Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh Hell...cannot forget this guy and location

F.W. Murnau's last German production before leaving for Hollywood is a visually dazzling take on the Faust myth. Pushing the resources of the grand old German studio UFA to the limits, Murnau creates an epic vision of good versus evil as devil Emil Jannings tempts an idealistic aging scholar with youth, power, and romance. The handsome but wan Swedish actor Gosta Ekman plays the made-over Faust as a perfectly shallow scoundrel drunk with youth, and the lovely Camilla Horn (in a part written for Lillian Gish) is the young virgin courted, then cast aside, by Faust. The sheer scale of Murnau's epic and the magnificent play of light, shadow, and mist on his exquisitely designed sets makes this one of the most cinematically ambitious, visually breathtaking, and beautiful classics of the silent era.

Bartolomeo Pagano, the great strongman of the silent screen, returns to the role he played in the 1914 landmark epic Cabiria. Powerful and virtuous Maciste is targeted by the demons below and eventually lured into hell. Once there, however, he regains his strength and takes on an army of rebellious devils single-handed. One of a series of popular "Maciste" films that Pagano starred in, this feature boasts an imaginative visualization of hell and some fine cinematography.

Maciste In Hell

Guido Brignone


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