Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.
A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher, are living under a mysterious family curse: Roderick's senses have become ... See full summary »
James Sibley Watson,
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The Black Plague is ravaging Spain. As Camille Saint-Saëns's "Danse Macabre" plays on the soundtrack, a mix of animation and acted scenes tells the story of Youth and Love meeting one night. They dance, embrace, and kiss. As the night wears on, exuberant Death, a skeletal figure with a violin, pursues the couple. They try to elude him. Eventually, Love swoons. Youth is powerless to protect her. Is she doomed?Written by
Though filmed during the silent era, the film's intended accompaniment was Danse macabre, Op. 40, by Camille Saint-Saëns. The director also pledged "a mysterious contraption (apparently of his own invention)" that would sync the film's projection to whatever live accompaniment was used - orchestra, organ, or piano roll. See more »
Dudley Murphy directed this bizarre silent film that lasts just eight-minutes but manages to be quite creepy. Set during a time when the plague is ravishing Spain, Youth (Adolph Bolm) and Love (Ruth Page) dance while Death (Olin Howland) is slowly stalking them. This is one of those very strange films that's hard to explain and it's best that one just sees it for themselves. I think this is a rather effective piece that weaves together live action, animation and the use of the music score is very good. I thought the best moments were the horror elements including the strange skeletons and of course Death who slowly stalks the young couple. I thought the way that the image of Death was exposed on the film was quite striking and it really did give you the feel of the afterlife. I'm sure many might be put off because it's silent, which would be a shame because it's really not that hard to get drawn into the material.
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