{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Lachman’s Inferno


I’ve written already about Harry Lachman’s remarkable melodrama, Dante’s Inferno (1935), but the links to the Inferno sequence are now defunct so here’s an updated one. Lachman was an artist before he became a production designer for Rex Ingram, and later a director in his own right. The French government awarded him the Légion d’Honneur for his painting but it’s this short piece of film for which he’s remembered today, a dreamlike journey through the circles of Dante’s Hell intended as a warning to the crooked fairground owner played by Spencer Tracy. The sequence is notable for closely following Gustave Doré’s illustrations, and also for the surprising amount of naked flesh given that this was made when the Hays Code was in operation.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Hell, a film by Rein Raamat
Mirko Racki’s Inferno
Albert Goodwin’s fantasies
Harry Lachman’s Inferno
Maps of the Inferno
A TV Dante by Tom Phillips and Peter Greenaway
The last circle of the Inferno



Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {religion}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Modzilla


    There’s an earlier version of this made in 1911 which was the first Italian feature length film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M9e6jxA9tA which also attempts to bring Dore’s engravings to life. By way of contrast, here’s a particularly lurid taster of Jigoku, which depicts the Buddhist vision of hell It’s a 60′s Japanese film which, if you’re tempted, is certainly worth checking out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1iYs_sB30E

  2. #2 posted by John


    Yes, Richard Sica mentioned the 1911 version in the Inferni post. Between that one and Lachman’s film there’s another version from 1924 that also takes from Doré. Lachman’s film allegedly uses some shots from the latter (they were both Fox productions) but I’ve never seen any definite confirmation of which shots–if any–were used.






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