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29 July 2016

EFSP's Dazzling Dozen: The Swedish Silent Cinema

My partner, Ivo Blom, recently visited Sweden and he found in a Stockholm shop 70 rare vintage postcards of Swedish silent films.  Ivo selected twelve dazzling postcards for us today. In beautiful sepia tones, these cards give an impression of how the Scandinavian directors Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller ruled the world cinema during the 1910s and 1920s. And then both were lured to Hollywood.

Victor Sjöström in Thomas Graals bästa film
Swedish postcard by Ed. Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 876/3. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Publicity still for the comedy Thomas Graals bästa film/Thomas Graal's Best Film (Mauritz Stiller, 1917), scripted by Gustav Molander. The story deals with a screenwriter (Victor Sjöström) who falls in love with his secretary Bessie (Karin Molander) and imagines himself rescuing her from poverty. Reality is quite different as Bessie is a modern woman. The film also mocks the bored aristocracy involved in the modernity of filmmaking. Caption: The author Thomas Graal at sea.

Karin Molander in Tösen från Stormyrtorpet
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 843. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Publicity still for Tösen från Stormyrtorpet/The Girl from the Marsh Croft (Victor Sjöström, 1917), after the novel of Selma Lagerlöf. Story: Gudmund (Lars Hanson) is about to marry Hildur (Karin Molander). Suddenly, the girl Helga (Greta Almroth) claims that Gudmund is the father of her baby. The case is brough to court. Caption: Hildur dressed up as bride.

Hauk Aabel and Stina Stockenstam in Alexander den Store
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 877/1. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Publicity still for the comedy Alexander den Store/Alexander the Great (Mauritz Stiller, 1917). The story of the film deals with a provincial hotel cook, named Alexander the Great (Hauk Abel), in whose restaurant not only the dishes can be spicy. Caption: Alexander has rediscovered his beloved from his youth (Stina Stockenstam).

Victor Sjöström in Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 844/6. Photo: Svenska Biografteatern. Publicity still for Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru/The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918). A stranger (Victor Sjöström) comes to work at the farm of widow Halla (Edith Erastoff). Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they flee and become two of the many outlaws of Iceland's mountains. The Outlaw and His Wife is one of the classics of Swedish silent cinema, shot in the mountains in North Sweden, and showing not only the hardship of nature but also the intolerance of humans. Caption: The Outlaw.

Victor Sjöström in Körkarlen - The Phantom Carriage
Swedish postcard by Ed. Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1117/7. Photo: Svensk Filmindustri. Publicity still for Körkarlen/The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1920). As he is the last one to die on New Year's Eve, the drunkard David Holm (Victor Sjöström) is forced to take over the phantom carriage for a full year, collecting the souls of the dead. Körkarlen is a classic from Swedish silent cinema.

Karin Molander in Bomben
Swedish postcard by Ed. Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 166. Photo: Skandia Film. Publicity still for Bomben/The Bomb (Rune Carlsten, 1920), starring Karin Molander. Caption: Elsa Vendel's first morning amidst her own possessions.

Tora Teje in Karin Ingmarsdotter
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1093/9. Photo: Svenska Biografteatren. Publicity still for Karin Ingmarsdotter/God's Way/ Karin Daughter of Ingmar (Victor Sjöström, 1920), starring Tora Teje; here with Bertil Malmstedt as her son.

Karin Molander in Erotikon
Swedish postcard by Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1097/1. Photo: Svensk Filmindustri. Publicity still for Erotikon/Bounds That Chafe (Mauritz Stiller, 1920), starring Karin Molander; and not pictured here Anders de Wahl, Lars Hanson and Tora Teje.

Jenny Hasselquist in De landsflyktiga
Swedish postcard by Ed. Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 295. Photo: Skandia Film, Stockholm/Svensk Filmindustri. Publicity still for De landsflyktiga/The Emigrants/The Exiles (Mauritz Stiller, 1921), starring Jenny Hasselquist. This is a lost film, except for a few very short fragments.

Victor Sjöström in Det omringade huset
Swedish postcard by Ed. Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 327. Photo: Skandia Film/Svensk Filminspelning. Publicity still for Det omringade huset/The Surrounded House (Victor Sjöström, 1922), starring Meggie Albanesi and Victor Sjöström.

Victor Sjöström and Jenny Hasselquist in Eld ombord
Swedish postcard by Ed. Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 336. Photo: Svensk Filminspelning. Publicity still for Eld ombord/Fire on board (Victor Sjöström, 1923), starring Victor Sjöström and Jenny Hasselquist.

Mona Mårtenson in Laila
Finnish postcard by Kerttikeskus Kortcentralen, Helsinki, no. 1311. Photo: publicity still for the Norwegian silent film Laila (George Schnéevoigt 1929), starring Mona Mårtenson aka Mona Mårtensson.

This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday, hosted by Beth at the The Best Hearts are Crunchy. You can visit her by clicking on the button below.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

Hello from Oregon! I'm sorry I'm so late to comment. I adore these postcards and photos. Your work on this blog is wonderful. A testimony to these great men and women of old. I am just blown away by the history you have provided here.

Have a lovely weekend and Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!