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Деньги господина Арне (1919) HD online

Деньги господина Арне (1919) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / History
Original Title: Herr Arnes pengar
Director: Mauritz Stiller
Writers: Selma Lagerlöf,Gustaf Molander
Released: 1919
Duration: 2h 2min
Video type: Movie
Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she meets a charming young officer - Sir Archi, and she soon understands that he was one of the murderers. She is in a classic dilemma between her love for Sir Archi and justice.
Complete credited cast:
Erik Stocklassa Erik Stocklassa - Sir Filip
Bror Berger Bror Berger - Sir Donald
Richard Lund Richard Lund - Sir Archi
Axel Nilsson Axel Nilsson - Torarin
Hjalmar Selander Hjalmar Selander - Herr Arne
Concordia Selander Concordia Selander - Herr Arne's Wife
Gösta Gustafson Gösta Gustafson - Priest
Mary Johnson Mary Johnson - Elsalill
Wanda Rothgardt Wanda Rothgardt - Berghild
Stina Berg Stina Berg - Landlady
Gustav Aronson Gustav Aronson - Shipmaster
Jenny Öhrström Ebbesen Jenny Öhrström Ebbesen - Katri

Reviews: [8]

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    As a title in film history books, Sir Arne's Treasure always seemed like it must fall somewhere between Die Nibelungen and Ivanhoe-- an epic knightish adventure with a heavier Scandinavian feel. In fact it's a tale of guilt and doom in the classic Swedish mode, almost a chamber piece despite its grandiose division into five acts, set in an historical setting but with some of the same distilled focus and sense of inevitability as, to pick a recent example, Cronenberg's A History of Violence.

    Three Scottish mercenaries (the main one, incongruously, given the jaunty name "Sir Archie"; happily his compatriots are not Sir Reggie and Sir Jughead) escape from captivity in 16th century Sweden and, driven half-mad by the winter winds and starvation, wind up slaughtering the entire household of a local lord for his treasure. Only one young, Lillian Gish-like girl, Elsalill, who hides herself during the crime, escapes-- but, being Swedish, is consumed by survivor's guilt.

    This being one of those stories (like Crash or Dickens' Bleak House) where there are only eight different people in the entire country, the three, newly kitted out in finery, return to the scene of the crime and Sir Archie promptly falls in love with the survivor of his depredations and starts having guilt of his own. I'm betting you can pretty much guess how that's going to work out for the gloomy couple.

    The initial acts of Sir Arne's Treasure take a little mental adjustment, as there's what we might call a high Guy Maddin quotient here, of over-the-top Nordic gloom-- the old crone (Mrs. Sir Arne) repeatedly shrieking "Why are they sharpening the knives at Brorhaven?" at the dinner table, the use of the phrase "fish wench" in a title, or a ship captain who believes that his ship is frozen in ice as God's punishment for some big crime he can't QUITE put his finger on.... The latter in particular shows the heavily moralistic hand of Selma Lagerlof (who also wrote Gosta Berling, The Phantom Chariot, etc.), who was good at setting up ripping plot mechanics but tended to impose a Victorian religious sensibility which you don't see in the best Swedish films, such as Sjostrom's The Outlaw and His Wife.

    While there's a stark, In Cold Blood-like quality to the depiction of these violent events in a remote, snowbound location, we're impressed by the dramatic quality of the events themselves, not by any human sympathy that has particularly been built up for the characters to that point. And it is easy to see why distributors in other countries succumbed to the temptation to trim the film down, as Stiller allows many of the events to play out in real time, even when relatively little is going on.

    It's when the film narrows its focus to the two main characters and their guilt-racked interactions that Stiller's deliberate storytelling begins to really justify itself-- the film is like the long walk to the electric chair in a Cagney movie from that point on, and the minutely detailed depiction of everyday activities not only makes the historical setting seem vividly real, but serves to cut off the possibility of outlandish movie-style heroics which will bring the story to any end other than the inevitable tragic one (which, nevertheless, contains a couple of shocking turns which wouldn't have passed muster for Errol Flynn at Warner Brothers in 1938).

    Mention must be made (as theater reviewers say when they can't think of a better transition) of the cinematography of Julius Jaenzon, who pretty much shot everything that was anything in Swedish silent cinema. The word inevitably attached to Jaenzon's work is "landscape," which is to say, he and Stiller and Sjostrom were all masterful at using the forbidding country they lived in to help set the emotional tone of their scenes. When they want you to feel that someone's lonely, they stick him out walking on an icy fjord and by God, he's LONELY.

