Raven/Ghosts [DVD]

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Although Henry B. Walthall (the "Little Colonel" in D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation) made a strong showing as Edgar Allen Poe in this picture, he was hampered by its archaic special effects and approach. Based on the novel and play by George C. Hazelton, this is not a biopic of Poe in a strict sense, but it does show various events in the poet's life -- his adoption as a boy, his marriage to Virginia Clemm (Warda Howard, who played several other roles in the film, including the lost Lenore), and Virginia's premature death. But the narrative blends all this with lines from Poe's most famous poem and has him dying after his encounter with the bird. Even in 1915 -- when fakery was given a bit of leeway -- the paper mache sets and cheap camera tricks were unforgivable. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

This the second full-length film version of Henrik Ibsen's stage tragedy Ghosts (the first was a Russian production directed by Vladimir Gardin) starred Henry B. Walthall as the benighted hero Oswald. In the original play, Oswald inherits his father's syphilis: in the film, he falls heir to his dad's alcoholism and epilepsy. This alteration aside, the film builds inexorably to Ibsen's startling denouement in which Oswald discovers that Regina (Loretta Blake), the woman he loves, is actually his own half-sister. (Mary Alden), who like Walthall had previously co-starred in D.W.Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, was here cast as Mrs. Alving. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Wanda Howard
  • Henry B. Walthall
    Henry B. Walthall - Edgar Allen Poe
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