils Bouveng to run AB Svensk Filmindustri. Having been an actress for several films directed by George af Klerker, Mary Johnson was also that year to appear in the Swedish silent film Stovstadsfaror, directed by Manne Gothson and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Appearing with Johnson in the film were Agda Helin, Tekl Sjoblom and Lilly Cronwin. Actress Mary Johnson returned to the screen to act for director John W. Brunius and cameraman Hugo Edlund in 1923 for the film Johan Ulfstjerna in which she starred with Anna Olin, Einar Hansson and Berta Hilberg. To add a sense of the film as a vehicle for the actress, author Forsyth Hardy has written, "Brunius could work effectively on a large canvass." Significantly, that same year Johnson starred for silent film director Mauritz Stiller and cameraman Julius Jaenzon in the film Gunnar Hedes Saga, in which she starred with Pauline Brunius, Stina Berg, and Einar Hansson. The film was an adaptation of the novel Herrgarssagen. When reviewed in the United States during 1924 while screened as The Blizzard although the film was reported as an adaptation of "The Story of a Country House", the review featured two stills and the subtitle "Swedish Production is Entertaining."; it ran, "This is highly dramatic and interesting, with several excellant scenes of reindeer swimming across a wide sream and following their leader blindly. The stampede is most realistic and well filmed. The rest of the film is quite ordinary and drags near the end." Einar Hanson appeared as Gunnar Hede on the cover of Filmnyheter during 1923; it is an issue in which there article that reads "Mary Johnson, var Svenska Filmingenue framfor kameran". On reviewing Sir Arne's Treasure/Snows of Destiny in 1922, Exceptional Photoplays wrote, "Mary Johnson, if she has a chance to become known on the American screen, will show us what it is to be lovely without being vapid, with the magic of a child and the magic of a woman- tenderness and sweetness that is not chiefly a product of simpering smiles and fluffy curls."

Motion Picture Magazine during 1923 wrote, "Sigrid Holmquist has come to Lasky's to appear in The Gentlemen of Leisure. She is a Swedish Mary Pickford" Holmquist had appeared under the direction of Lau Lauritzen in 1920 in the film Love and Bear Hunting (Karlek och Bjornjakt) before coming to the United States to appear in the film directed by Joseph Henabery and also during 1923 appeared in an adaptation of the Kipling novel The Light that Failed (George Melford) with Jaqueline Logan. She had also appreared in the 1922 film The Prophet's Paradise directed by Alan Crosland. Swedish Silent Film  As many as 19 films have been listed as lost and as having been directed by Peter Urban Gad, the husband of the earliest of silent stars of the silver screen, including Die falsche Asta Nielsen (1915), in which Nielsen plays both her double, Bolette, and herself. By 1922, Danish Silent Film director Peter Urban Gad had finished directing what would be his last silent film produced in Germany, The Ascension of Hannele Mattern (Hanneles Himmelfahrt), actress Margate Schlegel fulfilling the title role. If only to characterize Gad as an artist or intellectual, author Thomas J. Sanders writes, "Most emphatic was the prominent Danish author and director Urban Gad, who in early 1919 identified monumentalism, brutality and sentimentality as America's dominant film traits and advised German producers  to focus on internal consistency and substance." Bela Belaz introduces the new subjects and new characters of the "form language" with a discussion of Urban Gad, "Urban Gad, the famous Danish film producer, wrote a book on film as far back as 1918...According to him every film should be place in some specific natural enviornment which must affect the human beings living in it and plays a part in directing their lives and destinies." Belaz, in Theory of Film: character and growth of a new art, looks at "photographed theater", and that including Scandinavian Film, as no longer being only the "photographed play", that nature itself could be included in the cast of players by the "dramatic features through the present action of the immediate effect of nature on the moods and feelings of human beings which sometimes excersise a decisive influence in their fate." Although The Silent Cinema, authored by Liam O'Leary, is a "Pictureback" and includes numerous stills from films that are lost and represents them as though they were available for screening at the time of its 1965 printing, it not only presages internet writing with its combination of filmography and chronology, but astutely alerts us that while becoming an even more vesatile drama actress, Asta Neislen had found new directors with whom to film. During 1922, she appeared in an on screen production of the writing of Stendhal with Vanina (Vanina, order die galgenhochziet), directed by Arthur von Gerlach and photographed by Fredrik Fuglsang.

In Germany, Marlene Dietrich by 1927 had begun to appear on the the screen in lead roles more often, her having that year starred in the film Cafe Electric (Gustav Ucicky). Not entirely ironically, while more and more films from Europe were becoming introduced to writers in the United States, two films from Germany that were filmed complicitly without subtitles yet still having a clear narrative development and depiction of plotline without expository or dialoge intertitle were being written about in the United States, Backstairs (1926), filmed by the stage director Leopold Jessner, a film about a young girl whose is in love and a mailman who witholds love letters written to her because he himself is in love with her, and Shattered (Lupu Pick,1921), scripted by Carl Mayer. Not only did Photoplay Magazine spy on Hollywood, but in 1929 it reported the release of Mata Hari: The Red Dancer, with Magda Sonja in the title role, the film directed in Germany by Fredrich Feher.
 The Street of Sin (1928, seven reels) starring Fay Wray and Olga Barclanova was begun by Stiller and finished by the director Joseph von Sternberg. Kenneth MacGowan writing about the film notes, 'The film was more distinguished for its players-Jannings and Olga Barclanova- than for its script by Joseph Sternberg. Sternberg's work on Stiller's film has been credited as having secured his position as the writer and director ofthe silent films The Last Command (1928) with Evelyn Brent and The Case of Lena Smith (1929) with Esther Ralston. During 1928, actress Olga Barclanova also appeared in the films The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni, ten reels), The Dove (Roland West, nine reels), Forgotten Faces (Victor Schertzinger, eight reels), Avalanche (Otto Brower, five reels) and Three Sinners (Rowland V. Lee, eight reels). Three Sinners, with Warner Baxter was the second film to pair Olga Backlanova and Pola Negri, their both having appeared in the film Cloak of Death in 1915. During 1928, Fay Wray appeared in the films Legion of the Condemned (William Wellman, eight reels), The First Kiss (Rowland V. Lee). It was the year she began her lengthy first marriage to playwright screenwriter John Monk Saunders. Legion of the Condemned also that year appeared in bookstore. The Grosset Dunlap Photoplay Edition advertised John Monk Saunders as having been the author of Wings and published the film as a novel rewritten from one narrative form into another by Eustace H Ball, with illustrations from the film. Ball himself was an author, his having written the mystery novel The Scarlet Fox and had previously adapted into novel form the photoplay of the Douglas Fairbanks film The Gaucho. Pola Negri during 1929 had starred in The Secret Hour (eight reels), directed by Rowland V Lee.

