05 December 2022

Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)

This post is the first of three film specials on the work of Rudolph Valentino. Monsieur Beaucaire (1924) is an American silent romantic historical drama in which Valentino co-starred with Bebe Daniels and Lois Wilson. For Valentino, this film heralded his return to the big screen after a two-year absence. The film sets and costumes were designed by his wife Natacha Rambova. Produced and directed by Sidney Olcott, the film is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Booth Tarkington's 1900 novel of the same name and the 1904 play of the same name by Tarkington and Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland.

Rudolph Valentino and Doris Kenyon in Monsieur Beaucaire
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Édition, no. 23. Paramount. Photo: Rudolph Valentino and Doris Kenyon in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Rudolph valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Édition, no. 164. Photo: Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Édition, no. 182. Rudolph Valentino and Doris Kenyon in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).


Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire
Dutch postcard by J.[Jos] M.H. Nuss, Laren, no. 1. Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott 1924). Picture: Frank Godefroy. Paramount.

Humiliated and insulted he flees to England


'Monsieur Beaucaire' is a short novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Booth Tarkington that was first published in 1900. The story has been adapted several times. In collaboration with Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland, Tarkington adapted it as a play in 1904 starring Evelyn Millard and Lewis Waller.

The play received a Royal Command Performance at Windsor Castle before Edward VII. André Messager used it as the basis for an opera of the same name in 1919. Tarkington was credited as co-author of the screenplay of the 1924 film adaptation which starred Rudolph Valentino.

The Duke of Chartres (Rudolph Valentino), a favourite at the court of France's King Louis XV (Lowell Sherman), has fallen in love with Princess Henriette (Bebe Daniels), who, to his greatest regret, does not seem interested in him. Rather, she continually humiliates and insults him out of jealousy, whereupon he flees to England, banished by the king. But Louis XV insists that the two marry each other. As a result, His Highness leaves his high noble existence and becomes a bourgeois.

As Monsieur Beaucaire, he advances to become the barber of the French ambassador in London and begins to enjoy life beyond aristocratic obligations. After catching the British Duke of Winterset (Ian McLaren) cheating at cards, he forces Winterset in sneaking Beaucaire into a great ball, disguised as the Duke de Chartres, and to introduce him to the beautiful Lady Mary (Doris Kenyon), whom he adores.

Winterset complies with this blackmail but secretly seeks revenge in order to expose the suspected barber to ridicule. He makes Lady Mary believe that the supposed nobleman introduced to her has to eke out a living as a barber. As a result, the smug British woman abruptly loses interest in the French beau.

Eventually, however, she learns that the barber she has spurned is in fact the Duke of Chartres and now tries to win him back with the weapons of a woman. But the Duke of Chartres returns to France, where Princess Henriette, who had secretly pursued his return to the French court, finally begins to reciprocate his affection.

Lewis Waller as Monsieur Beaucaire
British postcard. Photo: Lewis Waller in the tile role of the stage play 'Monsieur Beaucaire'.

Lewis Waller as Monsieur Beaucaire
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons in the Play Pictorial Series, nr. 5A. Photo: Lewis Waller as Monsieur Beaucaire in the stage play 'Monsieur Beaucaire'.

Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire
British postcard. Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott 1924).

Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. 193. Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Part of a series of box office and critical disappointments


Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924) was produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It was filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York City.

The action is set at the court of King Louis XV of France. Therefore Olcott chose the atmosphere to be resolutely French and French-speaking. It is French dancer Paulette Duval's second American picture. The Belgian André Daven, who plays the brother of Valentino's character, was hired for his resemblance to the Latin lover. The Nantes-based Georges Barbier designed the 350 costumes. The film's dialogues were written in French for more realism. Valentino speaks French, as do Bebe Daniels, Lowell Sherman and Sidney Olcott.

Monsieur Beaucaire was part of a series of box office and critical disappointments that plagued Valentino's mid-career. Although the film did fairly well in big cities, it flopped in smaller locales, and could not exceed the expensive budget Olcott put into the film's production. Historians Kevin Brownlow and John Kobal suggested that the film's shortcomings stemmed more from Olcott's "pedestrian" direction.

Many viewers and critics, perhaps expecting the more virile Valentino of his earlier films, felt that his onscreen persona with its heavy makeup, frilled attire, and arch mannerisms (particularly in the first half) was overly feminised in Monsieur Beaucaire: a somewhat unfair accusation, considering that much of the film satirises the excesses of the court of Louis XV.

