Behind the Door

Directed by Irvin Willat. Musical Director: Stephen Horne
  • USA
  • 70 min
  • 1919

In association with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, ADIFF has announced screenings of the silent films, Behind the Door (accompanied by live piano) and The Italian Straw Hat (accompanied by live quartet) as part of this year’s Silent Cinema programme.

Writer Gouverneur Morris’s bizarre Behind the Door unfolds in a series of disquieting flashbacks that serve to continually ratchet up suspense and foreboding. Producer Thomas H. Ince and director Irvin Willat showed daring and imagination in their adaptation of the sensational material. U-boat captain Lieutenant Brandt (played with leering savagery by Wallace Beery) commands a barbarous crew of submariners whose atrocities rouse a vengeful hero. A review in Motion Picture News hints at the film’s narrative force: “In its slashing boldness, its eloquent daring, its gigantic theme—above all, in its terrific punch—‘Behind the Door’ stands absolutely and unqualifiedly alone!”

Never intended to be watched in silence, silent films were always accompanied by carefully curated musical scores, allowing for excellent visual storytelling. ADIFF is proud to present these films to the public as a culturally valuable historical record.

Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

ONE OF THE SILENT ERA’S MOST NOTORIOUS FILMS AND A FORERUNNER OF THE HORROR GENRE, THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY SHOULD NOT BE MISSED BY IRISH FILM FANS.

Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director

Hobart Bosworth
Jane Novak
Wallace Beery

Schedule & Tickets

25 Feb 18:30 Light House 1 Book