Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Spray, Sweden
Swedish Film Institutescottlord-Swedish Silent Film

swedish silent film 1918-1923 swedish silent film 1909-1917

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".

Silent 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.

Garbo went to Rasunda to the Svenska Filmindustri studio to meet Stiller for a screen test to be filmed by Jaenzon. She and Mona Martenson were to film The Saga of Gosta Berling (1924, ten reels).During its filming, Greta Garbo and Mona Martenson had stayed in the same hotel room together. 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. 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." 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." During the Photoplay interview, Garbo continued 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." 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. Stiller, incidently, had invited Sten Selander, a poet rather than actor, to Rasunda before his having decided upon Lars Hanson for the film. 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. 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."

Like Greta Garbo, Mary Johnson travelled from Sweden to Germany. 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).

Silent Film

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.'" 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."

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 protegee 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 gave the script of the film 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. 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).

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 Belasco Ibanez, their having been titled Among the Orange Trees and The Earth Belongs to Everyone, respectively. Charles Affron particularly looks to the entrances that Greta Garbo makes during the opening scenes of her silent film and notes that 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 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 tha 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.

In a scene where Garbo is shown in an extreme close up sitting with Lionel Barrymore, author Mark A. Vieira choses 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.

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." 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." 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. "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."

Stiller also directed Pola Negri, and Clive Brook, in Barbed Wire (1927, seven reels) and Pola Negri and Einar Hanson in The Woman on Trial (1927, six reels). The year previous, 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.Mauritz Stiller's film Barbed Wire had a screening during Cinevent, held in Columbus, Ohio between May 27-30, 2005.

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. In 1928, 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) and The Wedding March (Eric von Stroheim). Pola Negri that year 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.

In 1927 alone, Einar Hanson appeared in the films The Lady in Ermine (seven reels, James Flood), The Masked Woman (six reels) with Anna Q. Nilsson, Fashions for Women (seven reels, Arzner) with Esther Ralston and Children of Divorce (seven reels, Frank Lloyd) with Clara Bow.

Glimpses of the Garbo of 1924, a year when in the United States Viola Dana and Jetta Goudal were starring together in the film Open All Night (six reels), can be seen in the letters between her and Swedish actress Mimi Pollock authenticated by author Tin Andersen Axell, letters on which his newest book is based. Leaving us again with something mysterious, the letters written by Pollack to Greta Garbo have been unseen by the public and are thought to be currently included in the collection of Scott Riesfield.

Among the events of 1924 was a visit by silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Farirbanks to Stockholm, Sweden. In the United States, 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 stroy 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. Cinematographer Charles Van Enger not only photographed the 1924 film Name the Man, directed by Victor Sjöm, 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.

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).

Basil Rathbone, who co-starred with Greta Garbo, under the direction of Clarence Brown, in the sound version of Anna Karenina, 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. 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 Man With The Twisted Lip and The Dying Detective, Elvey that year directed Norwood in The Sign of the Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Maurice Elvey had been earlier teamed with Eille Norwood in 1920 for two silent films, 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).

Roman Novarro, who had starred with Greta Garbo in Mata Hari under the direction of George Fitzmaurice, in 1925 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." About meeting Greta Garboin 1931 during the filming of the film Susan Lennox:Her Rise and Fall, Mercedes de Acosta wrote, "There was a silence, a silence which she could manage with great ease.Garbo can always manage a silence." (For various reasons, by 1960 de Acosta and Garbo were barely in contact with each other.)

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).

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, which, in 1926 he followed 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. Ragnar Ring directed the film Tre Kroner, 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.

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 Germany, Scandinavian film director Svens Gade positioned actress Asta Nielsen in fron of the lens in Hamlet (1920). Directing in the United States in 1925, his films included Fifth Avenue Models, 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 Habnson and The Blonde Saint (seven reels) with Lewis Stone and Ann Rork.

Among the films currently included in the collection of the Internet Archive is the trailer to the 1925 Mary Pickford 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.

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. The cameraman to the film had been Hendrik Sartov.

