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66 Ratings

The Salvation Hunters

Directed by Josef von Sternberg
United States, 1925
Drama, Silent


A cowardly young man, a bitter young woman and a helpless child live on the docks, spend their days full of ennui watching a dredge dig the same hole day in and day out, chased around by the dredge workers. One day they up and decide to leave for the city together.

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The Salvation Hunters Directed by Josef von Sternberg

Critics reviews

The film can be seen as an audacious calling card that exploits the pictorial possibilities of silent cinema while upending prevailing notions of silent film acting: Sternberg chose to direct his principals, Georgia Hale (a neophyte who would next appear with Chaplin in “The Gold Rush”) as the Girl and George K. Arthur as the Boy, as a pair of listless somnambulists.
February 24, 2017
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Sternberg doesn’t shy away from heavy-handed visual metaphors, later having a city-lsicker pimp repeatedly pose in front of a mounted pair of horns for a Mephistophelean effect, but every frame offers dynamic evidence of a compositional genius rubbing up against the abrasive facts of a rough, dusty, old Los Angeles.
January 03, 2017
The approach is pictorial first and foremost, but a pictorialism literally cracked by submerged emotion: a marine vista broken up by ropes and pipes, a smoky cityscape divided by diagonal wires, figures posed against a blank wall near a gaping fissure… Three decades early and here is Antonioni’s largo rhythm, the port of sorrowing wryness vividly recalled by Visconti (La Terra Trema) and Bergman (Hamnstad).
March 17, 2014
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