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Kino - Region 0 - NTSC Title capture TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

(aka "The Grand Duke's Finances" )

 

directed by F.W. Murnau
Germany 1924

 

Die Finanzen des Gro▀herzogs sees Murnau exploiting the Mediterranean clime to film the tale of a rakish duke whose lifestyle has dried up his noble coffers. When word arrives about the existence of valuable sulphur deposits on his tiny duchy of Abacco, a comic adventure of high-seas intrigue, “animal impersonators”, and the Crown Princess of Russia unreels at a sprightly pace. Max Schreck (the mythic actor behind the makeup of Nosferatu’s Count Orlok two years earlier) appears in a supporting role, in what might be Murnau’s nimblest effort.

After filming the landmark Nosferatu, the silent cinema’s master innovator F. W. Murnau demonstrated the reach of his genre versatility with a pair of films that explored the dimensions of the psychodrama and the adventure-programmer. All the Murnau characteristics are present: a vibrant naturalism, exquisite imagery, passages of dreamlike revery, and an atmosphere redolent with romantic longing.

Excerpt from the Masters of Cinema website HERE

***

The 1994 restoration confirms that this is indeed a farce by FW Murnau, featuring such uncharacteristic ingredients as a madcap Russian princess, a happy go lucky duke, stolen letters, disguises and the like; and featuring Max Schreck, Nosferatu himself, as a comic revolutionary. Murnau takes it all at a fast clip, combining extensive location shooting with a couple of elaborate studio sets, and bringing off two or three shots which, independent of context, are as haunting as any in the canon. Agreeable yet quite forgettable, except for collectors of directorial anomalies, and Murnau-ites on the hunt for correspondences, gay subtexts, etc.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: 7 January 1924 (Berlin)

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DVD Comparison: 

Kino (The Restored Authorized Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Kino captures!

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Also available in a Murnau boxset HERE which includes Nosferatu / Faust / The Last Laugh / Tartuffe / The Haunted Castle and The Finances of the Grand Duke.

     

The Masters of Cinema package contains a second dual-layered disc - Murnau's Phantom (1922) - see the captures/details at the bottom of this review:

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #85 - Region 0 PAL
Runtime 1:17:36 1:17:51
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.94 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate Kino

Bitrate  MoC

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles English (for German text) English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by David Kalat

DVD Release Date: March 17th, 2009
Keepcase or Slimcase in a boxset

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by David Kalat

• includes Murnau's Phantom (see below)

• A lengthy booklet containing a new essay on both films by professor and film-scholar Janet Bergstrom

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2009
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 14

 

Comments

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - 2 disc - October 09: Once again The Masters of Cinema Series have opted for the original language title and intertitle cards with newly translated optional English-language subtitles - where Kino have pre-translated them (to English). Both show some minor ghosting/combing from the frame rate conversion. The Masters of Cinema tints are more intense, both obscuring some of the damage and also preserving the original appearance, where the Kino shows a faded, lighter, more frail look.

While both editions have the fabulous commentary by David Kalat - MoC go a step further adding a whole second dual-layered disc of Murnau's 1922 Phantom and a lengthy liner notes booklet containing a new essay on both films by professor and film-scholar Janet Bergstrom.

Not surprisingly Masters of Cinema continue to outclass Kino by offering better supplements, more value and at a reasonable price. This is what we recommend and Murnau fans won't want to miss out on the superior presentation of The Finances of the Grand Duke and the included Phantom (previously only available from a pricey Flicker Alley DVD from 2006 - for almost $30! - it included a 15-minute documentary and some liner notes on tinting) which I am finally pleased to add to my silent/horror DVD library.

Gary W. Tooze

***
 

 


ON THE KINO: Also available in a Murnau boxset HERE which includes Nosferatu / Faust / The Last Laugh / Tartuffe / The Haunted Castle and The Finances of the Grand Duke.

As usual for other Murnau releases from Kino, this is restored edition and presently the only DVD edition of this film on the market. There is some ghosting evident, but the excellent commentary by David Kalat is worth the price of admission in itself. Due to its lack of availability on another label - it's a must-have for Murnau fans.

 - Gregory Meshman

 



DVD Menus

 

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT
 

Masters of Cinema Sources

 


Screen Captures

 

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 

 


  Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM

 


directed by F.W. Murnau
Germany 1922

 

In Phantom, an aspiring poet on the verge of what he takes for a big break experiences a chance encounter with a beautiful woman in the street — and falls headlong into love and fantasy. With debts piling up and his promised literary celebrity failing to materialize, the poet descends into obsession, deception, and, ultimately, a criminal act in this delirious film that stands as an early precursor of Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Excerpt from the Masters of Cinema website HERE

Eureka - Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 0 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #84 - Region 0 PAL
Runtime 1:59:20 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.51 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Available only in the 2-disc set with The Finances of the Grand Duke (see above)

• A lengthy booklet containing a new essay on both films by professor and film-scholar Janet Bergstrom — and more!

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments This is the second disc of the package that includes The Finances of the Grand Duke (above). It's another solid dual-layered transfer from MoC with minor ghosting due to the frame rate conversion. As stated at the beginning of the film: "The film Phantom was reconstructed in 2002-03 from the original negative and fragments of a dupe-negative. Both materials are stored in the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin.

In the original negative, most of the intertitles have been preserved as flash-titles, and have been lengthened for this presentation. Missing intertitles have been restored on the basis of the screenplay. For the adaptation of new intertitles, the Decia-Bioscop's original presentation was used. The newly created titles are marked by the Friederich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung logo (FWMS).

 


The tinting was reconstructed with the help of distinguishing reference number."

There are no extras, but this is a wonderful Murnau offering - a fabulous inclusion in the package.


DVD Menus


 


Intertitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 
DVD Box Cover

           

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #85 - Region 0 PAL




 

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Gary Tooze

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