DURING the period which might be called the golden or classic age of the silent film, Sweden, which had contributed so much to its formation, no longer produced outstanding pictures. Sjö- ström had become Seastrom in America; Stiller was about to join him there. Svenska still made films and in 1924 actually produced twenty, among which Life in the Country, directed by Hedqvist, and Brunius' Charles XII had some merit, while Edgren's peasant picture, The King of Trollebo, was not without interest. Yet in imitations lacking vitality or in a colorless naturalism, the vein seemed exhausted. The actors, too, were leaving Sweden--Lars Hanson, Einar Hanson and Greta Garbo. Before leaving, Lars Hanson had played in a somewhat bizarre and rather characteristic film of Molander's, a sequel to Seastrom's unfinished Jerusalem. Conrad Veidt also acted in it. Despite certain real qualities, it seemed, however, that the Swedish film had made no progress since Sjöström and Stiller: it was the work of a talented pupil who finishes the picture of a master, and it lacked both originality and life.
Olaf Molander, brother of Gustaf, committed radical errors. He adapted a play of Strindberg, The Republic of Women, and even made a Camille, turning again to the theatrical form from which the films had taken so much trouble to escape. There were mistakes and hesitations everywhere. Runeberg attempted in an unsuccessful Gustavus Vasa to revitalize the historical picture. Theodore Berthels essayed the life of the Vikings. Gustaf Molander also filmed Strindberg. Others undertook to give Sweden comedies. Everywhere what had contributed to the profound originality of the Swedish film was vanishing.
In America, Stiller did not feel at home, and neither his Confessions of a Queen nor Hotel Imperial had the merit of his native productions. Seastrom fared better. After his first American film,