Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination

Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination ("Shadows - a Nocturnal Hallucination", known in English as Warning Shadows) is a 1923 German silent film directed and co-written by Arthur Robison, and starring Fritz Kortner and Ruth Weyher. It is considered part of German Expressionism.[2]

Warning Shadows
Directed byArthur Robison
Produced byEnrico Dieckmann
Willy Seibold
Written byArthur Robison
Rudolf Schneider
StarringAlexander Granach
Max Gülstorff
CinematographyFritz Arno Wagner
Production
company
Pan-Film
Release date
  • 1923 (1923)
Running time
85 minutes[1]
CountryGermany
LanguageSilent film
German intertitles

Plot

During a dinner given by a wealthy count (Fritz Kortner), his beautiful wife (Ruth Weyher) and four of her suitors come together at the 19th century German manor. A magician (Alexander Granach), referred to as "Shadowplayer" in the cast list, rescues the count's marriage by giving all the guests a vision of what might happen if the count cannot restrain his jealousy and the suitors continue to make advances towards his wife. The count challenges the man he perceives as his rival (Gustav von Wangenheim) to a duel. The film has a happy ending as violence is averted and the count and his wife save their marriage. But did the events that occurred at the party really happen, or was it all an illusion conjured up by the magician?

Cast

Production

Troy Howarth writes "The film is fascinating primarily on a visual level. As an exercise in Expressionism, it fully deserves inclusion in the canon of great German horror films", comparing Robison's film to the best of F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang. He says however that the film runs out of steam toward the end and the characters were too stereotypical to be very interesting.[3]

Director Arthur Robison was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1883, but grew up in Germany where he became an established writer-director in the German silent film industry. His first film was the 1916 German horror film A Night of Horror, and his last film was the 1935 sound remake of The Student of Prague. Actors Von Wagenheim and Granach were reunited again here after both costarred in Nosferatu (1923).

See also

Literary significance

Referred to in Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh is Anthony Blanche's description of Sebastian's companion Kurt: "He is like the footman in "Warning Shadows" - a great clod of a German..." (presumably the character portrayed by Fritz Rasp).

References

  1. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  • Eisner, Lotte H. (1981) [1965]. L'Écran Démoniaque (in French) (2nd ed.). Paris.


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