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Overview

The Phantom Carriage

Also known as Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness, The Phantom Chariot was the most famous of Swedish director Victor Sjöstrom's pre-Hollywood films. Based on a novel by Selma Lagerlöf, the film is predicated on an ancient Scandanavian legend. It is said that each year, on St. Sylvester's Night (New Year's Eve), a phantom chariot materializes to carry off the souls of those who have sinned. On one such occasion, David Holm (played by Sjöstrom) is forced to recall his past misdeeds, especially his brutal treatment of his wife. Holm's only hope for salvation lies in his performing a spectacular act of selflessness. As the chariot approaches, Holm despairs: how can he possibly be redeemed before the clock strikes twelve? Sjöstrom's masterful direction is superbly complemented by Julius Jaenzon's multi-exposure cinematography. When artists like Victor Sjöstrom and Mauritz Stiller were lured away by Hollywood, their exodus very nearly brought the wrath of "The Phantom Chariot" on the entire Swedish film industry.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2011
UPC: 0715515086011
Original Release: 1920
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Sound: [silent]
Time: 1:46:00
Sales rank: 14,518

Special Features

Two scores, one by Swedish composer Matti Bye and the other by the experimental duo KTL; Audio commentary featuring film historian Casper Tybjerg; Interview with Ingmar Bergman, excerpted from the 1981 documentary Victor Sjöström: A Portrait, by Gösta Werner; The Bergman Connection , an original visual essay by film historian and Bergman scholar Peter Crowie on the film's influence on Bergman; Footage of the construction of the Råsunda studio where the Phantom Carriage was the inaugural production; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by screenwriter and filmmaker Paul Mayersberg

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