An emailed newsletter from Norway reported that Silent Film actress Fay Wray had died early during the month of August, 200 4. The silent film actress and first of the screaming screen feminists of the horror genre had appreared in numerous silent films before having been cast in Eric von Strohiem's The Wedding March (1928), beginning with the films Gasoline Love (1923) and The Coast Patrol (1925).

King Vidor in 1924 paired John Gilbert and Aileen Pringle in two films, Wife of the Centaur, with Kate Lester, and His Hour. Conrad Nagel would that year team with Aileeen Pringle for the film Three Weeks. Nagel would appear on the screen with Eleanor Boardman for the 1924 film Sinners in Silk (Henley) and then the following year for The Only Thing, directed by Jack Conway. Silent Film actress Norma Shearer, in 1924, was starring in Broadway After Dark (Monta Bell, seven reels) with Anna Q. Nilsson, The Snob (Monta Bell, seven reels) with John Gilbert, Empty Hands (Victor Fleming, seven reels), Married Flirts (Robert Vignola, seven reels) with Conrad Nagel and The Wolfman (Edward Mortimer, six reels) with John Gilbert. The next year she starred in Pretty Ladies (Monta Bell, six reels), one of the films that she had been given by being a contract player at the MGM studio, it having afforded her a cameo role. The film was based on a story by Adela Rogers St. Johns and had featured Conrad Nagel. Also that year Shearer appeared in the films Waking Up the Town (James Cruze, six reels), Lady of the Night (Monta Bell, six reels) and His Secretary (seven reels). She continued with Conrad Nagel the following year in The Waning Sex (seven reels) and appeared in Upstage (Monta Bell, seven reels). While Mauritz Stiller was in movie theaters with Hotel Imperial, Photoplay Magazine reviewed Monta Bell's direction of Norma Shearer in Upstage as "delightful. When an interviewer had asked Conrad Nagel if he had been in love with Norma Shearer, Nagel equivocated, 'Every man who knew or worked with her was in love with her. She had an unusual grace and tact, and she was very sensitive to other people's feelings.' Pola Negri appeared in two films directed by Dimitri Buchowetski during 1924, Men, with Robert Frazer and Lily of the Dust.

1922 was a year during which Gustaf Molander's second film, Amatorfilmen, the first film in which actress Elsa Ebbengen-Thorblad was to appear, brought actress Mimi Pollack to Swedish movie audiences. Molander had made the film The King of Boda (Tyrranny of Hate, Bodakungen) in 1920. It was the first film to be photographed by Swedish cinematographer Adrian Bjurman and starred Egil Eide and Wanda Rothgardt. Karin Molander had in 1920 starred in two films by Mauritz Stiller, in When We Are Married (Erotikon) with Lars Hanson, Tora Teje, and Glucken Cederberg, and in Fiskebyn. She also that year appeared in the film Bomben, directed by Rune Carlsten. And yet Karin Molander would only later be mentioned to audiences in the United States, Photoplay Magazine noting in 1926 that she was no longer in Sweden and no longer married to Gustaf Molander, "With Lars Hanson came his wife, Karin Nolander, leading woman in the Royal State Theater of Stockholm and billed as 'Sweden's most beautiful woman' She hasn't appeared on the screen yet, but it shouldn't be long now with so many good Scandinavian directors over here." Pictured together, a 1927 photocaption from Photoplay Magazine read, "When Mr. and Mrs. Lars Hanson worked for Swedish companies, Mrs. Hanson was popular on the European screen as karin Nolander. But now that her husband has made a hit in this country, she has retired and decided to let his gather all the glory for the family." Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine had been secretary to Dante Gabriel Rosetti during the last year of the painter's life, his novels having been adapted to the screen by George Fitzmaurice, who filmed Barbara LaMarr in The Eternal City (1923) and by Hugh Ford, who filmed Katherine McDonald and Katherine Griffith in The Woman Thou Gavest Me (1919.) Cinematographer Charles Van Enger not only photographed the 1924 film Name the Man, directed by Victor Sjöstrom, but also that year photographed the films Lovers' Lane (Phil Rosen, seven reels) with actress Gertrude Olmstead, Three Women (Lubitsch, eight reels) with May McAvoy, Forbidden Paradise (Lubitsch, eight reels) with Pola Negri and Daughters of Pleasure (six reels) and Daring Youth (six reels), both directed by William Beaudine.

King Vidor in 1924 paired John Gilbert and Aileen Pringle in two films, Wife of the Centaur with Kate Lester, and His Hour. Norwegian film director Tancred Ibsen, while briefly in Hollywood, worked on the set design to the Vidor film His Hour. Monta Bell that year directed John Gilbert in The Snob (seven reels).

In Sweden, Karin Boye was publishing her second volume of poetry, Hidden Lands, her continuing in 1927 with the volume The Hearths. She had published her first work, Clouds two years earlier, a year when Swedish poet Birger Sjoberg had published Frida's Songs.

In 1925, Edmund Goulding began directing with Sun-Up Sally (six reels), starring Conrad Nagel and Irene and Sally (six reels), starring Constance Bennett, following the two films with Paris (six reels). Notably, Clarence Brown in 1925 directed Rudolph Valentino in the film The Eagle, which is of interest not only for its introduction of the pull-back shot, a tracking shot moving away from its subject similar to the present day zoom-out, but it was also one of the first films for which Adrain had designed the costumes, the other that year having had been being Her Sister From Paris.

