The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (4)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (1)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (1)
Somewhat stodgy in its seriousness, Phantom remains a secondary work by a great filmmaker.
It's a bit of a bore.
It's dreadfully slow-paced, overwrought and dated.
Phantom comes across more as a job for hire than as a genuine Murnau masterpiece. But even so, the master filmmaker managed to include several of his own touches
I wasn't impressed, interested, or put off by this film... in fact I didn't feel anything but boredom towards it. The plot sounds so promising, but the picture doesn't deliver. Even though my DVD was of poor quality, I couldn't get into this movie at all. I expected more from a film called Phantom.
Frankly, this film stinks. It earns two stars for F.W. Murnau's direction, but the melodramatic story is absolutely awful. The lead character (Alfred Abel, who otherwise did some fine work with Fritz Lang) is a twitching idiot who throws away his life after falling in love with a passing stranger whom he never encounters again, and the film bets all its chips on us sympathizing with him rather than believing he's a ridiculous fool. Then he goes even further, bankrupting himself by throwing gifts at a shoddy lookalike woman who does even less to deserve his affection. And heaven knows why the title suggests a horror movie -- the only horror is the script.
To add insult to injury, the film tacks on a cheap, happy ending which is totally unearned.
Skip this one.
Not what I expected from F.W Murnau. It didn't have the beauty of SUNRISE or the mystery of NOSFERATU. And the title is a trifle misleading, in that I was expecting a ghost story of some sort. Instead, the title refers to obsessive "phantoms" of desires and dreams that haunt one's thoughts. This film resembles somewhat THE BLUE ANGEL in that a man's chance meeting with a mystery woman and his subsequent obsession of same leads to his downfall. Performances were a bit over-dramatic, but that is to be expected for 1922. And I have a hard time finding a lot of faults with silent German cinema. All in all, not a masterpiece but good enough to hold my attention for 2+ hours.
At times visually stunning, but the story is weak and boring. You see flashes of Murnau's genius in Phantom, but compared to his later work(Sunrise & Pandora's Box) this film fails.
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