Much of the blame for the film's alleged shortcomings was assigned to Valentino's wife Natacha Rambova who was felt by many of Valentino's colleagues to have had an undue influence on the costumes, set and direction of the film. Alicia Annas wrote that audiences were most likely alienated by the general design of the film which, while historically accurate, was not tailored to 1920s American filmgoers' tastes. The Stan Laurel parody Monsieur Don't Care (Scott Pembroke, Joe Rock, 1924) reflected the general public attitude toward Monsieur Beaucaire.

The novel 'Monsieur Beaucaire' was later adapted into a musical film, Monte Carlo (1930), directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The story was filmed again as a comedy, Monsieur Beaucaire (George Marshall, 1946) starring Bob Hope and Joan Caulfield. The biopic Valentino (Lewis Allen, 1951) with Anthony Dexter, includes a sequence dedicated to Monsieur Beaucaire. A long sequence dedicated to Monsieur Beaucaire also appears in the film Valentino (Ken Russell, 1977), with Rudolf Nureyev in the title role and John Justin in the role of Sidney Olcott.

Rudolf Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 372/1. Photo: Paramount-Film. Photo: Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Rudolph Valentino and Doris Kenyon in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 372/4. Photo: Paramount-Film. Rudolph Valentino and Doris Kenyon in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Rudolf Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)
Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Florence, no. 64. Photo: SAI Films Paramount, Roma. Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Rudolph Valentino, Bebe Daniels and Lois Wilson in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)
Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze. Photo: Rudolph Valentino, Lois Wilson and Bebe Daniels in Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott, 1924).

Sources: Wikipedia (English and German), and IMDb.

04 December 2022

Mylène Demongeot (1936-2022)

On 1 December 2022, beautiful and talented Mylène Demongeot (1936) passed away in Paris. In 1957, she became one of the blond sex symbols of the French cinema when she seduced Yves Montand in Les sorcières de Salem/The Crucible. The coquettish French actress would go on to co-star in the three Fantômas adventures and many other European films of the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1980s she also became a producer. Demongeot was 87.

Mylène Demongeot
German postcard by Kruger, no. 902/162.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1066. Photo: Dimitri/Dalmas.

Mylène Demongeot
German postcard by Kruger, no. 902/76.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1014. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 143. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 501. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Seduction Scene


Marie-Helene Demongeot was born in Nice, France in 1935 into a family of actors. Her parents met in Shanghai, China, and moved to Nice, France.

Her mother, Klaudia Trubnikova, was a Russian-Ukrainian emigre from Kharkiv who escaped from the horrors of the Russian Civil War. Her father, Alfred Demongeot, was of French-Italian heritage. The family was bilingual and young Demongeot was able to use Russian and French, but eventually switched to French. She grew up in Nice.

After the war, at 13 she went to Paris and continued her education there. She studied piano under the tutelage of Marguerite Long and Yves Nat. At the age of 15, she became a model in the atelier of Pierre Cardin and studied dramatic art with Marie Ventura at Le Cours Simon in Paris.

Two years later she made her film debut with a supporting role in Les enfants de l'amour/Children of Love (Léonide Moguy, 1953) starring Etchika Choureau.

More small roles followed in Futures Vedettes/Joy of Living (Marc Allégret, 1955) with Brigitte Bardot, and the British musical comedy It's a Wonderful World (Val Guest, 1956).

Then she had her breakthrough at the side of Yves Montand and Simone Signoret with a memorable seduction scene in Les sorcières de Salem/The Crucible (Raymond Rouleau, 1957), based on the play by Arthur Miller.

Mylene Demongeot (1936-2022)
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. AX 3864.

Mylène Demongeot
West German postcard. Photo: DEFA. Publicity still for Les sorcières de Salem (1957).

Mylène Demongeot
East German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1852, 1963. Retail Price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1039, offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane. Photo: H. Coste.

Mylène Demongeot
Dutch postcard by IFP, Amsterdam, no. 3014.

Mylène Demongeot
West German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H, Minden/Westf. Sent by mail in the Netherlands in 1964.

Mylène Demongeot
Dutch postcard by Uitg. N.V. v.h. Weenenk & Snel, Baarn, no. 133.

Manipulative but humorous


With appearances in three or four feature films yearly, Mylène Demongeot would rise to international fame in the late 1950s.

Demongeot's first notable leading role was in Sois belle et tais-toi/Be Beautiful But Shut Up (Marc Allégret, 1958) opposite Henri Vidal, where she played a 17-year-old jewel smuggler.

She further developed her screen image of a manipulative but humorous blond mistress opposite David Niven in Bonjour tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958), and opposite Alain Delon in the comedy Faibles femmes/Three Murderesses (Michel Boisrond, 1959).

Many of her screen assignments were along the ooh-la-la lines of her Swedish maid in the British Upstairs and Downstairs (Ralph Thomas, 1959).