Basil Rathbone, who co-starred with Greta Garbo, under the direction of Clarence Brown, in the sound version of Anna Karenina, wrote of his aquaintance with her in his autobiography, In and Out of Character. "I first met Miss Garbo in 1928 when Ouida and I were invited to lunch with Jack Gilbert one Sunday." Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of the film Flesh and the Devil. Of his starring in film with her, he wrote, "And so upon the morning previously arranged I called upon Miss Garbo. The house, a small one, was as silent as the grave. There was no indication it might be occupied." Rathbone had also appeared in silent films- Trouping with Ellen (T. Hayes Hunter, seven reels) in 1924, The Masked Bride (Christy Cabanne, six reels), starring Mae Murray, in 1925 and The Great Deception (Howard Higgin, six reels) in 1926. Rathbone and his wife had been present at the premiere of Flesh and the Devil. Anna Karenina (1914), filmed by J. Gordon Edwards, had starred Betty Nansen. On learning that Greta Garbo had already had the film Mata Hari in production, Pola Negri deciding between scripts that were in her studio's story department chose A Woman Commands as her first sound film, in which she starred with Basil Rathbone. Of Rathbone she wrote in her autobiography, 'As an actor, I suspected Rathbone might be a little stiff and unromantic for the role, but he made a test that was suprisingly good.' Directed by Paul L.Stein, the films also stars Reginald Owen and Roland Young. Ronald Colman had begun as a screen actor in England as well with the films The Live Wire (Dewhurst, 1917), The Toilers (1919), Sheba (Hepworth, 1919), Snow in the Desert (1919) and The Black Spider (1920). Like Basil Rathbone, William Powell had also appeared in silent films, among those being Romola (Henry King, 1924 twelve reels) with Lillian and Dorothy Gish, and The Beautiful City (Kenneth Webb, 1925) with Dorothy Gish. William Powel also appeared with Fay Wray and Richard Arlen in the 1929 silent Four Feathers directed by Merrian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.

And like Rathbone, another Sherlock Holmes, Clive Brook who appeared in the 1929 film The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Basil Dean) and in the title role of Sherlock Holmes (Howard) in the film of 1930, was appearing in silent films during the early 1920's, including Woman to Woman (Cutts 1923) and Out to Win (Clift, 1923). As part of an interesting study, Clive Brook had appeared in the mysteries Trent's Last Case (1920), directed by Richard Garrick and based on the novel by E.C. Bentley and The Loudwater Mystery (1921), based on the novel by Edgar Jepson, before his appearing with Isobel Elsom in the 1923 film A Debt of Honor directed by Maurice Elvey. One of the most sought after lost, or missing films, listed by the British Film Institute as having been filmed but not surviving today in an existing print is The Mystery of the Red Barn (Maria Marton) dircted by Maurice Elvey in 1913. The following year Elvey was to direct the mysteries The Cup Final Mystery and Her Luck in London. One of the first directors Philip St John Basil Rathbone had appeared in front of the camera for had been Maurice Elvey, who had directed the 1921 film, The Fruitful Vine, adapted for the screen from the novel. To complement the films made in the United States, Sherlock Holmes of 1916 starring William Gillette and Sherlock Holmes (nine reels) of 1922, starring John Barrymore, John Barrymore not only in the title role but also in a dual role as Moriarty: Maurice Elvey in 1921 directed actor Eille Norwood in the first 15 of 45 shorts in which he would star as Sherlock Holmes. In addition to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which would include The Empty House, The Solitary Cyclist, The Man With The Twisted Lip, A Case of Identity, The Copper Beeches, The Beryl Coronet, The Priory School, The Yellow Face and The Dying Detective, Elvey that year directed Norwood in The Sign of the Four and in the silent Sherlock Holmes film The Hound of the Baskervilles. After his having directed Matheson Long in the Stoll Film Company's 1919 production of the film Mr. Wu, Maurice Elvey had been earlier teamed with Eille Norwood in 1920 for two silent films before their having entered into the Sherlock Holmes series, The Hundreth Chance, adapted from the novel, and The Tavern Knight, also adapted from the novel. George Ridgewell would direct Eille Norwood in 30 short films in which he would star as the consulting detective, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1922) and The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1923), among them being The Boscome Valley Mystery (1922), The Six Napoleons (1922), The Golden Pince-Nez (1922), The Reigate Squires (1922), The Musgrave Ritual (1922), Black Peter, The Norwood Builder, The Red Circle, The Stockbrokers Clerk, The Abbey Grange, The Engineer's Thumb (1923), The Dancing Men (1923), The Mystery of Thor Bridge (1923) and The Cardboard Box . George Ridgewell during 1922 also directed the mystery The Crimson Circle with Clifton Boyne. In regard to Maurice Elvey, there still lies the possibility that modern detective of lost film could find any conceivable treasure; in 1926 the director filmed several films in a series entitled Haunted Houses and Castles of Great Britain. Like Holmes, counterpart Nyland Smith, portrayed Fred Paul, was extended into a second series of films, the British studio and director A. E. Coleby, after having completed The Mystery of Dr. Fu Man Chu (1923), which when completed ran to fifteen individual short stories, having added The Further Mysteries of Dr. Fu Man Chu to make the number of adventures twenty two. During 1924, the studio added a series of silent adventures entitled Thrilling Stories from the Strand Magazine.

During 1914, The Great Northern Special Feature Film Company advertised, "The Must Baffling Mystery Ever Filmed", By Whose Hand? which promised "Interest and Thrills from Beginning to End". The Great Northern Film Company released "Preferred Feature Attractions". Nordisk Film decidedly advertised the film The Stolen Treaty in 1913, and Great Northern that year distributed the silent film The Stolen Secret (three reels). That year it also announced the film The White Ghost (Den Hivide Dame, 1913) directed by Holger-Madsen and starring Rita Sacchetto. The cameraman to the film had been Maurius Clausen, who with Holger Madsen was particularly noted for continuing the lighting effects that were singular to early Danish Silent Film. Although Ingvald Oes, the director of Great Northern was quoted as having said that three fourths of the films shown in Scandinavia were were filmed in the United States, despite whether his film had been widely seen in the United States as a Great Northern Film Company silent film, Forest Holger Madsen not only directed The White Ghost that year, but also directed the films The Mechanical Saw and During the Plauge for Nordisk Film. It was a year that Danish audiences were present while Vilhelm Gluckstadt brought the film Den Sorte Variete, starring Gudrun Houlberg to the screen. Author Ron Mottram recently published the article The Great Northern Film Company: Nordisk Film in the American Motion Picture Market, out lining the transactions between Ole Olsen and Oes, president of Great Northern, that transpired between 1908-1917. Olsen had originally agreed to send more than one hundred silent films to the United States. Olsen took the position of managing director of Nordisk in 1911, a year during whcih Denmark had become the first country to make multi-reel films, bringing the running-time up to three quarters of an hour. It was for Nordisk Films Kompani that year that August Blom had directed Asta Neilsen in the film The Ballet Dancer (Balletdanserinden). 

