The Phantom Carriage

The Phantom Carriage ★★★★★

Hooptober #22

An exquisite silent film, The Phantom Carriage is a brilliant work from the early days of cinema. It plays as a more disturbing version of A Christmas Carol type story, but set on New Year's Eve. For the time, the narrative is very complicated with non-chronological elements and plenty of stories within stories. This makes The Phantom Carriage very multi-layered as more and more details gradual reveal themselves and the film becomes evermore involving.  Director Victor Sjöström brings his usual social conscience to the film, emphasising the breakdown of family and effects of drunkenness. He also brings plenty of breathtaking visuals, with the best effects available in the early 1920s. When the final few scenes happen, The Phantom Carriage becomes a deeply affecting portrayal of redemption, proving it to be among the most powerful films of the era. The Phantom Carriage is an extraordinary film and incredibly moving, stimulating, and nuanced. A silent classic.

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