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Sir Arne's Treasure


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$18.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

A key from Sweden's first golden age of filmmaking, Sir Arne's Treasure (Herr Arnes pengar) has long ranked among the most famous - and famously hard-to-find - classics of the silent era. Now restored by the Swedish Film institute and featuring a magnificent orchestral score by Matti Bye and Fredrik Emilson, this landmark work by master filmmaker Mauritz Stiller can finally be seen in its glory. In 16th-century Sweden, the lives of three Scottish mercenaries and an aging Swedish vicar and his family intersect, and in the unspeakable crime that results, a small coastal community is forever altered. As the three mercenaries struggle to escape from the town, they find that nature has conspired against them - all outbound ships are frozen in the ice - forcing them to remain until the tragic tale reaches its catastrophic conclusion.

Special Features

  • "Rediscovering Sweden: Peter Cowie Introduces the Films of Mauritz Stiller" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Erik Stocklassa, Bror Berger, Richard Lund, Axel Nilsson, Hjalmar Selander
  • Directors: Mauritz Stiller
  • Writers: Mauritz Stiller, Gustaf Molander, Selma Lagerlöf
  • Producers: Charles Magnusson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQHXJQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,976 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sir Arne's Treasure" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
63%
4 star
38%
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See all 8 customer reviews
A few DVD specific notes: the quality of the early cinematography is very handsome given the quality of 1919-era film stock.
Michael Gebert
This very dark haunting film ends with an absolutely unforgettable final reel, one of the most moving ending scenes of early film.
Anyechka
Not sure why this particular silent movie hit me the way it did, but it hit me hard - with an ending that moved me to tears.
Victor Vail

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephen H. Wood on July 14, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 16th Century Sweden in winter, the landscape has snow everwhere. Three men murder all but one person in a farming family, only to discover that there is no escape; the sea is iced over. The three men pretend to be lost woodsmen, one of whom falls in love with the sole survivor of the massacre, a young woman who was hiding behind a wall panel. As time goes on, these two characters grow deeply in love. The man knows the woman is the survivor of the massacre, but the woman does not know the man killed her whole family. What happens when she finds out the truth?

SIR ARNE'S TREASURE is, amazingly, a Swedish silent adventure from 1919. The source material is a novel by Selma Lagerlof, who collaborated on the screenplay with Gustaf Mollander and director Mauritz Stiller. Film scholars may know that Stiller was the man who brought Greta Garbo to Hollywood; the question is open as to whether Louis B. Mayer wanted to hire Stiller or the young Garbo. But never mind that. A decade earlier, Stiller made several interesting Swedish silents (with English intertitles), including SIR ARNE. He also did the restored three hour SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING (1924), which marked Garbo's film debut. These silents are for sale from Kino on Video; rental is iffy, maybe at Netflicks.

If you think silent films are dull and stodgy, you should see the fast and gripping narrative to SIR ARNE. And it looks absolutely gorgeous--winter nightscapes are tinted deep blue, while warm fireglow interiors are rich amber. A town on fire is flaming orange, and wintry dawns are pink. Nothing is in B&W. The stunning cinematographer is Julius Jaenzon. And this 35mm roadshow print from Kino Video has a magnificent, pulsating orchestra score by Matti Bye and Fredrik Emilson.

This is my introduction to the cinema of Mauritz Stiller, and I am very impressed.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gebert on May 24, 2006
Format: DVD
Kino's release of three films by the important yet neglected Swedish silent director Mauritz Stiller, remembered now mainly for discovering Greta Garbo, is one of the year's major rediscovery efforts.

As a title in film history books, Sir Arne's Treasure always seemed like it must fall somewhere between Die Nibelungen and Ivanhoe-- an epic knightish adventure with a heavier Scandinavian feel. In fact it's a tale of guilt and doom in the classic Swedish mode, almost a chamber piece despite its grandiose division into five acts, set in an historical setting but with some of the same distilled focus and sense of inevitability as, to pick a recent example, Cronenberg's A History of Violence.

Three Scottish mercenaries escape from captivity in 16th century Sweden and, driven half-mad by the winter winds and starvation, slaughter the entire household of a local lord for his treasure. Only one young, Lillian Gish-like girl, Elsalill, who hides herself during the crime, escapes-- but, being Swedish, is consumed by survivor's guilt. The three, newly kitted out in finery, return to the scene of the crime, and one of them promptly falls in love with the survivor of his depredations and starts having guilt of his own.

While there's a stark, In Cold Blood-like quality to the initial depiction of these violent events in a remote, snowbound location, it's when the film narrows its focus to the two main characters and their guilt-racked interactions that Stiller's deliberate storytelling begins to really justify itself-- the minutely detailed depiction of everyday activities not only makes the historical setting seem vividly real, but serves to cut off the possibility of anything which would make this psychological drama into an action movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on June 14, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1919 silent film is a landmark of the Swedish silent era, being one of director Mauritz Stiller's most famous and highly praised works, and featuring fabulous photography of Scandinavia's wintery landscapes. Visually alone, this film has great impact with its raw scenes of snow and ice, as well as very authentic-looking houses and costumes of the 16th century. The entire story also fits well to the historic setting, having a touch of the supernatural and divine intervention: two things strongly believed in back then. The modern and non-traditional musical score adds to the sometimes eerie and generally chilly, gloomy atmosphere of the entire film, so that viewing it leaves quite an impression. The newly restored print is very high quality and a pleasure to watch; its colour tinting once again adding atmosphere to certain scenes, but apart from these production aspects, the story itself is an unusual, intriguing and a high quality drama - and no wonder, since it is based on a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author, Selma Lagerloef. Sir Arne's treasure is a chest full of silver coins which three mercenary escapees steal after murdering an entire household and setting it on fire. The sole survivor is a young girl who later falls in love with one of the killers whom she does not recognize due to his changed appearance; wearing good clothes bought with the stolen loot. With some supernatural and divine direction justice is done in the end, but not in the way we might expect. The entire story and its presentation have a distinct Scandinavian flavour, and for me, at least, it makes a welcome addition to my silent film collection.Read more ›
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