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The actress also during 1911 appeared with Valdemar Psilander in The Black Dream (Dem Sorte Drom), thought to be remarkable for the the use of silhouette, by  Asta Neilsen's husband, Peter Urban Gad, the film's director.

 Ebba Thomsen was brought to the screen by director Robert Dinesen for two films during 1913, Under the Lighthouse Beam (Under Blinkfyrets Straaler/Out on the Deep) and Dovstymmelegatet. Betty Nansen, before leaving Denmark to film in the United States, made two films advertised heavily in the United States as being from The Great Northern Film Company during 1913,  A Paradise Lost (Bristet Lykke, August Blom) and Princess Elena (The Princesses' Dilema, Holger Madesen, her being introduced in the latter with "featuring the distinguished tragedienne Miss Betty Nansen in the title role.

" If only a footnote, Vitagraph in 1917 had brought the novel Arsen Lupin (Paul Scardon, five reels) to the screen with Earle Williams as the titular character; a year earlier George Loan Tucker had filmed a British rendering of the drama; far from being a footnote is the fact that there no existing print of what seems to be the first feature filming of Doyle's armchair detective, A Study in Scarlet, directed by George Pearson in 1914 being among one of the most sought after films listed as missing by the British Film Institute. W. Scott Darling, a favorite of the present author, was certainly writing mystery scripts in Hollywood during 1920, his scenario to 813 (Scott Sidney-Charles Christie), based on an Arsene Lupin story written by Maurice Leblanc, was reviewed under the title Mystery Novel Loses interest In Screen Adaptation. It purportedly lost "some of its excitement and suspense in the pictorization...There is a morbid element to the tale which becomes unneccesarily vivid in the picture form." Apparently, "Lupin falls in love with Delores Castlebank, widow of the murdered man." At the bottom of the page, the magazine offerred a "box office analysis for the exhibitor" with "The Name of Arsene Lupin and A Promise of Mystery, Your Best Bets" and prompted, "If you want a catchline, this will do: Added, subtracted, divided, the mysterious numbers gave the answer 813. What does it mean?" Perplexing to the readers of the present author is that. although there is no reason to qualify the film as being "lost" the fact that the title of the film is a number, 813 makes it missing from catalogues of film that are not lost as well as those that are.
Danish Silent Film

Were I a projectionist in Denmark, due to the scarcity of early film available today and how seminal early Danish silent film may be to the study of the origins of the mystery and detective film, I would enthusiasticly arrange a screening of the silent film Dr Nicholson and the Blue Diamond (Dr. Nicholson og den blaa Diamant, starring Edith Psilander, recently donated by the Danish Film Institute for public internet screening. What seems remarkable about the film is its running time, which is an hour. Among the early danish narrative films of Viggo Larsen were The Black Mask (Den Sorte Maske (1906), Revenge (1906), Anarkistens svigermor (1907), with actress Margrethe Jespersen, The Lion Hunt (Lovejaten (1906), The Bankruptcy (Falliten, 1907), and, The Magic Bed (Tryllesaekken (1907); it is thought that Viggo Larsen was quite possibly the first director to cut from one long shot of a scene to its reverse angle, a long shot of the scene from an opposite angle during the film The Robber's Sweetie (Rovens Brod, 1907), starring Clara Nebelong.

Interstingly, Julius Jaenzon had filmed The Dangers of a Fisherman's Life, An Ocean Drama (Fiskarliv ets farer et Drama paa havet as an early Norwegian silent film under the direction of Hugo Hermansen. Salsvinnapolttajet (The Moonshiners, directed in Finland during 1907 by Teuro Puro and Louis Sparre, is presently considered a lost film. The photographer is listed as having been Frans Engstrom. Interestingly enough, author Marguerite Engberg writes that photoplay dramatists were instructed to limit the use of inter-titles and thereby depict narrative as visual whenever possible. To parallel this, a steady number of guides on creative writing that can be found in the category of Photodrama or photodramatist appeared in the United State between 1912 and 1920, whether or not many seem more lurid than the films themselves- to arbitrarily look at them, to find a sense of meaning as to what early photo-drama plot was, there is Photodrama: the philosophy of its principles, the nature of its plot, its dramatic construction, from 1914, written by Henry Albert Phillips. It contains a chapter on Visualization: "Visualized action takes first and foremost place in the photoplay; all other matters are harmonious trappings and devices or illusion that decorate creaking machines with esthetic realities. Inserted matter, unless artisticlly used, becomes theatric instead of dramatic. The volume continues on to examine subjects like how characterization in the short story and photoplay differ and how there is a necessity within plot to create an "obstacle", the author striving to "analyze photo-drama, to embody it as a new and complete for of drama-literary art." The Danish Marguerite Engberg author sees a shift in Danish filmmaking during 1910 to a more sensational film with the work of August Blom (The Temptations of the Great City, Ved Faengslets Port, 1911;The Price of Beauty, Den Farliiege Alder, 1911), a shift that brought the subject of the camera from historical costume films to the more exciting modern period. With multi-reel films of longer running length, Fotorama, Kosmorama and Nordisk Film Kompagni added to film the erotic melodrama. Engberg notes that not only did early Danish cinema popularize the detective and mystery, it also addressed sex, "The woman of the erotic melodrama is as a rule an active partner in the lover story. It is often she who makes the decisions, she who is the sexually active one." She credits as August Blom creating the vamp with his The Vampire Dancer (Vampyrrdanserinden (1911) and she does in fact claim that chronologically, Vampyren (The Vampire, 1912), directed by Mauritz Stiller was a direct result of its influence.



