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.

Syndicate content