The Bells (Silent)

A killer is driven mad by the ghost of his victim. Based on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Features new original music score.
510 ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  WWY8

DVD-R Details

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 8 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: February 26, 2008
  • Originally Released: 1926
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
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Directed by

Description by

A traveler's gold-filled money belt is too much of a temptation for debt-ridden inn-keeper, Matthias. After sharing a bottle of wine with the wealthy Polish merchant, a drunken Matthias attacks the man with an axe. Mortally wounded, the dying man shakes his fist, still clutching a band of sleigh bells, at his murderer. Matthias steals the gold and disposes of the body, but as questions and suspicions mount, he is haunted by the victim's ghost and the sound of constantly ringing bells.

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem about obsession and madness, this artistic silent film adaptation features a powerful performance by Lionel Barrymore, patriarch of the famed acting dynasty. The Bells also boasts the presence of Boris Karloff, who plays the mysterious mesmerist.


This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
Based on 510 ratings.
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Karloff as Caligari Movie Lover: from Walnut Creek, CA US -- January, 25, 2009

A tale of an ambitious innkeeper's attacks of conscience after murdering a Jewish merchant, the film manages to rip off both Caligari (proving that Caligari was influential in its time) and Poe's Tell-Tale Heart. Alpha has provided a new sound score by Paul David Bergel that is beyond terrible; for example, there aren't any bells to be heard when the move shows the titular bells sounding. But the print and the movie's production values are both very good, and Lionel Barrymore is fun to watch. Description in the National Center for Jewish Film's catalog: "based on [the] 1869 play, Le Jeuf Polonais (The Polish Jew). ... an example of one way in which Jews have been stereotyped in theater and cinema-as the traveling merchant who becomes an easy target for violence and/or mockery."

Well done silent Movie Lover: from Indian Wells, CA US -- July, 13, 2008

This was an excellent story and well acted silent movie with a good score added. It is interesting to see earlier works of well known actors such as Boris Karloff and Lionel Barrymore. Though there were moments where the story line broke a bit, it is very entertaining and at some points a little creepy. The "bad" guy is really a "good" guy at heart, and his murdering a merchant for his money only drives him mad because he really has a conscience. It is interesting how Lionel Barrymore's eyes change over time. Good movie!

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 15,945
  • UPC: 089218554598
  • Shipping Weight: 0.28/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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