     In his biographical filmography, David Bordwell traces an early period where both A. W. Sandberg and Carl Th. Dreyer were journalists before enlisting with Nordisk Films Kompagni, the former in 1913, the latter part-time also in 1913 untill 1915, when Dreyer had apparently worked as though in a script departmartment and had contriubtued no fewer than seventeen scripts within two years, that, whether literary adaptations or not, had been either shelved unfilmed untill possibly reinterpreted by the director or filmed under a change of title. They include from 1915: The False Finger (De Falske Fingre), The Count of Oslo (Greven af Oslo), The Man in the Moon (Manden i manen), Adventure Ship (Eventyrskribet), The Dead Passenger (Den Dod Passager), The Secret Gifts (De hemmelighedsfude gaver), The Strandrobbers of Grimsby (Strandroverne it Grimby, The Rats (Rotterne); and from 1916: The arm of the Law (Lovensarm), The Golden Plague (Den gulde pest), Stolen Happiness (Stjalen lykke), The Money or the Life (Penger eller livet), Dance of Death (Dodedanseren), The Financier, The Man Who Destroyed a Town (Manden der lagde byen ode).  And yet as a scriptwriter, Dreyer not only wrote intertitles and continuity, but worked on narrative in regard to its structure with the editors during the cutting. Danish silent film director Carl Th Dreyer was to direct every screenplay he was to direct. Tom Milner, who begins his volume on Dreyer with an account of his having seen the director at a screening of Getrude, quotes him as having said, "I know that I am not a poet. I know that I am not a great playwright. That is why I prefer to collaborate with a true poet and with a true playwright." Dryer in 1913 wrote the screenplays to The Baloon Explosion (Balloneskplosionen, Kay van de Ala Kuhle) starring Emilie Sannom, The Secret of the Old Cabinet (Chatollets hemmilighed, Hjalmar Davidsen) starring Ella Sprange and photographed by Louis Larsen, Hans og Grethe (Sofus Wolder) and The War Correspondent (Krigskorrespondent, William Gluckstadt) starring Grethe Ditlevsen, Ellen Tegner and Emilie Sannom. In 1914, Dreyer contributed the script to Down With Your Weapons (Ned Med Vaabne, Holger Madsen), photographed by Marius Clausen.





Roman Novarro, who had starred with Greta Garbo in the film Mata Hari under the direction of George Fitzmaurice, in 1924 appeared in two films directed by Fred Niblo, Thy Name is Woman and The Red Lily. In 1925 the actor appeared in the films The Midshipman (Christy Cabanne, eight reels) and The Lovers Oath (six reels). Novarro is quoted as having said, 'It wasn't enough for her to satisfy the director. Often -despite his OK- she asked for a scene to be retaken because she didn't think she had done her best.' Between the films The Primitive Lover (Sidney Franklin, seven reels, 1922) and The Lady (1925), Frances Marion had written the screenplays to The French Doll (1923), Song of Love (Chester Franklin, eight reels, 1924), based on the novel Dust of Desire and starring Norma Talmadge Secrets (Frank Borzage, eight reels, 1924) and Tarnish (George Fitzmaurice, seven reels, 1924). Technicolor and artificial lighting were used in tandem for the first time in 1924 by director George Fitzmaurice to bring Irene Rich, Alma Rubens, Betty Bouton and Constance Bennett to the screen in the film Cytherea (eight reels). Screenland magazine noted that the scripts filmed by Fitzmaurice were often submitted by his wife, and that Ouida Bergere, more frequently remembered, or referred to, as the lover of Basil Rathbone, "was a successful actress before she began to write for pictures." The present author almost found it of more personal interest that there was an author named Faith Service that wrote for Motion Picture Classics more than anything. During 1920 it featured a portrait of the film director George Fitzmaurice and his relationship to the screenwriter, but also included a fictionalized version of the script to the silent film On With the Dance, its scenario written by Ouida Bergere. Faith Service regularly appeared in the magazine as an author that adapted the photoplay into the short story, with the subtitle "fictionalized by permission" or "told in story form, her having typed out the plots to the films Victory Miss Hobbs, Remodeling a Husband and The World and His Wife and She Loves and Lies, it being to the present author fascinating that the stills to films that now may be lost appear next to their transposition into a differeton art form. That year Gladys Hall fictionalized the scenario to the film Way Down East, condensing its charactizations into a handful of pages, the spectator of 1920 reading what would soon be on the screen in front of them, perhaps while viewing the star as a commodity within the extra-textual discourse of the fan magazine but with the familiar art form of the magazine short story installment. About the director Fitzmaurice, the Motion Picture Classics published, "For Fitzmaurice owes his remarkable ability to attain beautiful pictures- admirable in light, shade and grouping- to his early training as a painter, Maurice Tourneur owes his skill in the same field to the same source......En passme it is interesting to note the commraderie of Fitzmaurice and his wife, known to the scenario world as Ouida Bergere. 'We work together on every production,' explains the director." Faith Service was also distinguished as having been published in Photoplay magazine. Is the Mystery of Room 643 a Lost Film? There are many photoplays that during their first theater run were adapted from screen images into third person narrative, original screenplays that were published as magazine fiction after rewritten by magazine staff writers that, with stills from each film, have been preserved in regard to their storyline, characterization and that still exist as they did on celluloid and silver nitrate. The Essanay Film The Return of Richard Neal (1915), starring Nell Craig, and earlier chapters with Francis X. Bushman staring as in "adventures of the private investigator" are not listed as lost, but presently some lists they are not found to be existant. The film appears in story form , with several film stills,in Picture Stories Magazine. It has caught the attention of the present author that Edna Mayo may be an actress with which modern audiences could have been be more familiar with; her Essanay film Stars, Their Courses Change (1915, three reels) seems to be unlisted as being missing while having had appeared in Motion Picture World Magazine- in light of there having been the documentary The Unknown Chaplin, both films would appear to currently be lost. There is every indication that the film Ponjola, starring Anna Q. Nilsson is missing from compendiums on lost film, although it appeared in full page magazine advertisements it seemingly to have been left unlisted. It also appeared in a Photoplay Edition published by Grosset and Dunlap the year of its release, the dustjacket of the 1923 novel rewritten from the screen by Cyntheia Stockley reading, "Illustrated with scenes from the photoplay. A First National Picture". Of course not every film made by the Stoll Film Corporation is lost and missing, but as it seems like a smaller studio, two films from 1923 appear to be unlisted, The Tidal Wave (Hill) and Bars of Iron (Thorston). Any film featured in Picture Stories Magazine during 1914-1915 could be later found to be a lost film. His Last Chance was featured as a work of fiction as novelized in Picture Stories Magazine and does not presently appear to be included in list of films that have been lost; the magazine cover advertises the periodical as being the "Illustrated Films Monthly". The title reads "Adapted from the IMP drama by Rosa Beaulaire", but neglects to name the actors and actresses in the stills and the name of the director of the film. The same issue includes the photoplay On the Verge of War in short story form with only "Adapted from the 101 Bison Film by Owen Garth. The Riddle of The Green Umbrella on the other hand credits Alice Joyce as a girl detective "from the two reel Kalem detective story" who is solving the murder of a professor; the film is not listed as being lost and is absent from lists of films that are decidedly not lost. The Triumph of Venus, advertised in the pages of Photoplay during 1918 is another film that seems yet to be put on lists of missing silent films. What I did happen to find in the pages of Photoplay Magazine was the six page novelization of the chapter-play, or serial, The Eagle's Eye directed by George Lessey and Wellington Player in 1918. With the novelization of the photoplay are published stills from the film, stills that show frames from a silver screen flicker that no longer survives. The lost silent film starred actress Marguerite Snow.


