NOSFERATU
NOSFERATU, EINE SYMPHONIE DES GRAUENS
1922, 94 min, Germany, Dir: F.W. Murnau

F.W. Murnau reinvents the story of Dracula as a silent German Expressionist fable and the result is one of the greatest horror films ever made. Max Schreck is astonishingly creepy as the vampire, and Murnau's frames ooze eerie atmosphere in this hugely influential tale.


GHOSTS
THE CURSE
1915, 49 min, USA, Dir: George Nichols

The decades-long ban on Henrik Ibsen’s “notorious” 1881 play Ghosts was only lifted in Britain in 1914, a year before this film was released. A daring production, the film was directed by Griffith protégé George Nichols, with meticulous set decoration by Eric von Stroheim, who appears onscreen briefly. While it emphasizes the sensational aspects of Ibsen’s play over its philosophical themes, Henry Walthall is brilliant, and genuinely frightening, as Osvald, who flirts with incest and descends into madness as he succumbs to the ravages of syphilis.


THE IRON MASK
1929, Photoplay Productions, 95 min, USA, Dir: Allan Dwan

Douglas Fairbanks stars as D’Artagnan in this rip-roaring adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s series of novels. When the newly born heir to King Louis XIII’s kingdom surprisingly has a twin, the baby is smuggled away to Spain to ensure the peaceful future of France. D’Artagnan is enlisted by Cardinal Richelieu to look after the hidden prince. Many years later, after Richelieu’s death, the nefarious Rochefort kidnaps the new king and disguises him with an imposing iron mask, replacing the ruler with his twin. Can D’Artagnan save the abducted king and return the country to stability?


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