In Italy, she played opposite Steve Reeves in the Peplum (sword and sandal epic) La battaglia di Maratona/Giant of Marathon (Jacques Tourneur, 1959), with Rosanna Schiaffino and Elsa Martinelli in La notte brava/Bad Girls Don't Cry (Mauro Bolognini, 1959) based on a script by Pier Paolo Pasolini, again with Elsa Martinelli in the comedy Un amore a Roma/Love in Rome (Dino Risi, 1960) and with Roger Moore in Il ratto delle sabine/Romulus and the Sabines (Richard Pottier, 1961).

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1022. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
Spanish postcard by Oscarcolor, no. 266.

Mylène Demongeot
Spanish postcard by Oscarcolor, no. 268.

Mylene Demongeot (1936-2022)
Dutch postcard by Hercules, Haarlem, no. 129. Photo: Rank. Publicity still for Upstairs and Downstairs (Ralph Thomas, 1959).

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by St. Anne, Marseille. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/41. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions Borde, Paris, no. 130. Photo: Morel.

Milady de Winter


Among Mylène Demongeot's best-known film works are the role of manipulative Milady de Winter in the two-part adventure film Les trois mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (Bernard Borderie, 1961) and the role of Helen in the Fantômas trilogy (André Hunebelle, 1964-1967), co-starring with Jean Marais and Louis de Funès.

Other incidental interesting films were À cause, à cause d'une femme (Michel Deville, 1963) with Jacques Charrier, the comedy 12 + 1 (Nicolas Gessner, 1969) with Sharon Tate, and the Canadian drama Quelques arpents de neige/A Few Acres of Snow (Denis Héroux, 1972).

Although she gradually fazed out of her stereotypical image of a beautiful French coquette, she still looked pretty convincing in the image of a mid-aged Madame, which she developed in the 1980s in films like Tenue de soirée/Evening Dress (Bertrand Blier, 1986) starring Gérard Depardieu.

On TV she appeared in the detective series Il professore/Big Man (Steno, 1988-1989) starring Bud Spencer, and in The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (Desmond Davis, 1988).

Mylène Demongeot
West German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK 150. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Klaus Collignon / UFA.

Mylene Demongeot (1936-2022)
West German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-196. Photo: Sam Lévin / UFA.

Mylène Demongeot
West German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/66. Photo: Bernard of Hollywood.

Mylène Demongeot
West German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/326. Photo: Gérard Decaux.

Mylène Demongeot
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/327. Photo: Gérard Decaux.

Mylene Demongeot (1936-2022)
Big Dutch collectors card.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by E.D.U.G., offered by Corvisart, Epinal, no. 29. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Comeback


Mylène Demongeot was the co-owner of Kangarou Films, a production company she had founded with her late husband, director Marc Simenon, the son of Georges Simenon.

During the 1970s and 1980s, they produced a number of unsuccessful films like Par le sang des autres/By the Blood of Others (Marc Simenon, 1974) and Signé Furax/Signed Furax (Marc Simenon, 1981). Marc Simenon died in 1999.

Demongeot made a comeback in the crime drama 36 Quai des Orfevres/Department 36 (Olivier Marchal, 2004) starring Daniel Auteuil, and Victoire (Stephanie Murat, 2004) as the mother of Sylvie Testud.

Later films were La Californie/French California (Jacques Fieschi, 2006) based on a short story by Georges Simenon, the hit comedy Camping (Fabien Onteniente, 2006), and the sequel Camping 2 (Fabien Onteniente, 2010). With director Hiner Saleem, she made Sous les toits de Paris/Beneath the Rooftops of Paris (Hiner Saleem, 2007) and Si tu meurs, je te tue/If You Die, I'll Kill You (Hiner Saleem, 2011).

Demongeot also wrote several books, the best known are Tiroirs Secrets (Secret drawers, 2001) and Animalement vôtre (Animally Yours.2005). In the 2000s Demongeot made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of her mother in Kharkiv, Ukraine. There she planted a commemorative tree and presented her autobiographical book, 'Les Lilas de Kharkov' (The Lilacs of Kharkiv, 1990).

In 2006 she was named Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters for her achievements in acting. Her latest films included the comedy-drama Elle s'en va/On My Way (Emmanuelle Bercot, 2013), starring Catherine Deneuve, and Camping 3 (Fabien Onteniente, 2016), which became the second highest-grossing domestic film in France in 2016, with 3,228,313 tickets sold.

Mylene Demongéot died on 1 December 2022 in Paris at the age of 87. In October 2022, she announced that her peritoneal cancer, from which she had been declared cured in 2019, had returned.

