The Black Plague is ravaging Spain. As Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre plays on the soundtrack, a mix of animation and acted scenes tells the story of Youth and Love meeting one night. They dance, embrace, and kiss. As the night wears on, exuberant Death, a skeletal figure with a violin, pursues the couple. They try to elude him. Eventually, Love swoons. Youth is powerless to protect her. Is she doomed? —IMDb
Dudley Murphy (July 10, 1897 – February 22, 1968) was an American film director. Murphy was born on July 10, 1897 in Winchester, Massachusetts. He began making films in the early 1920s after working as a journalist.
In his first short film, Soul of the Cypress (1921), a variation on the Orpheus myth, the film’s protagonist falls in love with a dryad (a wood nymph whose soul dwells in an ancient tree) and throws himself into the sea to become immortal and spend eternity with her. Murphy’s then-wife Chase Harringdine played the dryad. Murphy followed this with Danse Macabre (1922) featuring Adolph Bolm, Olin Howland, and Ruth Page. Both of these early films are in the DVD collection Unseen Cinema issued in October 2005 (see link below).
Murphy’s eighth film, Ballet mécanique, which he co-directed with the French artist Fernand Léger, premiered on 24 September 1924 at the Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik (International Exposition for New Theater Technique… read more