Danse macabre 1922


Danse Macabre” is an experimental film project that premiered at the Rialto Theatre, NYC in 1922. It is conceived by Adolph Bolm and directed by Dudley Murphy, with lighting and filming by Francis Bruigière and animation by F.A.A. Dahme. It was released by Claude H. Macgowan for Visual Symphony Productions, Inc. Performers include Adolph Bolm (“Youth”), Ruth Page (“Love”), and Olin Howland (“Death”). While this film is silent, music by Camille Saint Saëns (his 1874 tone poem “Danse Macabre”) was apparently synced with the film at its premiere.


The Black Death is ravaging Spain. As Camille Saint-Saëns’s “Danse Macabre” plays on the soundtrack, a mix of animation and acted scenes tells the story of Youth and Love meeting one night. They dance, embrace, and kiss. As the night wears on, exuberant Death, a skeletal figure with a violin, pursues the couple. They try to elude him. Eventually, Love swoons. Youth is powerless to protect her. Is she doomed?


Director: Dudley Murphy
Stars: Adolph Bolm, Ruth Page, Olin Howland


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Author: Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present