Körkarlen

Körkarlen

The phantom carriage

DVD - 2011 | Swedish
Average Rating:
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The last person to die on New Year's Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death's chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. So says the legend that drives the Phantom Carriage, about an alcoholic, abusive ne'er-do-well who is shown the error of his ways and the pure-of-heart Salvation Army sister who believes in his redemption.
Publisher: [New York] : Criterion Collection, 2011
Edition: DVD special edition
Branch Call Number: SWEDISH DVD KORKARL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (107 min.) : sound, tinted color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet ([20] pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm.)
Alternative Title: Phantom carriage

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n
Nursebob
Sep 03, 2015

With shades of "A Christmas Carol" evident throughout, Victor Sjöström’s macabre silent classic would eventually inspire the likes of Ingmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick. Thanks to some meticulous restoration and the addition of both a modern score and a tinting process which lends certain key scenes hues which range from golden yellow to midnight blue, this wonderful wintry tale of sorrow and redemption is perhaps more vibrant now than when it was released almost one hundred years ago. Not giving into the dramatic excesses so common to the silent genre, Sjöström (who also plays David Holm) elicits surprisingly natural performances from his cast as they play the gamut from tragedy, pathos, and hope to a restrained horror—images of the ghostly carriage and its cowled driver moving silently down cobbled streets or into the surf to seek a drowned man are still creepy all these years later. A nicely crafted morality play whose inventive camerawork and compelling story should make it standard holiday viewing.

l
Libraryman1_0
May 13, 2014

Victor Sjostrom's masterful cinema piece about a man who dies on New Year's Eve and is fated to become the next Phantom Coachman is wonderous for it's time and among the very best silent films of Swedish cinema. One of those films you want to sit back and take in as much as possible in order to get your enjoyment.

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 20, 2013

"The Phantom Carriage." I don't really think it's fair to call a movie that came out in 1921 "dated." Victor Sjostrom was the father of Sweedish film and a huge influence on his countryman Ingmar Bergman, who cast him in a number of films, most notably "Wild Strawberries." His most famous film is a mix of morality play, family drama and supernatural horror. It is slow and silent, but it has some striking imagery and primitive, but imaginative effects. Some other silent films you might like: "Nosferatu," "The Golem," "Faust" and "Vampyr."

l
LT
Nov 13, 2012

Fascinating to see this example of early film-making. Hard to follow at first...the director seems to have put a few of the scenes out of logical sequence.

p
pronto1961
Sep 06, 2012

a longwinded, dated morality melodrama that has but a few moments of originality.

w
writingonfilm
Nov 29, 2011

Humorless and overlong.

e
Ellington4
Nov 22, 2011

Turgid (that's not a Swedish name).

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