The Salvation Hunters Screen 3 articles

The Salvation Hunters


The Salvation Hunters Poster
  • 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).

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    Film Comment: Nick Pinkerton
    January 03, 2017 | January/February 2017 Issue (p. 90)

    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.

  • 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.