    Also, as we all know, the moving camera as an expressive device (rather than just a way of showing off your fancy set, as in Intolerance) wasn't invented until The Last Laugh in 1924, so we can all throw out those pages of our film history books since one of the most striking things about this film is the extensive use of the moving camera throughout. Since the moving camera tends to imply the presence of the director and thus to deny the possibility of free will for the characters (which is why it works so well in things like noirs, or Max Ophuls' adaptations of Schnitzler, or Kubrick movies about unstable hotel caretakers being taken over by malevolent ghosts), it's a perfect artistic choice for this story, and one that strongly reinforces the atmosphere of destiny and doom while also keeping our focus on the mental state of characters who remain front and center within the shot, rather than on how they physically move from one place to another within a shot.
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    Watching 'Master Arne's Treasure' is, at times, like watching a moving gallery of pictures by Hammershoi, Kroyer or Spilliaert. The film's greatest set-piece has the anti-hero Sir Archie walking at night in a vast snow-scape. The frozen snow seems to be moving like a river away from him; in any case, its stark luminosity in the dark gives it an eerie unstable appearance; against this backdrop, Archie seems unnatural, as if his physical presence doesn't fit properly in his surroundings, like his image has been cut out and pasted ineptly onto a back projection. This prepares us for the ghostly emanation of his conscience, the young girl he brutally murdered for money.

    'Treasure' is one of the most shocking films of the silent era. This is partly because we are set up to identify with characters who then commit an unspeakable crime. Three Scottish aristocrat mercenaries in Sweden (reversing the Viking pillage in Britain?) are put in a military prison for conspiring against the King. Remarkably, they take this is good spirit, and spend their days in homoerotic bouts of leap-frog. This immediately endears them to the audience - a willingness to play in the most oppressive conditions. Such flippancy certainly antagonises the prison warder, who snarls and pokes his spear in at them: they manage to hold him, steal his keys and escape.

    'Treasure' begins as Renoir's later masterpiece 'La Grande Illusion' ends - soldiers escape from a foreign prison, tramping through the heavy snow before finding refuge in a wood-cabin. By this time, however, our heroes are starving, and play is replaced by violence as they eat and drink for the first time in months, to the horror of the wife of the house. When her husband comes home, the men are unconscious with wine, and he throws them out.

    Like the films of colleague Victor Sjostrom, Stiller frames his films in a natural context. But here, nature is more than simply nature, it is an embodiment of a moral order. The film begins with a snow that freezes and paralyses an entire society, and ends with a thawing that cannot take place until the crimes of the malefactors are revealed. They hope to escape to Scotland in a ship surreally stranded in sea-less ice; even when the rest of the ice breaks, it remains stubbornly immovable until the criminals are apprehended.

    The crime isn't shown, and we are first alerted to it by a vision of Arne's wife, who sees men sharpening their knives. This is a film full of visions (when the crime is eventually shown, it's in a vision), some of them emanations of conscience, others 'Hamlet'-like messages from the grave, revealing the murders. Christian morality plays some part in conjuring up these visions, with Arne's wife's vision a token of guilt, and Arne's treasure, said to have been stolen from monastaries throughout the country, has a negative fetishistic power.

    The difference between this supernatural realm and the vivid, material evocation of provincial life (dinners, dances, taverns, craftsmen, dogs etc.) is expressed in the strange, haunting imagery. In fact, the two frequently combine, especially at the end, when the death of the orphan produces a funeral cortege, a black worm of mourners slithering on the vast snow, that is both ritualistically 'timeless', strange, yet rooted in local traditions. The film's melodrama - the great suffering of its heroine, the arbitrary intrusion of brutal events, the cynical self-servingly remorseful anti-hero, the almost Kafkaesque proliferation of the military - thus becomes a kind of chilling horror story.
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    As far as I can tell, this is the first Swedish Silent that I've watched (I'd previously been intrigued by a solitary still – actually used for the DVD sleeve itself – found in "The Movie", a British periodical from the early 1980s); I've seen a handful of early efforts from neighboring Denmark – and the aesthetic starkness in the predominant style of both countries is pretty similar. It's also the first from Swedish master Stiller (I also own his two other well-known titles, EROTIKON [1920] and THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING [1924], that were released on DVD from Kino – and I may very well include the latter in my current Epic/Historical films schedule); incidentally, I've only checked out – and was duly impressed by – two American-made pictures from Victor Sjostrom, the other great director to emanate from this country during the Silent era.