During 1925 actress Vilma Banky was filming for George Fitzmaurice rather than Victor Sjostrom, who featured her in his first sound film, A Lady To Love, that being before her Hungarian accent purportedly had contributed to an unacceptance on the part of movie going audiences. The Great Goldwyn, an early biography on producer Sam Goldwyn written by Alva Johnston, gives an account of her having been brought to the United States States, "He discovered Miss Banky when he saw her picture in a photograph shop in Budapest. This was a feit, because when the photograph was sent to Hollywood, the Goldwyn executives could see no possibilites in her. She arrived in Hollywood herself a few days after her photograph. Miss Banky was bewildered on her arrival in Hollywood. 'I thought I was being tricked,' she told an interpreter, 'I didn't believe the man was Goldwyn untill he gave me two thousand dollars.'"

In Sweden, Par Lagerkvist that year published the novel Guest of Reality (Gas hos verkligheten). It is an account of the events of his childhood an his claim of his reluctance to accept religous ideals. In Sweden, Olaf Molander directed Lady of the Camellias (Damen med kameliorna, 1925), starring Ivan Hedqvist and Hilda Borgström and photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. Forsyth Hardy writes, "The film derived some distinction from the delicately composed interiors and from the touching performance Tora Teje gave in response to Molander's skilled direction." In 1926 Molanderfollowed with Married Life (Giftas), starring Hilda Borgström and Margit Manstad, also photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson and in 1927 with Only a Dancing Girl, which he wrote and directed. Gustaf Molander in 1925 directed the film Constable Paulus' Easter Bomb (Polis Paulis' Easter Bomb). William Larsson that year directed the films Broderna Ostermans huskors and For hemmet och flickan, with Jenny Tschernichin and Elsa Widborg in what would be the first film in which she was to appear. John W. Brunius in 1925 directed the film Charles XII (Karl XII), photographed by Hugo Edlund and starring Gösta Ekman, Pauline Brunius and Mona Martenson. Its screenplay was written by Hjalmar Bergman and Ivar Johansson. Many of the scenes of Brunius' film were shot on the actual historical locations and battlesites, it having had been being one of the most expensive films to have been made in Sweden up untill that time. Gosta Ekman had earlier been seen as leading man in the United States, as a "romantic type" In Pantomine magazine it was surveyed that, "he plays the impudent, but loveable adventurer to life and his slender blonde figure lends itself most admirably to graceful interpretations of this kind." Photoplay magazine saw Ekman in a similar way, describing him in 1923 as "the Swedish shiek" (the Swedish Valentino) and predicted his soon aquiring famem in the United States, as it did that year with Sigrid Holmqvist. Photoplay reported, "Arriving with him from Stockholm was Edith Erastoff, the wife of Victor Seastrom, the Swedish director who is now working for Goldwyn. Miss Erastoff played opposite Mr. Ekman at the Stockholm Theater....'A beautiful boy,' says director Seastrom, 'Too beautiful- but he is a great actor and never hesitates to conceal his good looks for a character part which demands make-up.'" The magazine that year speculated that "in all probability" Ekman woulod appear on screen in a version of "Three Weeks", concievably opposite actress Theda Bara. In Sweden, in 1925 Ragnar Ring directed the film Tre Kroner (1925), following the next year with the film Butikskultur. Ett kopmanshus i skargarden starring Anna Wallin and Anna Carlsten was written and directed by Hjalmer Peters, its photographer Hellwig Rimmen.

Danish film director Carl Th. Dreyer in 1925 filmed Thou Shalt Honor Thy Wife (Master of the House, Den Skal Aere Din Hustru), which the director co-wrote with Sven Rindholm. Photographed by Goerge Schneevoigt, the films stars Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose and Mathilde Nielsen. In his book Transcendental Style in Film, the director Paul Schrader (Autofocus) characetrizes Dreyer's early film by their use of mise-en-scene, likening them, in their use of interiors and 'revelatory guesture', in particular to the Intimate Theater of Strindberg. Dreyer, in a foreward to a collection of four of his screenplays, writes, 'I am convinced that presenlty a tragic poet of the cinema will appear, whose problem will be to find, within the structure of the cinema's framework, the form and style appropriate to tragedy.' During the film Master of the House, Dreyer stylisticly uses the iris shot while cutting between close and medium interior shots, including and iris shot filmed over the shoulder of a character exiting through a doorway and an iris shot of her entering again later in the scene, and , more notably, the director during the middle of a scene uses iris shots while cutting between a close up and a medium closeshot; during the latter a second character, that of the protagonist's wife in the film, can been seen entering the frame of the shot from the right of the irised screen and then reentering during the length of the shot. Husband and wife are both shown in intercut iris closeups during a dialouge sequence within the middle of a prolonged interior scene, the exceptional beauty of the actress held by the camera as her eyes silently wait for her husband to speak. In his biography of Greta Garbo, Raymond Durgnat quotes "the austerest of all film directors", Carl Dreyer, although the quote seems superfluous or decorative to the essay, as having said, "Nothing in the world can be compared to the human face. It is a land no one can never tire of exploring." The context was that Garbo, being a film star, was an object of art.

