The Sunday Intertitle: The Mute Todd

Delighted to be writing screening notes for this year’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film — this time, I’m covering a horror double feature of Lon Chaney in Wallace Worsley’s crime-shocker THE PENALTY and Thelma Todd in Benjamin Christensen’s surreal nightmare comedy SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO SATAN, at last visible in a pristine restoration. It’s revealed as a very beautiful piece of work, raising the cinema of sensation to gloriously absurd heights. (The version I’ve quote from here is much sharper than the YouTube source, but it’s not the new cleaned-up print.)

I’m guilty of something of a misstatement in the video essay for Dreyer’s MICHAEL I just completed. I say that Benjamin Christensen’s Hollywood films lack the weirdness of HAXAN. Not true in this case!

I’ll republish my notes here after the show if that’s OK with the Hippodrome.

15 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: The Mute Todd”

  1. Mark Fuller Says:

    Loved Seven Footsteps when I saw it at Pordenone…..delighted to hear it has been restored. Hope to see it agsin soon.

  2. Seven Footsteps to Satan, Seven Keys to Baldpate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

  3. Seven Women, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Seven.

  4. Seven Women, Eight Women, Eight and a Half, Eight and a Half Women, Nine, 10.

  5. La Faustin Says:

    La Dame d’Onze Heures, L’Invité de la Onzième Heure, Entre Onze Heures et Minuit.

  6. “Pierrot le Fou” was originally title “Le Demon de Onze Heures”

  7. revelator60 Says:

    Very happy to hear the restored Seven Footsteps to Satan is circulating outside Pordenone; perhaps this foretells a Blu-Ray release down the line? I really want to see the film but refuse to watch the horrible YouTube version.

  8. Robin and the Seven Hoods. Seven Samurai. Seven Days in May. Seventh Heaven. 1776. Also the number of Sean Connery James Bond movies, if you count the non-canonical “Never Say Never Again”.

  9. Bond can’t really have a canon, can he, when everyone’s always being played by different actors (Blofeld for one).

  10. I’m also waiting to hear that this cleaned up version of Seven Footsteps could be coming to Blu-Ray.

  11. It ought to. The excellent title alone should sell copies, and it has so much more to offer!

  12. David Ehrenstein: Don’t forget Seven Men From Now.

  13. The Seven Per Cent Solution

  14. La Faustin Says:

    Per Christopher Durang’s A HISTORY OF AMERICAN FILM: Seven Brides for Twelve Angry Men.

  15. That’s only 0.583 recurring brides per man!

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