The Gardener is a 1912 Swedish silent drama film directed by Victor Sjöström. It is mostly known for being the first film to ever be banned by the Swedish censor system. It was long thought to have been lost, but in 1979 a copy was found in an archive in the United States. The Swedish premiere followed on 14 October 1980 when it was shown at the cinematheque in Stockholm.
In Sweden, the film was banned in 1912. The director said, “To the best of my recollection, the wreched faith of my ‘maiden work’ was due to the final scene. The president of the studio was horrified by the grubby, brutal gardener (played by yours truly)-according to him, the public didn’t want to see me tromping around with a big moustache. But I insisted that it was indispensable from an artistic standpoint, and I finally got my way. This particular stubby, brutal gardener lusted after a young lady in his employ, and he seduced- well, he virtually raped- the innocent thing in a lovely greenhouse among beautiful roses and every other flower imaginable. In the final scene, the girl is found dead the next morning on the floor of the greenhouse, with red roses and exquisite blossoms delicately strewn all around her. The marriage of death and beauty, in other words. But the thick-headed censors didn’t understand a thing- they had no feeling for that kind of beauty- and the film was banned.” The official comments of the censors were, “A breach of respectability. The association of death and beauty poses a threat to public order.” Read More »
“The most dangerous threat to the happiness of any young married couple, besides matrimony itself, are the mothers-in-law; this terrible feminine lobby, since the dawn of time , has always meddled and tried to disturb the tranquillity of newlyweds and sometimes their evil schemes succeeded in making a contented life impossible for the youngsters.
The great German director, Herr Ernst Lubitsch, captured pretty well these universal mother-in-law treacherous manoeuvres in “Als Ich Tot War” ( When I Was Dead ) (1916) a two-reel silent comedy shown recently at the Schloss theatre.
The film depicts the story of a young married couple ( Herr Ernst Lubitsch himself and Frau Louise Schenrich ) who live in the same apartment with their mother-in-law ( Frau Lanchen Voss ), a terrible mistake. At least if the mother-in-law lives far away, her dangerous intentions require more exertion to work. Herr Ernst likes very much to play chess with his pals at the club, a thrilling sport that will bring him a lot of problems ( that’s what happens when you play such weird games ). One night Herr Ernst arrives home late due to one of those exciting and lengthy chess matches and finds the door to his home locked, forcing him to sleep on the stairs. It is not necessary to say that the party responsible for such an evil act is his mother-in-law who continually uses the long chess matches to poison her daughter’s mind against her husband. She finally succeeds and Frau Luise divorces her mate. Read More »
This film comes from the Schloss Archive of His Highness, Herr Graf Ferdinand von Galitzien:
Born Franz Wygand Wüstenhöfer in Malstatt (Saarland), Hofer began his career as a stage actor and playwright in 1909. A year later he began working as a screenwriter for Messter’s Henny Porten series and for directors such as Viggo Larsen—Die schwarze Katze [The Black Cat] (1910)—and Walter Schmidthässler—Das Weib ohne Herz [The Woman Without a Heart] and Der Zug des Herzens [The Pull of the Heart] (both 1912). Read More »
A poor woman, with no money for Christmas presents, tucks her three children in for the night, on Christmas Eve. Later, a poor, old beggar comes to her door and she lets him in to rest and warm up. When he suddenly leaves, she follows him to the front door of a church, where she finds an abandoned baby. The woman takes the baby home to care for it, even though she has almost nothing. Her acts of kindness are repaid with a Christmas miracle. Written by Detour 1945 Read More »
It’s another one of Guazzoni’s ancient dramas, this time about Agrippina, the mother of Nero. After she manages to make him emperor of Rome, he finds her a nuisance.
Sadly she is immune to poison and sinking her ship didn’t kill her either – she simply swam ashore. In the end a sword through her stomach did the trick: Few people are immune to that.
Actually not all of the above features in the film… Basically Nero’s just cross because mamma doesn’t like his new mistress. Read More »
Film restored by Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana (Spain)
At a chancery a lawyer helps his female customers, predominantly with his member. Watch how even back in silent-movie times girls expressed themselves freely on camera. By the way, back in those days, women with ‘Rubens’ figures were considered beauty-queens, but the sex was similar to what’s happening today! There’s merry threesomes, lesbian games and a priest off the straight and narrow! Porn-fodder of the rare kind: A movie from 1920! Read More »