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
DVD Review: Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC|
|Runtime||1:30:00 + 1:46:12|
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: Monte Cristo||
|Audio||Silent (Music - Dolby Digital 2.0)|
• Audio essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta for Bardelys
liner notes booklet
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.
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!
DVD Menus - Disc 1 Bardelys
Disc 2 - Monte Cristo
Bardelys the Magnificent