Early Danish sound film director Alice O'Fredricks appeared as an actress in two Danish silent films in 1925, Sunshine Valley (Solskinsdalen) with Karen Winther, directed for Nordisk Film by Emanuel Gregers, and Lights from Circus Life (Sidelights of the Sawdust Ring/Det Store Hjerte) with Ebba Thomsen, Margarethe Schegel and Mathilde Nielsen, directed by August Blom. She had appeared a year earlier with Clara Pontoppidan in a film produced by Edda Film, Hadda Padda, directed by Gudmundar Kamban and also starring Ingeborg Sigurjonsson. Gudmundur Kamban in 1926 for Nordisk Film directed Gunnar Tolnaes, Hanna Ralph and Agnete Kamban int the film Det Sovende Hus

In Finland, the film The Northeners/The Bothnians (Pohjalaisis) was recently screened for the first time since its first run release in 1925. Directed by Jalmari Landensue, the film was photographed by a camerman that would film on several occaisions for the directors Konrad Tallroth, Erkki Karu and Teuro Puro. In Germany, Scandinavian film director Svens Gade positioned actress Asta Nielsen in front of the lens in Hamlet (1920). Directing in the United States in 1925, his films included Fifth Avenue Models adapted from the novel The Best in Life by Muriel Coxen, Siege and Peacock Feathers (seven reels) with Jacqueline Logan; in 1926 they were to include Watch Your Wife (seven reels), Into Her Kingdom (seven reels) with Corinne Griffith and Einar Hanson and The Blonde Saint (seven reels), adapted from the novel Isle of Life by Stephen Whitman and starring Lewis Stone and Ann Rork. Gade would later become a scenario writer rather than director, one instance being Symphony for Universal, directed by F. Harmon Weight.

During his absence from Europe, Dadaist Hans Richter photographed avaunt-guard silent film during 1925, including Ghosts Before Breakfast, and Filmstudie. Richter is not specificlly referred to in the 1922 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine that published legend Tristan Tzara with the article Some Memoirs of Dadaism, an account of the movement which has undertaken to free French art from its classical rigidities, but as a chronicle of the Tzara's 1920 return to Paris it explores Dadaism as an international endeavor while introducing Dadaist meetings, which were to include Paul Eluard, Andre Breton (A Tempest in a Glass of Water), Louis Aragon (The Glass Syringe), and Hans Arp (Clean Wrinkles), as Dadaist Theater, and therefore Dadaist Festival. If it is seen that Modernism in art was removed from cinema, also writing in Vanity Fair was Edmund Wilson, who wrote The Aesthetic Upheaval in France, the Influence of jazz in Paris and the Americanization of French Literature and Art. "For the younger artists in France have competely thrown overboard the ideals of perfection and form, of grace and measure and tranquility, which we Americans are accustomed to think of as their most valuable possession." Although it was in 1928 that Germaine Dulac filmed The Seashell and the Clergyman, written by Antonin Artaud, her film The Smiling Mrs. Beudet brings her work back into 1923. Duchamp, whom the present author has long admired for the paintings Nude Descending a Staircase would eventually turn from the meanings imbued within the human figure is the poetic meanings, associations, it can geometricly, within plane and shadow, hold, to a more plastic ready-made interpretation of angle and curve, his having filmed Anemic Cinema in 1927, leaving spatial questions of the human form delineated by action to Jean Cocteau with The Blood of the Poet, a film of which the present author is as equally fond. Paul Rotha adds the appellation Absolute Film to Abstract Film, "The abstract film is a primary example of unity of filmic purpose." A series of abstract visual images could be brought into visual abstract patterns with abstract forms that were in movement, seen through the relations of mercurial geometric figures to each other. "The screen is a blackboard to Eggeling." Rotha refers to the films Light and Rythym (Bruguiere and Blaketon), Light and Shade, and Montparnasse (Desalv). The Flood (Louis Delluc, 1923), while being a catalyst to the experimental film of the period, is attributed with having been "derived from the Swedes" (O'Leary). The film still lauded Delluc as a proponent of the experimental film and he has been referred to as one of the first film critics, his having written about the theater, untill inveigled toward the film by his hife, actress Eve Francis. In her volume Let's Go to the Movies, Iris Barry wrote, "There is a lady called Gertrude Stein, who writes books composes entirely of words; meaning is a thing she avoids. She has her enthusiasts, who conted, quite rightly, that writers must make patterns in words and that old words must be pressed into new meanings...She is in fact the same case as the absract films as Paris, which equally scrupulously avoid meaning." Long ago, the present author was fond of her novel Ida.

Audiences in 1925 viewed Mary Pickford in the silent film Little Annie Rooney (William Beaudine, nine reels). Among the films in which flapper Clara Bow appeared in that year were Eves Lover (Roy Del Ruth, seven reels), The Scarlett West (John G. Adolphi, 9 reels) and The Keeper of the Bees (James Meehan, seven reels). During 1925, Sally of the Sawdust (ten reels) and That Royal Girl (ten reels) would both team W.C. Fields and Carol Dempster. Both films were directed by D.W. Griffith.

n regard to D.W. Griffith still filming during the 1920's and Thomas Ince having been part of Triangle, it may have been that the photodramatists of the silent era in the United States had by 1925 seen a transformation. In a volume entitled Modern Photoplay Writing, published in 1922, Howard T. Dimick wrote, Thus the present era might be called the era of the detailed synopsis, which has evolved out of the era of the scenario." It concludes his thought from the previous sentence, "The modern playwright submits his story in the form of a detailed synopsis, amounting in length to a short story, casting the dramatic form, establishing the events, developing the characters, introducing the atmosphere, but minus all dialogue and moralizing not pertinent to the demands of the mechanism it is intended for, the camera." He adds that previously the scenario had been submitted to set the dramatic form and that the synopsis would not be able to veer from the dramatic line as developed, whereas in a more modern era, the synopsis had become a dramatic form of continuity. In a slightly earlier volume, Scenario Writing Today, published in 1921, Gra Sun, November 25, 2012 - 5:01 PM permalink
Silent Film During 1921, actress Alice Lake, with the film Uncharted Seas (Wesley Ruggles) knudged in between the battle for covergirl transpiring between Viola Dana and May Allison, both for Metro Pictures Corporation. Priscilla Dean stayed on the periphery of the dogfight with her film Reputation for Universal Jewel Deluxe. Silent FilmSilent FilmSilent Film From the advertising of 1927 for the film White Gold, actress Jetta Goudal seemed a sensation. The direction of William K Howard was reviewed as "distinctive". The Film Daily wrote, "His method of creating atmosphere appropriate to the action, while not relatively new, is most effective. The monotonous creaking of a rocker, the dreary routine of the sickening desert heat, all these and more,creating detail, makes his efforts outstanding." The photoplay was scripted by Garret Fort with scenario writer Marion Orth. Scott Lord Silent Film
Sun, November 25, 2012 - 4:52 PM permalink
originally published at Greta Garbo
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Scott Lord

ia700404.us.archive.org/19/items/OTRR_Sealed_Book_Singles/Sealed_Book_45-xx-xx_ep13_The_Ghost_Maker.mp3



I found a new series to add to the radio programs from over 75  years ago that I include when I listen to when I listen to the CBS Radio Mystery  Theater.



