Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Deerslayer and Chingachgook 1920

The Deerslayer and Chingachgook (1920)

Director: Arthur Wellin

Actors: Emil Mamelok, Herta Heden, Bela Lugosi, Gottfried Kraus, Edward Eyseneck and Margot Sokolowska

Writers: James Fenimore Cooper (novel) and Robert Heymann

Release date: 14 September 1920 (Germany)

Deerslayer, a woodsman and his friend, Chingachgook, try valiantly at keeping peace between the native Indian tribes and settlers. The woodsman and his friends get caught up in the fighting between guns and arrows. Chingachgook's love is taken hostage by a brave, so he and Deerslayer embark on a dangerous rescue to bring his love back to the tribe.

Very early Bela Lugosi movie. He later went on to become Dracula in 1931.

Way too many intertitles in this film. Although the length is just under 1 hour, a good half of that are intertitles. This really does take you out of the film.

The film buff will probably be only interested in this to see Bela Lugosi.

Highlights are the action sequences between the Indians and the settlers.

Out of the many German silent films I have seen, sadly this is one of the poorest. In fact, I've only seen it the one time and found it boring. I would rate this film 3 out of 10.

German Silent Films

After World War 1, the German silent film industry flourished, which was aided by rampant inflation throughout the 1920’s.

After the horrors of the war, the German silent film industry tended to be aimed at horror and crime films. This culminated in the German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, which was made in 1919. This film is credited as the beginning of expressionism within German film. There was no location shooting, but relied on sets that were painted to represent the mental state of a madman.

Other landmark films from this period in German silent film are Nosferatu 1922 and The Golem 1920.

Films from this period concentrated on imagery and symbolism to tell the narrative. The expressionist movement within German silent cinema ended during the mid 1920’s.