Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)

Not based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what some sources may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder that Poe would likely have found very much to his taste.

The picture is heavily and obviously influenced by German cinema and Lionel Barrymore plays a tormented protagonist while a pre-fame Boris Karloff is on hand as the Caligari-esque oddball. Well-made but marred by a failure to sufficiently establish motivation for the characters. Worth seeing for Barrymore and Karloff.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Barrymore murders a man for money but is driven to madness and, finally, death due to his burden of guilt.

Read my full-length review here.

If it were a dessert it would be: Pumpkin Dump Cake. While tasty enough in its own right, it relies on mixes and processed foods instead of its own ingenuity.

Availability: Released on DVD. The Image edition, which has a score by Eric Beheim, is out of print but you can find it used. The in-print ReelclassicDVD edition features a score by Jeff Rapsis and he details his creative process for creating the film’s music in this blog post.


  1. DeAnna

    I saw this quite some time ago , it was pretty cool. There is a lost 1918 version of this too, the stills were intriguing.

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