The Comet Tail: Celestial Apocalypse in Silent Cinema



The social disquiet associated with the 1910 apparition of Halley’s Comet echoed extensively in the feld of cinema. Whether in a highly dramatic or a sharply parodic approach, a variety of silent flms envisioned the aftermath of the collision of a comet with the Earth. The present paper proves the early cinematographic interest in this subject by providing an overview of sig-nifcant screenplays with emphasis on the apocalyptic scenario depicted in August Blom’s 1916 science fction drama Verdens Undergang (The End of the World/The Flaming Sword).

Keywords: silent cinema, Halley’s Comet, celestial apocalypse, Verdens Undergang