Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sherlock Holmes i Bondefangerklør

Den stjaalne Tegnebog / Sherlock Holmes und die Bauernfänger / A Confidence Trick [US] [The Stolen Wallet]. DK 1910. PC: Nordisk. D: ?; CAST: Otto Lagoni (Sherlock Holmes), Axel Boesen, Rigmor Jerichau, Victor Fabian, Ellen Kornbeck (?), Ella la Cour (?), Aage Lorentzen (?); 266 m /18 fps/ 11 min; from: DFI. Deutsche Zwischentitel. E-subtitles in English + Italian, grand piano: Stephen Horne. Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Pordenone, 5 Oct 2009. - From the GCM Catalogue: "Sherlock Holmes was first translated into Danish in 1893, with the first Danish pastiche, Carl Muusmann’s Sherlock Holmes på Marienlyst (Sherlock Holmes at Elsinore) appearing in 1906, the same year Nordisk began operations. Two years later the rising company decided to produce a series of Holmes films, possibly proposed by a Norwegian, Ingvald Aaes, with whom Nordisk’s Wilhelm Stæhr corresponded in July 1908: “in accordance with what you wrote us about Sherlock Holmes we have for the next season produced 2 different films in that vein in spite of the idea having been used several times before.” It’s probable, given the way the films were sold abroad with consecutively numbered titles, that Nordisk planned the releases as a series: Viggo Larsen directed and wrote all six while also starring as Holmes in five. Once Larsen broke with the company and moved to Germany (where he continued to direct Holmes films for Vitascope), Nordisk made a further six Holmes films through 1911, though these don’t appear to have been conceived as a series.
No one seemed especially bothered that the films were not based on any of the Conan Doyle stories – the first two throw Raffles into the mix – and in keeping with Nordisk’s trained eye for the international market, the series was well-sold abroad. The Moving Picture World proclaimed the first, Sherlock Holmes i Livsfare (1908, reviewed simply as Sherlock Holmes) “exceedingly thrilling and interesting”, and later, in their review of Den Grå Dame (1909, as The Grey Dame), it was remarked: “In taking up the strong vein of detective romances with which the name of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is associated, the Great Northern Film Company [Nordisk] show considerable shrewdness.” Of the 12 made, only the present film survives, though judging from the company’s press releases and contemporary reviews (conveniently published by author Bjarne Nielsen), they were all characterized by an element of thrill-seeking more in keeping with the French Nick Carter series than anything written by Conan Doyle.
Most of the trade publications note Nordisk’s growing reputation for handsome photography and naturalistic acting: “If you have seen Sherlock Holmes I, you know that for excellence of photography, the Great Northern Film Company [Nordisk] cannot be excelled, you know that the acting is practically what you would expect to see at the famous ‘Comédie Française’ of Paris, and you know that the manufacturers of this film pay the greatest attention to all the details and are unsurpassed in their staging.” (Moving Picture World, 1908, reviewing Raffles Flugt fra Fœngslet under the title Sherlock Holmes II)
Unfortunately the director of Sherlock Holmes i Bondefangerklør is unknown, though the star, Otto Lagoni (1868-1944) appeared as Holmes in two other Nordisk titles. – Jay Weissberg." - There was laughter in the audience as Sherlock Holmes appears immediately on the scene when it has been realized that his presence is necessary to solve the crime. This is an action movie.

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