Directed by King Vidor - Emmett J. Flynn
USA 1926 - 1922


Today, more than 80% of silent cinema is considered lost forever. Some films were claimed by the flammable and unstable film stock of the day. Others were, once upon a time, thought to be worth less than the cost of keeping them. Yet, miraculously, unique copies of celebrated films previously thought lost are occasionally found and restored to delight a new generation. Bardelys the Magnificent joins Monte Cristo as two resurrected classics, both top-of-the-line productions starring John Gilbert, one of the most handsome, passionate and popular stars of the 1920s.

Theatrical Release: September 30th, 1926

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DVD Review: Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:30:00 + 1:46:12 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.27 / 6.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Bardelys

Bitrate: Monte Cristo

Audio Silent (Music - Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles  None

Release Information:
Studio: Flicker Alley

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 (Monte Cristo is about 1.40)

Edition Details:

• Audio essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta for Bardelys
• Rediscovering John Gilbert - 2009 (32:14)
• Photo gallery (Productions, cast and crew and publicity) (9:35)
• John Gilbert's contract with Fox from 1921
• Photo gallery (slideshow - 1:17)

• 20-page liner notes booklet

DVD Release Date:
July 14th, 2009
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12 + 14



From the Flicker Alley website HERE: "Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) is based upon the novel by Rafael Sabatini and directed by King Vidor, who just one year before had directed Gilbert in the smash hit The Big Parade. In France “in an age of light loves and lively scandals,” the Marquis de Bardelys (Gilbert), casual womanizer and accomplished swashbuckler, is entranced by Roxalanne de Lavedan (Eleanor Boardman); and against a background of knavery and intrigue, he sets out to woo and win her. Lavishly mounted and superbly directed with spectacular action scenes, Bardelys is a hugely entertaining action romance given an A-plus MGM production. The sole surviving print was found in France in 2006; the English titles are restored according to the original script. A gap in the recovered footage is bridged with stills, titles, and footage from the original trailer so the story is complete. The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra provides a lovely score of period photoplay music; Antonio Coppola provides an alternate musical score on piano. This release is possible through the graciousness of Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures.

In Monte Cristo (1922), adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, and directed by Emmett J. Flynn, Gilbert is Edmond Dantes, a sailor unjustly imprisoned for twenty years, time he spends acquiring education and finesse. Later the accidental heir to a vast fortune, Dantes reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, and wreaking revenge on those symbols of the decadent monarchy that wronged him. Fox Film spared no expense on this prestige film with lavish sets and a distinguished supporting cast. The sole surviving copy of Monte Cristo is a worn and choppy print found in the Czech Republic, but nearly complete. English titles have been restored with the help of the original script. Pianist Neal Kurz arranged and performs a score of obscure yet beautiful French music of the period.

This DVD, produced by Serge Bromberg, Eric Lange, Jeffery Masino and David Shepard, includes a number of DVD special features; Film historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta draw from their own extensive historical research into the life of John Gilbert to provide a full-length audio essay on Bardelys the Magnificent as well as an enclosed booklet and a brand-new thirty-minute documentary supplement, Rediscovering John Gilbert, featuring an on-camera interview with John Gilbert’s daughter and biographer, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain."

The package is another winner from Flicker Alley with two competent fulfilling transfers with solid extras.

The image quality is about what you may expect and if you haven't seen Flicker Alley's transfers of silent films before then you may be very impressed in certain segments taking into consideration the age and worn source standard of the films. There is obviously scratches, other small blemishes and flickering contrast (but not too heavy). Neither are picture-boxed although Monte Cristo is about 1.40:1, there are some tints, both are progressively transferred on dual-layered discs and definitely establish an impressive viewing - especially for fans of silent films. Both discs have no region coding.

There are no subtitles offered and intertitles seem original recreations and are in English (samples below). There is a new - occasionally rousing - music score by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra or an option for Antonio Coppola on piano for Bardelys and Pianist Neal Kurz for Monte Cristo.

Extras include an informative audio essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta on Bardelys The Magnificent as well as a 2009 documentary - Rediscovering John Gilbert running 32-minutes. There is an extensive photo gallery divided into three sections - productions, cast and crew and publicity but playable in a slideshow fashion for almost 10 minutes. On Monte Cristo we get John Gilbert's contract with Fox from 1921 and another, short photo gallery slideshow and finally a 20-page liner notes booklet.

While I loved both productions - I was especially keen on Monte Cristo. The fact that it was almost lost to us forever bolsters my appreciation. I'm so impressed with the passionate work of Flicker Alley and hope they continue with projects like these for many years. It's such a nice refreshing change to relax and watch these "rediscovered' silent classics after all the other Hollywood drivel that I, as a reviewer, are encouraged to watch. We strongly recommend this package - another sterling effort by Flicker Alley!       

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus - Disc 1 Bardelys

Disc 2 - Monte Cristo


Intertitle Samples





Screen Captures


Bardelys the Magnificent











Monte Cristo










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Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC


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