Mylène Demongeot
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 558.

Mylène Demongeot
Belgian postcard by Cox, no. 42.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 955. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Mylène Demongeot
Yugoslavian postcard by Studio Sombor, no. 294.

Mylène Demongeot
German postcard by UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-268. Retail price: 300 Pfg. Photo: UFA.

Mylène Demongeot
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1035. Photo: D. Roger.

Sources: Steve Shelokhonov (IMDb), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Personal website (French), Allociné (French), Wikipedia, and IMDb

03 December 2022

Gösta Berling Saga (1924)

Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924) was an adaptation of the first novel by Selma Lagerlöf. Gösta was portrayed by Lars Hanson and Greta Garbo appears here for the first time under the name "Garbo". The cinematography was by Julius Jaenzon, and the art direction was by Vilhelm Bryde with Edgar Ulmer collaborating on the set design.

Lars Hanson
Swedish postcard by Förlag Nordisk Konst, Stockholm, no. 1286. Photo: Goodwin, 1924. Lars Hanson as Gösta Berling in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Mona Martenson in Gösta Berlings Saga (1924)
Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Förlag, Stockholm, no. 379, 1924. Photo: Svenska-Film. Mona Mårtenson as Ebba Dolna in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga
Swedish postcard by Axel Eliassons Konstförlag, Stockholm, no. 381. Lars Hanson as the title character in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller 1924).

A novel out of the stories and people of her homeland


'Gösta Berlings Saga' is the first novel by the Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf. The book was first published in 1891 by Albert Bonniers Förlag in Stockholm.

In Gösta Berling, Selma Lagerlöf is a romantic; the book is a reaction to the realism that prevailed at the time. As a child, she had absorbed the folk tales of her surroundings, and in the autumn of 1881, while walking down the street in Stockholm, she suddenly had the idea of making a novel out of the stories and people of her homeland. Thus the idea for 'Gösta Berlings Saga' was born.

In the summer of 1890, a Swedish magazine, Idun, organised a novella competition and offered a prize for the best novel of a certain length. Lagerlöf entered the contest with five chapters of 'Gösta Berlings Saga', a story that was then beginning to take shape in her mind. She won the competition.

In 1891 the complete novel was finally published. It is set in Värmland in the 1820s and is about the deposed Lutheran vicar Gösta Berling, who becomes the leader of the cavaliers at Ekeby. The adventurous lives of these cavaliers, former officers and impoverished noblemen who have found a freehold on the Ekeby estate and spend their days in love adventures, making music, playing cards and similar amusements, are presented in numerous quite independent chapters.

The story of Gösta Berling, who is purified into a better person after various experiences, forms the framework for a series of rather loosely connected episodes. The reviews were initially negative, with conservative and liberal critics united in their disapproval. Sales were also poor. It was not until 1893, when the well-known Danish literary critic Georg Brandes published an extraordinarily positive review of the Danish translation, that the assessment of the novel changed.

Over time, the success of Gösta Berling grew more and more, and today it is one of the best-known and most widely read Swedish books. 'Gösta Berlings Saga' has been called the epic prose of Swedish rural life. In 1924, the book was filmed, starring the then unknown Greta Garbo, and the popular actors Lars Hanson and Gerda Lundequist.

Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga (1924)
German postcard by Trianon for the German premiere of the film on 20 August 1924, at the Berlin Theater am Nollendorfplatz. Photo: Svenska Film of the Trianon-Film-Konzern, Berlin (also in Leipzig, Frankfurt a.M., Düsseldorf and Hamburg). Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Gerda Lundequist as Margaretha Samzelius in Gösta Berlings saga (1925)
German postcard by Trianon for the German premiere of the film on 20 August 1924, at the Berlin Theater am Nollendorfplatz. Photo: Svenska Film of the Trianon-Film-Konzern, Berlin (also in Leipzig, Frankfurt a.M., Düsseldorf and Hamburg). Gerda Lundequist as the Major's Wife and Lady of the Estate Ekeby, Margaretha Samzelius, in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Karin Swanström, Sixten Malmerfelt and Jenny Hasselquist in Gósta berlings Saga (1924)
German postcard by Trianon-Film, 1924. Photo: Svenska-Film. Karin Swanström, Sixten Malmerfelt and Jenny Hasselqvist in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

The last great masterpiece of Swedish silent cinema


The film adaptation, Gösta Berlings saga/The Saga of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924), premiered in two parts in Stockholm on 10 and 17 March 1924. Lars Hanson played the young priest Gösta Berling, who suffers a crisis of meaning in the Swedish countryside around 1820. Emotionally unstable, at the beginning of the plot Gösta Berling is completely a slave to his lusts and gives in to drunkenness and womanising.