During 1926 Frank Capra would direct Harry Langdon in The Strongman (seven reels), his having written the screenplay to Langdon's film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926, six reels). During the middle of the twenties, comedy was also being created by Buster Keaton, who in 1923 appeared in the silent film Balloonatics. Keaton also appeared in the silent short, The Paleface, silent comedy The Blacksmith and the silent film short The Boat.

In the United States, Fox Studios in 1927 continued their films of the Great West, pairing Tom Mix with Dorothy Dwan in The Great K & A Train Robbery (Lewis Seiler, five reels).

Silent Film

Silent FilmThe 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 D. W. Griffith. 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. Behind the mask and costumed in red during the tinted sequences, 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). Upon being invited to follow a story that began in Victorian-Edwardian London, 1925 movie 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. Two years earlier, he had appeared in the film Silent Command (J. Gordon Edwards, eight reels).

Lon Chaney would return to the screen in 1926 in the films The Blackbird (Tod Browning, seven reels), The Road to Mandalay (Tod Browning, seven reels) and Tell It To the Marines (George Hill, ten reels).

Screenwriter Frances Marion had written the early revision to the photoplay The Mysterious Lady, which was rewritten by screenwriter Bess Meredyth. During the time in between it had been elaborately reworked by Danish film director Benjamin Christensen. Upon first arriving in the United States, the Danish silent film director Benjamin Christensen had sold the scenario to The Light Eternal, his remarking later that "writers were let loose on my script and altered the whole tone and message". The first film Christenson had directed in the United States, The Devil's Circus (1926, seven reels) with Norma Shearer and Charles Emmet Mack, had had a script which he had written himself. The Haunted House (seven reels) with Thelma Todd, Montague Love and Barbara Bedford, Mockery (seven reels), starring Lon Chaney, The Hawk's Nest (eight reels) with Milton Sills, Montague Love and Mitchell Lewis were to follow in 1928.

Silent Filmin the United States a newer version of the film is currently being presented by Kino International.

Norwegian Silent Film

Norwegian actress Greta Nissen would star in two films directed Roaul Walsh in 1926, The Lucky Lady and The Lady of the Harem. Also that year she appeared in The Love Thief (John McDermott) with Norman Kerry and The Popular Sin (Malcom St. Clair).

The Black Pirate, swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks, brought the silent film audiences of 1926 the romance of the high seas.

In Sweden during 1926 Klerker directed the film Flickorna pa Solvik, starring Wanda Rothgardt. Photographed by Hugo Edlund and written by Ivar Johansson, Tales of Enging Stal (Fredirk stals sanger) was that year directed by John W. Brunius. Edvin Adolphson and Mona Martenson were teamed by Erik A. Petschler in the 1926 film Brollopet i Branna, photographed by Gustav A. Gustafson. The film also stars Emmy Albiin. Sigurd Wallen in 1926 directed the film Ebberods bank, the assistant director to the film Rolf Husberg. That year Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius directed his first film, which he also scripted, Flickorna Gyurkovics, starring Betty Balfour, Karin Swanstrom, Stina Berg and Lydia Potechina. Mordbrannerskan (1926) directed by John Lindlof, photgraphed by Gustav A. Gustafson and starring Vera Schimterlow and Brita Appelgren, was the first film in which the actress Birgit Tengroth was to appear. Screenwriter Ester Julin in 1926 wrote and directed the film Lyckobarnen, photographed by Henrik Jaenzon and starring Marta Claesson.

Greta Garbo photographer William Daniels in 1926 was cinematographer to the film Altars of Desire (seven reels), under the direction of Christy Cabanne. The film stars actresses Mae Maurray and Maude George.

Danish film director Carl Th. Dreyer was in Norway during 1926 shooting the film The Bride of Glomdal (Glomsdalsbruden), photographed by Einar Olsen and starring Tove Tellback. The Norwegian Film Institute during 2007 announced the restoration of the film The Bridal Procession (Brudeferden i Hardanger), also filmed in Norway in 1926; the film stars the very beuatiful actress Ase Bye and was directed by Rasmus Breistein.

