Monday, 10 August 2009

1935 Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno (1935) - Hell sequence

Further to Dante's world, December 2007: I mentioned then the stunning Hell dream sequence in the 1935 Spencer Tracy movie, Dante's Inferno (Leslie Hallewell described it as "one of the most unexpected, imaginative and striking pieces of cinema in Hollywood's history" - see ‘It will burn itself into your memory forever!’ at The Big Whatsit).

The 1935 film is fairly unmemorable apart from this 8:46 segment, which was remarkable for its time and would be a major challenge to film even nowadays with CGI facilities. Some sources say it comes from an otherwise lost 1924 film, but whatever the origin, the designer and post-impressionist painter Harry Lachman clearly modelled it on the classic Gustav Doré engravings for Dante's Inferno.

- Ray

1 comment:

  1. Very, very impressive. The mere cinematography alone is mind boggling. When you think that this is what was crammed into billions of Christian minds as children, one wonders at its cumulative effect as a meme. It brings up the interesting numerical quandry. Supposedly all those people in "that place" were there because of a whole lifetime of sin (much of it sexual, if you believe your parish priest). However, according to doctrine, one mortal sin could put you there, unless, of course, you said an "act of perfect contrition" before you died. This always seemed a little unfair to me. What if Julie's Julie's Asteroid was in your future? What then Father Murphy?