"Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
Big Silent Fan
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"Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:27 am

Without a doubt, the most unusual story I have ever watched. Even the title doesn't seem to fit.
The 90 minute film is unrestored but apparently complete and with musical score.

Last edited by silentfilm on Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link

Big Silent Fan
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Re: "Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:47 am

Just 1 minute, 20 seconds into the film, there's some sort of ticker tape machine with a man sitting below at what seems to be a piano keyboard? Perhaps it was supposed to be part of the tape machine?
Next we see the sickly competitor who, for no apparent reason, kicks his dog? The entire film is a collection of surprises.

If you take time to watch, you might agree this is an unusual story.

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Jim Roots
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Re: "Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:54 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:Just 1 minute, 20 seconds into the film, there's some sort of ticker tape machine with a man sitting below at what seems to be a piano keyboard? Perhaps it was supposed to be part of the tape machine?
Next we see the sickly competitor who, for no apparent reason, kicks his dog? The entire film is a collection of surprises.

If you take time to watch, you might agree this is an unusual story.
It's a teletype machine. You can tell by the fact that after the sickly rival kicks his dog, we flash back to the rich rival's tape machine, then cut back to Mr. Sickly reading off the tape.

Railroads had teletype machines at every station. When they became obsolete in the 1960s, acoustic couplers were affixed to them and they were presented to Deaf people as a way to access the telephone system -- the first TTYs.

Jim

Big Silent Fan
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Re: "Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:14 am

In addition to having an entire train on fire and engulfed in smoke, there's the final scene where Maude's brother climbs a towering smokestack. This was done with a stuntman climbing to the very top, playing the brother.

Then, the film cuts away to two separate camera views where we see different close-ups of the brother on top of the chimney from a slightly elevated view above him. This chimney was built for the stunt and is smaller across than we saw when the stunt man climb it before. Apparently, this was done like in the Harold Lloyd pictures, carefully setup so as to continue the gun battle with the police far below. A great deal of thought went into making this believable. This was done two years before Lloyd's Safety Last or Why Worry. They were released in 1923.

Interestingly (and possibly missed by most), there was actually a body seen lying across the top of the (real) smokestack at the conclusion when a hand grenade (thrown by the policeman) causes the entire chimney to come crashing down. Just as it begins to fall, you can see the body (likely a mannequin) fall inside the chimney rather than simply falling off as it came crashing down. Even that little detail needed to be planned.

While not a favorite film, it certainly is a most unusual film.

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telical
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Re: "Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by telical » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:03 pm

Every year there seems to be 50 to 100 "new" silent films added to YouTube. Who would have thought this five years ago.
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Big Silent Fan
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Re: "Labyrinth of Horror" (1921)

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:37 pm

telical wrote:Every year there seems to be 50 to 100 "new" silent films added to YouTube. Who would have thought this five years ago.
Yes and many of them, especially the classics are in HD, better than what's in my own collection. Before buying a Blu-ray player that connects to my Wi-Fi (and flatscreen), I seldom watched YouTube on my computer.

Next up for me is "The Hell Ship" (1923), directed by Victor Sjöström.

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