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The Haunted Castle (1921)


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Frequently Bought Together

The Haunted Castle (1921) + The Golem (Restored Authorized Edition) + Faust (Restored 2-Disc Deluxe Edition)
Price for all three: $48.66

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Editorial Reviews

THE RESTORED AUTHORIZED EDITION

Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with such films as Faust and The Last Laugh, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a storm-bound manor and the grim mystery that lurks within. A hunting party is interrupted by the arrival of a notorious Count (Lothar Mehnert), who is believed to have murdered his brother. The uninvited guest sets in motion an elaborate plot to resurrect the ghosts of the past and bring to light the dark secret that lies at the center of his brother s death. The foreboding atmosphere and psychological complexity inspired Murnau to delve deeper into the horror genre, which he did the following year, with the immortal vampire tale Nosferatu (1922).

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Gallery of set design paintings by Robert Herlth
- Excerpts of Rudolf Stratz s novel

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lothar Mehnert
  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, 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: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: March 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001M9ELJE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Haunted Castle (1921)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Some of Murnau's films have been lost, but many still survive.
Brad Baker
It wasn't until after I thought the movie was supposed to be ending did I even figure out why it was given that title!
Rick M. Pilotte
There are currently collector's copies in circulation with a much better picture that run 72 minutes.
G. Ratcheson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Simpson on November 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was initially very excited about the release of these two rare silent classics,and quickly made an order of this DVD.
Alpha DVD is a budget line,and i've always respected them for there releasing of rare,seldom seen classics like The Student of Prague(1926).
Quality is often mixed on there DVDs but.....geez.
It's pretty bad here,folks.
The Haunted Castle(1921) suffers from a horrible digital alteration that makes the print virtually unwatchable.
It's not helped by mediocre scoring,and the fact that it's a slow drama.
Horror fans reading the title and seeing Murnau's name attached will find interest,but this is NOT a genre title.
There is some nice atmosphere,which could have been made more by appropiate tinting(i've seen scenes of this on Kino DVDs and it's a shame...there what made me want to SEE this film).
One scene that stands out,and certainly predates Murnau's Nosferatu(1922) is a nightmare scene involving a large clawed hand reaching into a bedroom window to grab a screaming man!
In need of better restoration.
The second film is the fascinating,"Wolf Blood" from 1925.
A bizarre melodrama about the foreman of a logging company who is severely injured and a local doctor in desperation,gives the man wolf's blood(!),where upon the foreman begans to grow violent and insane.
Elements of the story later turned up in Curt Siodmak's screenplay for The Wolf Man(1941),and it makes the film an interesting footnote.
There is some nice atmosphere made,like ghostly,wolves that dissapear into the forest and some beautiful locations.
An odd mixture of humor,drama and sentiment,it's a pretty good curio piece for serious film buffs.
Not bad films,but quality of the prints offered leave much more to be desired.
For collectors only.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Casey on October 18, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Wolf Blood" was certainly an eye-opener. There are echoes of the plot in Universal's 1941 "Wolfman"; Curt Siodmak must have seen this movie as a kid. I would imagine that this is the only version that will ever make it to home video, so grab it - the price is certainly a bargain. It's a well-done film.

Both films, however, are from VHS-quality video tape dubs, so they don't look all that great. On a small screen like a laptop, they're watchable. With my projector and a 6" wide screen, it's unbearable. Still, it's nice to have "Wolf Blood" in my collection.

I would imagine that "The Haunted Castle" by F.W. Murnau will be released in the future by Kino looking as good as the day it was released, along with tons of extras. In the meantime, resist the temptation to watch this print of it.

(P.S. this review should not be construed as a complaint about budget video companies. I love these kinds of discs. The price is right, and at least you can say you've seen the film.)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brad Baker VINE VOICE on September 5, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Alpha Home Entertainment has just released the double-DVD of "Haunted Castle(1921)" and "Wolf Blood(1925)". Lacking any extras(there are 3 trailers), Alpha threw in the nearly unknown silent logger-adventure film, "Wolf Blood". It's the story of Dick Bannister, boss of a logging camp in Canada. Bannister is haunted by strange dreams. In a memorable sequence, he sees transparent ghost wolves running through the forest with him. The scene is tinted blood red, the forest is green, and the night background is a rich blue. Sadly, this low-budget transfer is in glorious black-and-white. But the real meat here is "Haunted Castle". F.W. Murnau was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era. Some of Murnau's films have been lost, but many still survive. In Sept. 1920, Murnau released "Der Januskopf/Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" starring Conrad Veidt. Bela Lugosi co-starred as the butler. This film has been lost. Murnau would become world-famous with his 1922 "Nosferatu". Just before "Nosferatu", Murnau made "Schloss Vogelod", or "The Haunted Castle". This is the first public release of "Haunted Castle" since it was made in 1921. Not a horror film, but, in fact, a rather starchy, slow-moving murder/mystery, "Haunted Castle" does provide a tasty glimpse of the dark, ethereal cinema world that Murnau would soon invade. "Haunted Castle" has a complicated plot, and the original script contains about a hundred-and-sixty-five titles to move the action(such as it is) along. Also, in "Haunted Castle", emotion was expressed through attitude and gesture, not acting. The story begins in autumn, in the castle of Vogelod. The owner, his young wife, and their hunting companions await the arrival of Baroness von Safferstadt and her husband. They arrive.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on March 25, 2009
Format: DVD
It is extremely rare to be able to see a silent film that looks as good as this one does much less one of this vintage (1921). The movie looks as if it were shot yesterday and that's without a ton of restoration work. Only David Shepard's 1999 release of Rudolph Valentino's COBRA (1925) looks this good under those conditions. It shows us what all silent films would have looked like if we could see them in first generation prints that have been speed corrected.

As far as the movies of Murnau are concerned, this is definitely a minor offering but that has to do with the material not the director. Murnau is honing his skills here which would burst forth in his next film, the legendary NOSFERATU (1922). The sets are elaborate with just a touch of Expressionism. The performances though are very Expressionistic and might be too much for someone unfamiliar with German silent film technique. The plot loosely reminds me of Jean Renoir's RULES OF THE GAME though not as refined.

THE HAUNTED CASTLE (not a horror film but a psychological study) is not the ideal place to start if you want to see what Murnau was capable of. Try NOSFERATU, THE LAST LAUGH, or FAUST for that but it is a great way to see how beautiful a silent film could be, even for one that's not a classic. In fact its lesser status may be why it has survived in such good shape since it wasn't popular enough for the prints to get worn out.
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The Haunted Castle (1921)
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