    SIR ARNE'S TREASURE is best described as a historical melodrama – since the elements typically expected of an epic only really come into play in the scenes involving a fire early on and a sword-fight towards the end. However, one shouldn't overlook the vast and forbidding icy landscape which not only serves as an extremely realistic backdrop to the narrative – incidentally, the quality of the cinematography throughout likens the film to an uninterrupted series of medieval tableaux – but is very much another character in it, since the villains' flight (the perpetrators of a massacre in a household, from which they also abscond with the titular fortune) is prohibited because the sea has frozen over! Notable scenes here include: a cart-wheeling horse falling head-first through cracked ice; the youngest of the thieves having ghostly visions of one of his murdered victims (as it happens, he later falls for the girl's sister…and she with him, which leads to the latter being torn whether to give her lover away or run off with him to Scotland!); the leading man ultimately using the heroine as a human shield against the oncoming soldiers; the closing procession over the ice by the townsfolk to reclaim the girl's dead body (justly considered one of the visual highlights in all of Silent cinema).

    The plot also effectively incorporates the element of premonition – such as when the fish-hawker's usually docile canine companion senses impending doom and starts to howl, Sir Arne's wife literally hearing from miles away the preparations for the subsequent assault on her abode, the ship captain's tale of a previous case of poetic justice similarly brought on by severe weather conditions, and the heroine being led by her dead sister to the villains' whereabouts in a dream. The print I watched featured nice use of blue (for outdoor night-time scenes) and red (the afore-mentioned blaze) tinting; the newly-composed accompanying score is appropriately sweeping, albeit making use of mostly modern instruments. The main extras on the Kino DVD involve noted film historian Peter Cowie, who supplies an informative background to early Swedish cinema (where he also discusses the seminal contribution of authoress Selma Lagerlof – who was behind the source novel of both this and THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING) and, in a separate featurette, focuses exclusively on the film at hand.
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    Very unusual and extremely well done film set during a bitterly cold winter in 16th century Sweden, where three Scottish soldiers of fortune, arrested and imprisoned in "the tower", escape and then hide their identities by wearing hides (and Santa Claus hats) as they pretend to be journeyman tanners roaming the countryside looking for work. But soon these three have committed a horrific crime - murdering an entire household, they steal the treasure chest of Sir Arne, town vicar, rumored to be filled to the brim with silver coins. The only survivor of this terrible bloodbath is an innocent young maiden named Elsalill, who is taken to live with a fish hawker and his wife. But soon she meets one of the men (the youngest and most handsome, of course) who was involved in the crime and begins to have a relationship with him, not knowing who he is - and both are soon haunted by dreams and nightmares of the crime.

    This film is gripping, haunting, and beautifully photographed, the outdoor scenes in the ice and snow looking just like stark and gloomy picture postcards. Especially memorable in my mind is the scene of Elsalill's dream with the ghost image of her young foster sister who was murdered sort of floating along near her as she walks. The DVD of this features an amazing looking print, brightly tinted in mostly blue and deep sepia perfectly reflecting the bitter cold outdoors and the warmer rooms of the indoor scenes. The music score is excellent as well, and helps set the mood, along with the costuming and period settings, to make this film really feel like a step back to another place and time.
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    I suppose no one can understand film at all without knowing the poles of narrative.

    One of the dimensions is whether the world is beside the story and viewed by it. Or in some other relationship. The Swedes own one of these poles, their narratives always being buried by heavy fate and guilt about it. Its a very strange thing to see from the outside.

    The nature of Swedish narrative survives today, because they are so good at nurturing and presenting it. And we watch it for some reason, possibly because of the lightness of being outside the curse. The story here is of three alien murderers who decimate a peaceful household for the titular treasure. One of these thugs later falls in love with the soul surviver, a pretty girl.