Please enjoy a night in "this very house is supposed to be haunted".
Sun, January 20, 2013 - 9:08 PM permalink
Thu, January 17, 2013 - 5:09 PM permalink
This is the third week this week I've listened to a Murder at Midnight episode.



The three shows that can be put together that I've listened to regularly are Inner Sanctum, The CBS Mystery Theater and now Murder at Midnight.



If you were to listen to the Sherlock Holmes series- the Fu Man Chu series from 1939 was a thrill to add.



ia700507.us.archive.org/6/items/Murder.At.Midnight/Murder_at_Midnight_46-10-07_04_Wherever_I_Go.mp3



Scott LordScott Lord
Wed, December 26, 2012 - 7:22 PM permalink
ia600507.us.archive.org/6/items/Murder.At.Midnight/Murder_at_Midnight_46-09-23_02_The_Man_Who_Was_Death.mp3



I listen to one half hour episode every night- include the Inner Sanctum and The CBS Mystery Theater with other favorites from months before this



Tue, December 25, 2012 - 10:07 PM permalink
ia700507.us.archive.org/6/items/Murder.At.Midnight/Murder_at_Midnight_xx-xx-xx_Murder_Across_the_Board_Never_Broadcast.mp3



It began with Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone, Tom Conway, and John Gielguld, Orson Welles and the Shadow for a while, Fu Man Chu for over 30 nights in a row, the Inner Sanctum everynight for a couple of months and all of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater that I could stand.

Now: Murder at Midnight.
Fri, December 21, 2012 - 6:50 PM permalink
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I've regained the ability to download. I was listening to a radio program entitled The Murder Clinic from the mid-1940's that featured a story from one of my favories detectives, H.M., Sir Henry Merrivale from the novels of John Dickson Carr while this was going into the computer.



I happen to carry a 1938 Basil Rathbone Players cigarette card in my wallet.





Wed, January 16, 2013 - 9:40 PM permalink
I told her today, "That's the type of poet you are." We happenned to be on our way to dinner and on Comm Ave there was a street corner memorial to a deceased student-young person and she asked if she could stop and read the page that was there. I mentioned that she was that type of writer and she was more than welcome to read it. Apparently someone had had a fatal accident and was remembered by their peers. We were walking and she stopped into Marsh Chapel to pray, which she always does if we are out whenever there is an open church. I really wasn't thinking of a poem this time, or a theme and later i told her that although we saw Ellie Wiesel speak at the University, of which I'm still very appreciative, there didn't seem to be that many lectures open to the public considering the size of the University and how near to Boston it really is- shouldn't there really be one a week in that its one of the only places where it can take place. (There are lectures in aesthetics open to the public, but I don't think it would harm George Santanyana to have a couple more. And in regard to film- its only a movie projector) She asked why I hadn't been blogging recently. I took her to dinner the other night near the Longefellow House- and we made love untill late- and I broke my recorded on the bench press again, which is now 250lbs (I still weigh 132 at 50 years old, still a size 32 dungaree), and brushed up on some of the other weightlifting- so I should have been blogging, but I've been immersed in Danish Silent Film and have been reading in order to revise writing- so I was expanding my webpages. But then again last night was astonishing. During the middle of the night she all of a sudden asked if I needed a blanket and covered me with a soft spoken tone. Something that small-that significant; my thought were just, "You were just nice to me." and then I tried to avoid the cliches, "That was worth alot" and "That meant alot." But after all this living together, dating while living together, seeing each other while living together, she just that one time was nice to me. Then and there, no else but her. She very simply put a blanket one me during the middle of the night. That's all, which brings all of my sincerity as a poet in to play, all the self honesty there is to poetry into play. I've been waiting to blog that she gave me gloves and socks for Christmas, actually I write on film history on the internet and she added a new video player to the bedroom during the middle of her shuttling back and forth from Macy's shopping for fashion, and there it was- someone covering me with a blanket at that hour.
Mon, January 14, 2013 - 9:12 PM permalink




We missed a midnight mass last night because it was cold and then a morning church breakfast because I had been awake a six and it seemed like there was going to be snow on Christmas morning; but we did attend a six o'clock Christmas mass (it's cool- I don't recieve the Eucharist). We made it to see the Tom Stoppard version of Anna Karenina Christmas night after promising ourselves we would- we were going to see the film weeks ago, but she wanted to see Breaking Dawn first.

We're saving some presents to each other for after Christmas; I got her a nightgown during the beginning of the month and we've been adding things to our shopping since then.

The film is sumptuous- and there's a little theatrical thing where it seems to be all interior shots and the exteriors are represented as only occurring on stage, meaning Russian society is in fact a facade of painted backdrops where reality happens behind the doors of private affairs- the camerwork is good where symbolic shots of the train and a theater fan are swished panned, rather than accelerating the montage in a classic way, the camera pivots to represent speed and urgency.

The plot is emotion and is depicted as emotion in its love scenes and thematic threading.











Tue, December 25, 2012 - 9:51 PM permalink
Fri, December 21, 2012 - 7:04 PM permalink




Donna and I went to another film together. Usually she brings me, whereas this time I finally brought her. After, I said, "Thank you for going out with me." We've been talking about seeing Anna Karenina and then she noticed this film was there and she was hoping to see it; since we were in Boston rather than Cambridge, specifically we were at Macy's shopping, we made this film before dark. I took Temple Street this time to vary my way and noticed there's a little bit of architecture I may not have quite noticed before.



Scott Lord Film





Fri, December 7, 2012 - 8:03 PM permalink
originally published at Scott Lord
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I have heavily revised my writing on Greta Garbo, Victor Sjostrom, Danish Silent Film and Swedish Silent Film. You may have read this before, but this time it in fact is extensive. Please visit the following webpages.

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Please view my revision of my webpages on the silent film of Greta Garbo.

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I like this blog, but my wife and i are no longer speaking and I feel the need to close it.

Please read my new novel and blog:

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sites.google.com/site/scot...novel/home
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