Silent Film actressIn 1927 alone, Alice Terry appeared in the films Lonesome Ladies (Joseph Henaberry), Notorious Lady (King Baggot), also starring Lewis Stone, An Affair of the Follies (Milland Webb), written by June Mathis, and The Prince of Headwaiters, also starring Lewis Stone (John Francis Dillon, seven reels). Roman Navarro that year appeared in the film Road to Romance (seven reels). John Barrymore during 1927 would begin what was to quickly become the only then whispered of crescendo of the silent film period, whith the film The Beloved Rogue, a year when Warner Oland appeared under the direction of Alan Crosland and with Delores Costello in A Man Loves (ten reels), starring Barrymore, and again in the film Old San Francisco (eight reels). Photographer Oliver Marsh that year would be behind the camera lens Norma Talmadge in the film The Dove (nine reels), directed by Roland West. W. S. Van Dyke that year brought Wanda Hawley to the screen in the film The Eyes of Totem, also starring Ann Cornwall. Included among those chosen to be covergirl for Photoplay Magazine during 1927 was actress Olive Borden. While author Deebs Taylor explains that "it" as typified by Elinor Glyn was sex appeal, he also writes that silent film actress Clara Bow had brought the excitement of the flapper to the screen a year before her having been given the role in the 1927 film It (seven reels) during her appearance in the film Mantrap (Victor Fleming, seven reels). 1928 saw actress Loretta Young as she appeared in her first two films with silent film actress Julanne Johnston, Marshall Neilan having directed both actresses in Her Wild Oat (1927, seven reels), with Colleen Moore and Martha Mattox and Joseph Boyle having directed both actresses in The Whip Woman (1928, six reels), with Estelle Taylor, Lowell Sherman and Hedda Hopper. She had been acting under the name Gretchen, which was changed at the suggestion of Mervyn Leroy, and, according to the webpage of the estate of Loretta Young, at the suggestion of Collen Moore.

John Gilbert that year made the films The Show (Tod Browning, seven reels), Twelve Miles Out (Jack Conway, eight reels) and Man, Woman and Sin (seven reels). The following year he made Four Walls (William Nigh, eight reels), with Vera Gordon. He would make only one film after having been reunited with Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, The Captain Hates the Sea (1934). Actress Emily Fitzroy, who appeared with John Gilbert and Greta Garbo in the 1927 film Love, also that year appreared in the films Married Alive (Emmett Flynn, five reels), with Margaret Livingston and Gertrude Claire, Orchids and Ermine (Alfred Santell, seven reels) with Colleen Moore, Hedda Hopper and Alma Bennet, One Increasing Purpose (Harry Beaumont, eight reels), with Lila Lee, Jane Novak and May Allison, and Once and Forever (Phil Stone, six reels), with Patsy Ruth Miller and Adele Watson.

In 1927 Greta Garbo had written, "I could not believe that what I saw when I was first taken to the Metro-Goldwyn Mayer lot was a studio. I found that it covered acres and acres of ground and boasted some twenty stages, each one of which was larger than our entrie studio in Sweden." The quote is from an article printed in Theatre Magazine entitled "Why I am a Recluse." and it either smooths out the extatextual discourse surrounding her on-screen sphinx-like image or was only partly written by Garbo for the studio publicity department; she had earlier renounced her "vamp roles" in order to film melodrama- in any event Greta Garbo herself relished reading fan magazines no matter how taciturn she had been. In the article, she explains the difficulty involved in acting in the United States, "My country, Sweden, is so small. It is also so quiet...During my first picture, Ibanez's Torrent, it was exactly as if I had to learn the making of motion pictures all over again. I was just beginning to learn the language... Now of course, things are easier for me. The second picture, The Temptress, I found less hard. The Flesh and the Devil fairly spung along, and now Love is going easier still. The studio does not seem as large as it did." Two magazines of which copies may have belonged to her during 1928 were issues that featured Greta Garbo as a covergirl for Motion Picture Classic and Greta Garbo as a covergirl for Screenland. Or it is quite possible the Swedish Sphinx may have comes across a newstand that had a copy of Screenland or Picture Play. During the four short years between 1934 and 1938, Greta Garbo appeared on seven covers of the magazine Film Pictorial.