    She feels guilty for surviving, he for murdering and both for falling in love. The meaty part of the story is toward the end where guilt drives fate and the world comes crashing down on them. The whole world contrives against them. Weather freezes. The two societies in play turn against them. Death. Death, but the deaths aren't the greatest tragedy: it is the curse of entanglement, the knowing, and the knowing that others know. And of course those others as a society are cursed.

    There are many dark images in this. But the key one must be one of the most memorable in all cinema. The getaway ship is frozen in the ice, Shackleton-like. The entire population of the area's women and children stream across the ice intent on recovering her, though they know she has assisted the murderer. The crew turns against their passengers believing them to be the cause of a curse. The weather.

    That endless stream of dark, determined villagers do indeed recover the girl, a corpse, and stream back home while the ice is dissolving right behind them. Its pretty darn entangling, and conveys the curse. No watchers, only participants.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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    Wild Python

    During the final climactic moments of "Sir Arne's Treasure", Sir Archie is asked why he committed his atrocious crimes; in addition to the requisite alcohol, he blames his actions on cold and hunger. This scene isn't so much an admission of pertinent character motivation as it is of the elements as the driving force of the film. Nature in Scandinavia can be unforgiving. That fact is captivatingly related in five of the earliest Swedish films widely available today: Victor Sjöström's "Terje Vigen" (1917) and "The Outlaw and His Wife" (Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru)(1918), two of Mauritz Stiller's adaptations of Selma Lagerlöf novels, "The Saga of Gosta Berling" (Gösta Berlings saga)(1924) and this film, "Sir Arne's Treasure", as well as an Arte Edition of Stiller's "Johan" (1921). "Sir Arne's Treasure" is probably the best developed of this small sampling of a characteristic type of national cinema. Of course, Stiller and Sjöström made other kinds of films, as well, although too few are widely accessible on DVD. Films, such as the behind-the-scenes comedy "Thomas Graal's Best Film" (1917) and its follow-up "Thomas Graal's Best Child" (1918), both directed by Stiller and starring Sjöström, or the early feature "The Gardener" (Trädgårdsmästaren)(1912) directed by Sjöström and penned by Stiller, to name a few examples, have long been praised and have appeared at screenings here and there, but remain largely inaccessible.

    In "Sir Arne's Treasure", the elements entrap the characters. Literally, the frozen sea locks a ship. As fellow IMDb reviewer Tedg said, these memorable scenes are reminiscent of Shackleton's Antarctic adventure—which, by the way, was made into a documentary film, also in 1919, "South". The murderous thieves are prevented from leaving by the frozen sea, and in their earlier, immediate, escape are almost thwarted by sinking through breaking ice. Moreover, bad weather and circumstances are attributed to fate and God. The ship's crew believes they're stuck because of the wrongs of the three men. Characters have premonitions and dreams, alerting them, although not preventing them from, future disasters. Guilt anticipates visions and flashbacks. Bad weather and fate directly and indirectly affect the tragic love between the lead characters.

    These forces of nature are well supported by some beautiful photography and technical expertise by Stiller and his crew. There's some advanced use of a mobile camera for 1919, mostly to follow characters. When the film begins rather comically, with the three prisoners being jocular, a tracking shot of a prison guard walking through the corridor and its shadows nicely foreshadows the serious and gloomy turn the rest of the drama will take. There's also an eerie, steady tracking shot of Sir Archie travelling across the frozen sea while being haunted by the superimposed image of one of his victims. This scene is followed by more arresting images, as Elsalill is led in a foreboding dream by her dead sister. The film features impressive photography and lighting of the natural landscape, the ice and rugged terrain, as well as scenes of falling snow. The mourning procession, allowing the frozen sea to breakup behind them, is quite touching. Additionally, the editing overall is rather well done, including point-of-views and eyeline matches, cutting on action and scene dissection, dissolves, iris fades, etc. The only parts noticeably primitive were some of the staging/blocking of the actors, with poor medium-shot camera placements when character groupings were the main point of interest in a shot, but, at other times, the filmmakers overcame this obstacle, and when they didn't, it's not terribly distracting. Also, among the acting, Mary Johnson stands out as Elsalill. She is more natural and restrained than the other performers and is especially more affecting; her torment is clear just by her standing.

