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- Digitally mastered from an original tinted-and-toned nitrate 35mm print and backed with a musical score compiled by Eric Beheim
- Also featured on this DVD is the original American edition of Rene Clair's The Crazy Ray (1922, 19 min.), a delightfully surreal fantasy in which an eccentric scientist freezes the population of Paris with a mechanical ray of his own invention
Top Customer Reviews
The story is supposedly based on an Edgar (Allan) Poe poem. In reality its only relation to Poe is that the title only matches that of one of his poems. To be honest, though, it's fair to bring Poe to mind regarding the story, because it's got a lot in common with THE TELL-TALE HEART (and other Poe stories) in that it's an all-consuming guilty conscience that drives much of the narrative. The ending is disappointingly abrupt, but it does seem typical of silent movies in general.
Despite modern-day second billing, Karloff is only a small player here. He has only a few lines of dialogue (or rather, a few intertitles) but a memorable countenance and sly grin.Read more ›
THE BELLS (1926) is based on the play `Le Juif Polonaise' by Alexandre Chatrian and Emile Erckmann. `Le Juif' was translated to `The Bells' and was a popular English play in its time, from the early 1870s on. It was probably familiar to audiences in 1926, the year the movie THE BELLS was released. You can find texts of the English version fairly easily on the internet; an engaging exercise for those interested in how plays are adapted for the screen. The biggest difference between play and screenplay concerns time and character. The movie compresses both and has, in my opinion, a better product to show for it. In both the stage play and the movie Mathias murders the wealthy stranger and is haunted by the crime, haunted by the sound of the bells on the Polish Jew's sleigh. In the play the crime occurred fifteen years in the past and Mathias is a vaguely sinister character. In the movie the crime happens in the present, and Mathias is a deeply sympathetic character. His troubles are a result not of greed, but of his generosity. There's a ghost of the slain man in the movie that's not in the stage play. The ghost and the bells appear in double-exposed sequences, one of which, Mathias playing cards with the ghost, is a pretty amazing technical achievement.
Lionel Barrymore is brilliant as the merchant slowly going mad after committing a crime quite beyond his character.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic Silent Film. A must see for any lover of cinema.Published 13 months ago by Seeking New Things
THE BELLS (Chadwick Pictures 1926) is a ghost/retribution story that takes place in Czarist Russia as a father (Lionel Barrymore) must pay for his daughter's upcoming wedding to a... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Joseph Parra
This movie has Boris Karloff and Lionell Barrymore (He's the villian in It's a Wonderfull Life Christmas story staring James Stewart. Read morePublished on August 8, 2011 by Rick M. Pilotte
Though ostensibly based on Poe's "The Bells," the play from which this movie was derived owed more to LeFanu's classic short story, "Mr. Read morePublished on October 31, 2010 by Brent R. Swanson
Although more than one promoter has been quick to exploit the idea that THE BELLS was inspired by the 1848 Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name, nothing could be further from the... Read morePublished on August 25, 2007 by Gary F. Taylor
There are many special highlights in both films on this DVD, such as great names like Lionel Barrymore and Boris Karloff in "The Bells", and the exceptionally good and enjoyable... Read morePublished on April 5, 2007 by Barbara Underwood
I gave this DVD 3 stars, because any thoughtful presentation of a significant silent film deserves at least 3 stars, but that said, as a movie The Bells is more of a 2 star... Read morePublished on August 28, 2006 by Timothy Ramzyk