In Sweden, Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius continued directing with Youth (Ungdom), starring Ivan Hedqvist, Marta Hallden and Brita Appelgren. Erik A Petschler in 1927 directed Hin och smalanningen, photographed by Gustav A Gustafson and starring Birgit Tengroth, Ingrid Forsberg, Greta Anjou, Jenny-Tschernichin-Larsson, Helga Brofeldt, Emy Bergstrom and Emy Albiin. Gustaf Edgren in 1927 directed The Ghost Baron (Spokbaronen) starring Karin Swanström and photographed by Adrian Bjurman, which was followed by Black Rudolf (Svarte Rudolf, 1928) starring Inga Tiblad and Fridolf Rhudin, both films having been written by Sölve Cederstrand. The assistant director to the film Black Rudolf had been Gunnar Skogland, it having been the first film in which the actress Katie Rolfsen was to appear. Gustaf Molander directed Sealed Lips (Forseglade lappar) with Wanda Rothgardt, Mona Martenson and Karin Swanström and His English Wife (Hans engelska fur), with Margit Manstad, Wanda Rothgath, Lili Dagover and Margit Rosengren in what was to be her first appearance on screen in 1927. In 1928 he continued with the film Sin (Synd) starring Lars Hanson, Ragnar Arvedson and Ellisa Landi and Woman of Paris (Parisiskor), with Ragnar Arvedson and Karin Swanström and photographed by Julius Jaenzon. When reviewed in the United States, it was written that His English Wife/ Discord was a film in which "the acting is of the school that believes in tapping fingers and clenched hands" and when Sealed Lips was reviewed it was written that "the direction goes back to the stand-gaze-and-hark acting of the old days." His English Wife was the first film to be photographed by Ake Dahlquist.

Also in Sweden the novel Raskens, written by Vilhelm Moberg appeared in 1927 and was followed in 1929 by the novel Langt fran landsvagen.

Brunius directed the film Gustaf Wasa, from a screenplay by Ivar Johansson, in 1928. In 1928 Adolf Niska contributed the film Stormens barn, starring Jenny Hasselquist and Torsten Bergstrom. Theodor Berthels that year directed the film The Poetry of Adalen (Adalens poesi) starring Hilda Borgstrom and Jessie Wessel. The 1928 film Erik XIV was written and directed by Sam Ask, it having starred Sophus von Rosen, Eva Munck af Rosenchold, Lisa Ryden Prytz and Gösta Werner.

The screenplays to The Kiss and Wild Orchids were both written by Hans Kraly during a year in which he had also written Eternal Love (Lubitsch, nine reels), Betrayal (Lewis Milestone, eight reels), The Garden of Eden (Lewis Milestone), starring Corrinne Griffith and Lowell Sherman, and The Last of Mrs. Cheyney. Kraly also in the United States had earlier penned the screenplays to Rosita (Lubitsch, 1923, nine reels), Black Oxen (Frank Lloyd, 1924, eight reels), Three Women (Lubitsch, 1924, eight reels), Forbidden Paradise (1924) and Her Night of Romance (Sidney Franklin, 1924, eight reels). In Germany, Kraly had written the scripts to the films of Danish director Urban Gad, including the 1913 film The Film Star (Die Filmprimaddonna, starring Asta Nielsen.

Norma Shearer in 1928 appeared on theater marquees in The Actress (Sidney Franklin, seven reels), a film photographed by William Daniels, The Latest from Paris (eight reels) and A Lady of Chance. Vilma Banky was seen on the screen in theaters across the United States during 1928 with Ronald Colman in Two Lovers (nine reels), directed by Fred Niblo and in The Awakening (nine reels), directed by Victor Fleming.

During 1929, Swedish author Harry Martinsson published his first volume of poetry, The Ghost Ship (Skokskepp), it followed in 1933 by the novel Cape Farewell (Kap Farval).