    The Swedish Film Institute did a fine job with the restoration of this film. The recreated tints significantly aid Julius Jaenzon's cinematography: amber tinting to the flicker and glow of scenes near fireplaces, red tinting for the fire sequence, blues for the snowy outdoor scenery and night scenes. There are a few odd red artifacts, which I'm not sure may have been a product of restoration or the ageing of the print source; this includes some brief red scratches and during the supper scene, the curate's soup in his spoon becomes colored red. Additionally, the score can be a bit distracting early on, although I think it improves by the end, and I appreciate the sound effects. Overall, a fine restoration and quality print source. It'd be great if the Swedish Film Institute continues such fine work and, perhaps, could emulate the Danish Film Institute's practice of restoring more 1910s and early 20s titles for DVD. After all, this period of Swedish cinema is unique and impressive. The depressing nature of the drama of "Sir Arne's Treasure" only seems matched from this period by Russian filmmakers of the 1910s like Bauer and Protazanov, but their films and characters' guilt are more psychologically and societally driven; whereas, Sjöström and Stiller were among the first in film to make their characters' misfortunes and misery products of a harsh fate and nature.
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    In Sweden in the 16th Century, three Scottish mercenaries -- Eric Stocklassa, Bror Berger and Richard Lund -- escape from a prison and make their way to the coast. It's the dead of winter, and the sea-road to Scotland is frozen over. Maddened, they invade the home of Sir Arne, burn the place down, steal his treasure and kill everyone except Mary Johnson, who hides, and goes to live at the home of Axel Nilsson, a poor dealer in preserved fish.

    Sir Arne's treasure carries a curse, however. It was stolen from a monastery when the Swedes dissolved them, and the death of Sir Arne and his wife was foredoomed. The Scottish mercenaries, however, are now likewise doomed. The seas are still frozen over, so they must wait. While they do so, they hear about Miss Johnson. They go to hear her story and Mr. Lund and she fall in love.

    It's a tale of madness and horror. However, while the German movies in that still-undefined genre were psychological and used an expressionist camera, this Swedish movie by Mauritz Stiller uses an objective one, showing a more terrifying, frozen hellscape than anything Caligari's sick mind ever envisioned. This terror is not made by man or devil. It is G*d who seeks His vengeance.

    Stiller and Gustaf Molander adapted a novel by Selma Lagerlöf to make this movie. Molander would direct the sound remake after the Second World War.
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    Technically speaking, this is a well-made film--especially for 1919. Yet despite this, I found myself curiously unengaged in the film. I think a lot of this is the plot, as it has two problems. First, it's unrelentingly depressing and the characters are hard to care for one way or the other. Second, the main bad guy and the woman he subsequently falls in love with are both ill-defined characters and both behave very inconsistently.

    The film starts in Sweden centuries ago. Large numbers of Scottish mercenaries had come there to work in the service of the king. However, some sort of falling out occurs. While most of these men flee the country, three Scots are locked up together. They eventually kill their jailers and escape. Considering it's winter and a harsh one at that, the fact that the three manage to survive to the border is amazing.

    Hungry and dehumanized, the trio learn of a rich man named Sir Arne who has a huge treasure chest. They take him and his family prisoner--eventually killing all of them (or so they think). One, a young lady, hides and manages to avoid death. Despite this traumatic incident, the lady oddly cannot readily identify the three murderous thieves--so when she meets and falls in love with one of them only days or weeks later, it makes little sense. Also what makes little sense is that almost all of this powerful action isn't shown! Perhaps it originally did and was simply lost over time--a common occurrence with silent films. But, without these scenes the movie just seems a bit lacking.

    Eventually, when the lady does learn that her depression and agony was caused by the man she now loves, she responds in an odd way. She STILL loves him! And, odder still, this supposedly transformed man who has turned over a new leaf quickly betrays this woman AGAIN--using her as a human shield to make his escape when the authorities come to arrest him for murder! Eventually, he manages to make it to a waiting boat but it is stuck in the ice--the intervention, apparently, by God who wants the three men caught and punished for their wickedness.

    What has the film going for it? Well, for a print over 90 years old, it sure is in excellent shape. It's obvious that the folks who restored the print did a great job. Plus, some of the cinematography was very nice. I was particularly impressed by the fine winter scenes--it must have been really tough filming in such inclement weather. But, on the negative side, the story often makes little sense as the characters behave strangely. And, often, the action is muted by the style in which the film was made. Finally, being unrelentingly depressing, this film is NOT one to show to anyone clinically depressed--it might just send them over the edge!