Danse Macabre (1922)

Article 3934 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-13-2012
Posting Date: 5-22-2012
Directed by Dudley Murphy
Featuring Adolph Bolm, Olin Howland, Ruth Page
Country: USA
What it is: Eight-minute horror ballet

Youth and Love find themselves threatened by Death.

Lest we forget, silent movies weren’t shown silent; they had musicians performing to them. Therefore it makes a certain amount of sense that a silent ballet could be made out of a well-known classical piece, as this one does of Saint-Saens’s “Danse macabre”. It’s an engaging little short, using animation and double-exposure to tell the tale of a young couple threatened by a fiddle-playing figure of Death. Incidentally, the latter role is played by the old man in THE BLOB; namely, Olin Howland. My favorite part of this one may be the animation of the movie title, in which a number of small animated figures all move slightly to spell out the title.

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