Written by Solve Cederstrand and photographed by Hugo Edlund, Konstgjorda Svensson (1929) ,with Rolf Husberg and Weyeler Hildebrand, was directed by Gustaf Edgren. In 1929 Edvin Adolphson directed his first film, it having been the first film made in Sweden to include sound, The Dream Waltz (Sag det i toner), co-directed by Julius Jaenzon and starring Jenny Hasselquist and Eric Malmberg.

Greta Garbo-Nils Aster Along with the films he made with Greta Garbo, before his returning to Sweden, in the United States, Lars Hanson made the films Captain Salvation (eight reels), photographed by William Daniels and Buttons (George Hill, seven reels). Before co-starring with Garbo, in 1928 alone, Nils Asther had appeared in the films Laugh Clown Laugh (Herbert Brenon, eight reels) with Lon Chaney and Loretta Young, The Cardboard Lover (eight reels), Loves of an Actress (Rowland W. Lee, eight reels) with Pola Negri, The Cossacks (George Hill, ten reels) with John Gilbert, Dream of Love (Fred Niblo, six reels) photographed by William Daniels and Oliver Marsh and starring Warner Oland, Adrienne Lecouvrer, and The Blue Danube (Paul Sloane, seven reels) with Seena Owen.

Danish Silent Film director Robert Dinesen would film his last two films in Germany, both lensed by the photographer George Bruckbauer, Der Weg durch die Nacht (1929) having starred Kathe von Nagy and Margarethe Schon, and Ariane im Hoppegarten (1928), having starred Maria Jacobini.

As the silent era was coming to a close, Douglas Fairbanks would appear in the film The Iron Mask, directed by Silent Film Director Allan Dwan. Alfred Hitchcock in 1928 would direct one of his only Silent Films, The Farmer's Wife. John Ford, who's first sound film The Black Watch appeared on theater screens a year later in 1929, had by then directed several silent films, including The Girl in No. 29 (1920), Little Miss Smiles (1922), Thank You (1925) and Mother Machree (1928).

While in during 1928 Sweden, she had come across the actress Vera Schmiterlow, whom she had known well and whom she had hoped would venture to Hollywood and also while in Sweden had renewed her acquaintance with the actress Marte Hallden. Lars Saxon, who twice published Greta Garbo in his magazine Lektyr, and who corresponded with her while she had been in the United States at MGM, met her as she was travelling. It was also while in Sweden that she had first met Gösta Ekman, who greeted her by saying , "But you're so ordinary." Later she visited Ekman's dressing room to thank him for the use of his seat at a theatrical play that Stiller had directed when it had first began its run.

Greta Garbo Complementing this, Lewis Stone has been quoted as having said, "She was Garbo, and that said it all. No one has ever created such an impression.", whereas Edmund Goulding is quoted as having said, "I don't believe that Garbo's astounding success depends on any mystery. She has movie sex appeal, if I may say so, but her success depends more on her unique ability to work and her will to achieve absolute concentration before the camera." He added, "For all her enormous success, she is just the same as when we worked together in Love; only perhaps a little more shy and solitary." Garbo had been slated to film Ordeal with Lon Chaney under the direction of Marcel de Sano, it having been left unmade.

greta garbo-The Divine Woman

Greta Garbo had appeared in the film Peter and the Tramp (Luffar-Peter, 1922 five reels) with Gucken Cederborg, Tyra Ryman and its director, Erik Petschler. Also listed as being in the film Luffar Peter is Mona Geifer-Falkner. The first film Mona Geifer-Falkner had appeared on the screen in had been Alexander den store (1917), directed by Mauritz Stiller. Eric Petschler gives an account of his having given Garbo the address of Mauritz Stiller and of her having not only having tried to see him twice before they were to meet at the Royal Dramatic Academy, where she was to study under Gustaf Molander, but of his having arranged a third meeting where Stiller had asked for her telephone number. Petschler had then introduced Garbo to the director Frans Enwall. Before directing Greta Garbo, Eric A. Petschler directed the film Getting Baron Olson Married (Gifta ort Baron Olson, 1920), starring Gucken Cederborg and Varmlanningarna (1921), the first film in which Rosa Tillman was to appear. Ragnar Ring directed the short film Paul U Bergström AB Stockholm(1920)-Greta Garbo appeared in the short film, also titled Herrskapet Stockholm ute pa inkop, it also being the first film in which the actress Olga Andersson was to appear, as well her having appeared in the short Reklamfilm PUB Greta Garbo (1921), both films photographed by Ragnar Ring. In 1923 Ring directed Helene Olsson in the film Har Ni nagot att forakra.

