0011: The Phantom Carriage (1921)

The Phantom Carriage

Rating: 9.5/10

I’ve never seen a Swedish film before. I guess it being a silent film makes it about the same as watching any other silent film from any other country. Though this one was subtitled over the intertitles, which was a little annoying but I’m sure before they put this in the Criterion Collection you would have to learn to read Swedish to fully enjoy this film.

I think what really stood out in this movie was the music. It’s really something else. It really adds to every scene so much that it becomes the star of the film. Well, aside from all the stars in this show, as everything is well acted. I never expect that in a silent film. I guess I’m always a little biased thinking that because nobody’s talking they aren’t really acting, and then movies like this and Broken Blossoms continue to prove me wrong. I’ll try to get over my bias as I watch films in the future.

This film is about Death, and the story of David Homes and how he is going to become Death because I guess Death becomes a new person every midnight on New Years Eve, and it’s the last person to die in the year. Who knew? Anyway, so he’s going to become Death but he has a little unfinished business so the old Death takes him on a journey through his past and present for reasons that are a bit spoiler-y, so I won’t even talk about them. The story on this is worth watching for that alone, but the acting, the music and the creativity really makes this a movie worth watching before Death comes and gets you…or makes you the new Death depending on when you die.

Why it’s on the list: Because it’s a great Swedish film of the silent era. It stands out, even compared to many movies of today.

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