Silent Revue: THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (1921)


Revue Cinema Sun, Dec 17, 2023 4:00 PM
Film Info
Revue Series:Silent Revue
Release Year:1921
Production Country:Sweden
Original Language:No Language
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Victor Sjöström
Cast:Hilda Borgström
Tore Svennberg
Astrid Holm
Concordia Selander
Lisa Lundholm
Screenwriter:Victor Sjöström



An early (and rare) horror masterpiece from Swedish master Victor Sjöström, THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE influenced the nascent genre for generations to come. Kubrick would borrow from it for the “Here’s Johnny” axe sequence in THE SHINING. Sjöström’s Swedish compatriot Ingmar Bergman’s was inspired by it for his radical depiction of death in THE SEVENETH SEAL. And, somewhat surprisingly, it was Charlie Chaplin’s favourite film of the silent era. Simply put: it’s a horror urtext.


Over five months in production and balking at European censors’ concerns over depicting the supernatural, THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE is based on Selma Lageröf’s 1912 novel Thy Soul Shall Bare Witness! and stars none other than the director himself as David Holm, a drunkard forced to reckon with his wasted life by a ghostly carriage driver. Set in a series of flashbacks and featuring groundbreaking special effects, the film eerily captures a distinctively Scandinavian morbidity, yet isn’t without hope. Screening as part of Silent Revue’s mini-retrospective—Fantastical Horror: Vampires, Reapers, and Necromancers! (ALICIA FLETCHER) 

Live accompaniment by William O’Meara


Silent Revue is curated by Alicia Fletcher


Silent Revue is sponsored by Hollywood Suite