G. W. Pabst, the director of Greta Garbo's second film, entered into the directing of sound film before his travelling from Germany to the United States with the films Westernfront 1918 (1930), Die Greigroschen Oper (1931) and Kameradschaft (1932). Vampyre, Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer's use of the vampire, in the form of Jullian West, as thematic context, was filmed almost silently, with sound added, in Germany in 1932.

After her having appeared with Edvin Adolphson in the film Brollopet i Branna (1927), directed by Erik Petschler, Mona Martenson in Norway starred with Einar Tveito in People of the Tundra (Viddenesfolk) (1928) written and directed by Ragnar Westfelt for Lunde-film, in Germany starred with Aud Egede Nissen in the film Die Frau in Talar, in Norway starred in the film Laila (1929) directed by George Schneevoigt for Lunde-film from a script adapted from a novel by Jens Anders Friis, and in Denmark starred in the film Eskimo (1930), also directed by George Schneevoight- it had not only been Greta Garbo and Victor Sjöström that had made the transition from silent film to sound. Danish film director George Schneevoigt continued the beginning of early Danish sound film the following year with the film Pastor of Vejlby (Praesten i Vejlby). The first Norwegian sound film, The Big Chirstening (Den store barnedapen) was also the first film directed by Tancred Ibsen. Tancred Ibsen had been in Hollywood with the director Victor Sjöström as a scriptwriter, although none of his scripts were brought to the screen. Tancred Ibsen would rejoin Sjöström in Sweden, directing him in the 1934 film Synnove Solbakken.

Suomi-Filmi of Finland produced its first sound film in 1929, The Supreme Victory (Korkein voitto), directed by Carl von Hartmann. The photography was found to be too expensive and the making of sound films was postponed while silent films were continued to be made. Finnish author and film director Jorn Donner was later to write, "I have a difference of opinion from that of those historians who proclaim the eternal value of a mass of pictures from the teens and twenties. I reject the theoreticians, such as Rudolf Arnheim, who characterize talking pictures as a corruption." Where Jorn Donner shows an appreciation of film is in his viewing it as a literature, his seeing the silent film as a point of departure within the freedom, or sensitivity, of the artist, Donner's particular appreciation of film seemingly that of an appreciation of the film having an audience that recieves what the film conveys thematiclly and a spectator that not only is positioned in a relationship to the subject, but that is connected to the author of the work by the characters and what they symbolize; Donner seemingly views filmmaking as a readership, one that within film history can only become more modern. The spectatorial address of the silent film was one that used the intertitle, scene construction often based on whether explanatory titles were being used to carry the narrative and establish the expostition, or whether the amount of dialouge needed by the scene could be accomodated by the use of dialougue intertitles: the advent of sound had brought about the transition from photoplay, as a literature, to screenplay.

Two actors that have now become legendary for their having worked together with Sjöström in his film The Wind (eight reels), silent film actress Lillian Gish and Montague Love, were teamed together for the early sound film His Double Life, under the direction of Arthur Hopkins.

Swedish Silent Film

To end the silent era two months before Greta Garbo's last silent film, The Kiss (Jacques Feyder), Clarence Sinclair Bull became her gallery photographer. Author Mark A. Viera writes, "She liked him because, like Clarence Brown, he spoke softly, if at all."

George Marion, who starred with Greta Garbo in her first sound feature Anna Christie, had also played the same role, that of Anna's father Kris, in Thomas Ince's earlier silent version, starring Silent Film actress Blanche Sweet. In addition to his having filmed Anna Christie, in 1929 Greta Garbo photographer William Daniels was cinematographer to the films Their Own Desire and Wise Girls (Kempy (eleven reels), both directed by E. M. Hopper.


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