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Criterion Collection: Phantom Carriage [DVD] [1920] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Victor Sjostrom , Tore Svennberg    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £12.85
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Criterion Collection: Phantom Carriage [DVD] [1920] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Vampyr [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1932]
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Product details

  • Actors: Victor Sjostrom, Tore Svennberg
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Silent, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056ANHCC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,661 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swede Emotion 25 Feb 2008
By BLS
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful, dark, film. Similar to Dickens' A Christmas Carol is some respects - a horrid old sod shown the error of his ways and forced to confront his demons. Full of rich and sinister imagery, The Phantom Carriage is a compulsive watch, as the lead character's life is spookily unravelled. The soundtrack by KTL deserves a special mention as it contemplates the film superbly with haunting authority. It'd be nice if the soundtrack was available separately - but it isn't. To top things off KTL's Stephen O'Malley (see also Sunn0))), Khanate, Burning Witch etc.) has designed a rather excellent DVD sleeve. One complaint however, the subtitiles in the last 15 mins only flash up on the screen breifly, blink and you miss them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Double Bill 28 May 2009
By Colin C
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This double DVD pairing of Sjostrom's early horror classic 'the Phantom Carriage' and Ingmar Bergman's theatre piece 'The Image Makers' is well worth a look.

First up, the Phantom Carriage is a film packed with eerie scenes and images, and ingenious special effects, all of which add up to what seems to be a genuine lost classic of cinema, more than deserving of mention in the aame breath as Nosferatu, for example. The print looks good, having clearly been heavily restored, and the film rushes by at considerable pace, never losing your attention. the Phantom carriage is worth the investment here on its own.

The Image Makers is basically a filmed chamber-theatre piece from very late in Bergman's career, made for television. It's set during the making of The Phantom Carriage so, I suppose, makes a good double bill, as Victor Sjostrom is the central character - however in itself, the film is a real disappointment. It is filmed on one single set throughout, and the characters (all four of them) seem inert and lifeless. the film is overlong, and lacks any real interest for anyone other than hardcore Bergman completists. I am a great admirer of Bergman's work throughout his career, and he succeeded in making brilliant films with small casts and limited sets at the height of his career, but sadly this film was a real disappointment.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost Classic - Bergman Loses It? 16 Feb 2008
By Brady Orme VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
A forgotten classic - Victor Sjostrom has suffered a sad case of cultural amnesia, call it "Geographical Displacement Syndrome" if you will. Had the man been churning out motion pictures of this ilk and quality in Hollywood in the '20s, he'd be up there with Murnau and Lang. Sadly, it was not to be, and apart from being cherished by the chief Scandinavian art polymath himself - Ingmar Bergman - Sjostrom vanished from sight as an auteur. Nowadays people chiefly remember him from his role in Bergman's "Wild Strawberries", a curiosity. Now, thanks to the efforts of that paragon of the hard-to-find movie (Tartan, ahem), you can view his labours yourself.

On New Years Eve, three drunkards evoke a tale steeped in the arcane; whomever dies last on New Years Eve is forced to drive the Phantom Carriage - An ancient collector of Dead Souls (which reminds one of Charon and the river Styx) for an entire year, until so relieved by the next to die at that fateful time. David Holm (convieniently one of the drunks) is the man to die in such a way - ironically relieving a friend of the same duty, whilst a dying Salvation Army girl calls for a last wish, the relevance which becomes clear later. All melded together like a metaphysical Robert Altman fable, it's no wonder that the movie has had such influence since. The special effects are not to be sniffed at either - No doubt the scence involving Holm's spirit rising from his body held all who viewed it in thrall.

Turning to the DVD release itself - The transfer is what can be expected in a film produced in 1922, resplendant in scratches and pops, but not bad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Double Feature 4 Jun 2012
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Any DVD set containing an otherwise unavailable (if admittedly lesser) film by Bergman,
and one of the great under known classics of silent cinema is a package well worth
having.

"The Phantom Carriage" - This Swedish silent is said to be Ingmar Bergman's favorite film,
and the movie that made him want to be a director. You can certainly see it's influence on
Bergman's work, as well as a famous Stanley Kubrick sequence.

But beyond that, this is a very strong silent film on it's own merits. Echoing Dickens' "A
Christmas Carol" , but using a Swedish ghost fable as it's core, a man is forced to revisit
his wasted, angry life at the moment of his death.

The dramatic structure is surprisingly complex, full of flashbacks within flashbacks. The
acting is generally very good. There are a few of those over the top silent film acting
moments, but there are also moments of tremendous emotional power just from the look
in a character's eyes. And some of the images are just thrilling, with simple superimpositions
creating a tremendously effective, creepy, ghostly mood. Great use of color tinting as well.

The modern orchestral score by Matti Bye is very strong - melodic, moving, never distracting,
but certainly doing a great job of underlying the many many emotions of the film, without ever
feeling corny or `faux-period'.

A fascinating and beautifully made silent that certainly had it's
effect on great 20th century filmmaking and film-makers.

"The Image Makers" - More a staged play for television than a film, this is wordy,
theatrical, and yet still has a lot of arresting moments.

A fictionalized dramatization about the making of "The Phantom
Carriage".
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