The Marriage of the Bear

The Marriage of the Bear (Russian: Медвежья свадьба, romanizedMedvezhya svadba) (aka The Bear's Wedding[1]) is a 1925 Soviet silent horror-fantasy drama film directed by Konstantin Eggert and Vladimir Gardin.[2][3] It is based on the play with the same name by Anatoli Lunacharsky, which in turn was based on Prosper Mérimée's novella Lokis (Lithuanian for "bear").

The Marriage of the Bear
Directed by
Written by
Starring
Cinematography
Production
company
Release date
1925
CountrySoviet Union
Languages

Prosper Mérimée wrote a number of bizarre, macabre stories, of which Lokis is one. He was also the author of La Venus d'Ille which Italian horror director Mario Bava adapted to film in 1978. The Russian silent film with its lycanthropic theme predates Universal's later werewolf films, such as The Werewolf of London (1935) and The Wolf Man (1941). But with prints of this film almost impossible to view (although it is said to still exist in a couple of archives), it's difficult to determine if the "man-into-beast" scenes of the film refers to a literal shapeshifter, or if it's just a psychological condition that affects the main character's mind. Critic Troy Howarth calls it "possibly the first depiction of a man-into-beast scenario (in a horror film)".[4]

The film was remade in 1971 as Lokis by Polish director Janusz Majewski, and again in 1975 as The Beast by Polish auteur Walerian Borowczyk.[5] The film's sets were designed by the art director Vladimir Yegorov.

PlotEdit

When a pregnant Russian countess is frightened by a bear, she later gives birth to a male child who acts in some ways like an animal. As the boys matures, he takes to stalking young women in the forest while wearing the skin of a bear. When he becomes an adult, the boy marries a young girl and appears to be normal. But on their honeymoon, he turns into a bear and murders his wife, drinking her blood. But it's not clear whether the transformation is real, or if the young man just believes he is a bear and is acting like one.

CastEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  2. ^ Bawden p.649
  3. ^ "Медвежья свадьба". Encyclopedia of Native Cinema.
  4. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  5. ^ Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). "Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era". Midnight Marquee Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.

BibliographyEdit

  • Liz-Anne Bawden. The Oxford companion to film. Oxford University Press, 1976.

External linksEdit