After a scandal, he leaves the parish in the dead of night to wander the countryside as a good-for-nothing. With a bunch of other drifters, he comes to Ekeby, the castle of the rich Major Samzelius and his wife (Gerda Lundequist). There he meets the innocent Countess Elisabeth Dohna (Greta Garbo), who helps Gösta to find inner strength and strength of character. Before the two of them can begin a future together, they have to go through many adventures, such as the burning of Ekeby Castle, set by the mad Major Samzelius (Otto Elg-Lundberg).

Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling ended the Swedish creative period of director Mauritz Stiller. Stiller's forte was elegantly staged relationship comedies like Erotikon (1920), but his greatest commercial successes came with opulent literary adaptations. Among them were two works by Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, Herr Arnes pengar/Sir Arne's Treasure from 1919 and Gunnar Hedes saga/Snowbound from 1923.

The young Greta Gustafson was given the opportunity in the late spring of 1923 to participate in a casting for the upcoming of Stiller's film adaptation Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling, together with her colleague Mona Mårtenson. Stiller discovered a performing quality in the girl, who was only seventeen at the time, that prompted him to give her the important role of Countess Elisabeth.

Shortly after the extensive filming began, Stiller also arranged for the young woman to adopt the stage name Greta Garbo. There are various versions of how the choice came about, the simplest being that the name Garbo was a development of the original suggestion Mona Gabor, which was based on the phonetic sound of a former prince of Transylvania. The actress officially adopted the name Greta Garbo on 9 November 1923.

The shooting, which lasted almost a whole year, was an ordeal for the completely inexperienced actress. Stiller, who as a director was equally a perfectionist and an autocratic ruler, forced Greta Garbo to unconditional obedience to his instructions. Through endless repetitions of individual scenes and targeted verbal attacks, he steered Greta Garbo in the direction he had intended from the beginning. Garbo gave herself completely into the hands of her mentor and finally accepted without complaint the sometimes violent insults when, in Stiller's opinion, she had not given her best performance.

After the film was shot, Mauritz Stiller went to Hollywood via Berlin together with his protégée Garbo. Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924) is today considered the last great masterpiece of Swedish silent cinema. The spectacular fire at Ekeby Castle was the most expensive sequence ever filmed in Sweden at the time. Stiller used the entire technical repertoire, such as rapid editing sequences and lighting effects, to bring the drama of the action to the screen. Another well-known shot showed Elisabeth Dohna fleeing in her horse-drawn sleigh in frantic flight across a frozen lake from a pack of wolves. However, Stiller used specially trained German shepherds for the sequence, hanging weights on their tails so that they would show the typical posture of wolves in the 'longshots'.

The film was originally released in two parts in Sweden, Gösta Berlings saga del I on 10 March 1924, and Gösta Berlings saga del II seven days later. The two-part version was also released in Finland and Norway, but for the rest of the world a shorter, one-part export version was made. In 1927 the film was recut, almost halving its running time. This was the only version that was archived. In 1933 a sound version was released theatrically in Stockholm, with the intertitles removed, along with additional edits and some reordering of the scenes. Most of the missing material was discovered 20 years later and a restored version with new intertitles was released in theatres. The Swedish Film Institute added newly found fragments throughout the years, but as of the 1975 restoration about 450 metres of film from the original cut remained missing. In February 2018, the completion of a new, comprehensive restoration was announced. The 2018 version is 16 minutes longer than the previous restoration and brings the film close to its original running time. It also restores the film's tinting scheme for the first time since its original release.

Mona Martenson in Gösta Berlings saga (1924)
German postcard by Trianon-Film, 1924. Photo: Svenska-Film. Mona Mårtenson in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924), based on the novel by Selma Lagerlöf.

Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga (1924)
German postcard by Trianon for the German premiere of the film on 20 August 1924, at the Berlin Theater am Nollendorfplatz. Photo: Svenska Film of the Trianon-Film-Konzern, Berlin (also in Leipzig, Frankfurt a.M., Düsseldorf and Hamburg). Lars Hanson as Gösta Berling in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga
German postcard by Trianon for the German premiere of the film on 20 August 1924, at the Berlin Theater am Nollendorfplatz. Photo: Svenska Film of the Trianon-Film-Konzern, Berlin (also in Leipzig, Frankfurt a.M., Düsseldorf and Hamburg). Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924).

Lars Hanson
German postcard by Ross-Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Trianon. Lars Hanson in Gösta Berlings saga/The Atonement of Gösta Berling (Mauritz Stiller 1924).

Sources: Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.