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Directed by Allan Dwan
USA
1924

 

Manhandled is an uproarious comedy from silent screen legend Gloria Swanson. Her most successful collaboration with director Allan Dwan (Stage Struck, Zaza), it tells the story of Tessie McGuire (Swanson), a down-on-her-luck salesgirl who climbs the social ladder by pretending to be a Russian countess. Tessie is a working class gal whose boyfriend Jimmy (Tom Moore) stands her up on a date, so she goes to a sculptor's party instead, where her skill with mimicry makes her a hit. She is hired by a fashionable dressmaking establishment to use her acting skills on their customers. By impersonating a Russian noblewoman she has men at her beck and call. That is, until some authentic Russians arrive, and her scheme is truly put to the test. Manhandled is presented in the most complete version available.

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Although an executive at Paramount came up with the racy title for this comedy-drama, the plot came from a Saturday Evening Post story by Arthur Stringer. Tessie McGuire (Gloria Swanson) is a department store clerk. When her sweetheart, auto mechanic Johnny Hogan (Tom Moore) goes to Detroit with a gas saving invention, Tessie's friend, Pinkie (Lilyan Tashman), drags her to a party. The host, sculptor Robert Brandt (Ian Keith), finds Tessie's talent at impersonations amusing (she mimics Charles Chaplin), and hires her as a model. But when he tries to "manhandle" her, she goes to work at the shop of Arno Riccardi (Frank Morgan) -- her job is impersonating a Russian countess. Every man she encounters at the upper reaches of society tries to have his way with her, but Tessie remains staunchly chaste. However, when Hogan returns from his trip (his invention sold), he sees her fancy dresses and believes she is less than spotless. Ultimately, he realizes that Tessie has been faithful all along and the couple is happily reunited. This picture was a departure for Swanson -- her mimicry of Chaplin was totally unexpected (but would be repeated some 25 years later in Sunset Boulevard). It delighted her fans, though, and the film was a huge box-office hit.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

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Ask a random person to name a female silent movie star and there is a good chance that Gloria Swanson will be the name that comes out. A little movie called Sunset Boulevard assured Swanson’s place as the silent film diva in the public’s consciousness. Of course, she was the consummate silent star even before that. Flapper? Vamp? Debutante? Those titles didn’t apply. She was a star.

Excerpt from MoviesSilently located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 22nd, 1924

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:02:58.775
Video

Disc Size: 20,466,842,218 bytes

Feature Size: 19,465,721,856 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video  

Bitrate:
Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1990 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1990 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1978 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1978 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) 

Subtitles English Intertitles
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

Disc Size: 20,466,842,218 bytes

Feature Size: 19,465,721,856 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video  

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary by film historian Gaylyn Studlar
• Booklet essay by film historian Peter Labuza
• Piano score composed and performed by Makia Matsumura

Blu-ray Release Date:
April 10th, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

The Kino Blu-ray release is advertised as a "Brand New 2K Master". The image is a function of the stability of the source and this print, predictably, has issues including damage, marks and, typical for silent films, fluctuating contrast. The 1080P is on a single-layered disc but this hour-long gem is transferred with a max'ed out bitrate and the quality is a direct reflection of the available source with all its imperfections. The density of the print fluctuates and this is probably more problematic than the damage - which would seem a shade heavier than normal. I was not dissatisfied with the video presentation - it played fairly clunky but I was able to enjoy this Silent Era film quite a lot, despite the weaknesses.

Kino use a DTS-HD Master (24-bit) 2.0 channel and the piano score is composed and performed by Makia Matsumura and sounds excellent in the lossless. The intertitles are in English (see sample) and appear original. The Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'.

Kino add a commentary by Professor Gaylyn Studlar of Washington University. She wrote Precocious Charms: Stars Performing Girlhood in Classical Hollywood Cinema. She shares her knowledge and analysis of women in the big city of the 20's director Dwan, the Hayes Code concerns and much more. I recall her commentaries on Criterion's The Earrings of Madame De..., and the 1943 Titanic Blu-rays. Great job. The package also contains a liner notes booklet essay by film historian Peter Labuza.  

A stellar Silent Era film - fun, dramatic and Swanson is wonderful. A fantastic Blu-ray release - even taking into account the acceptable image fluctuations in quality. Commentary, essay... recommended!   

Gary Tooze

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


Contrast varying quality - same shot a couple of frames apart

 


 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Damage

 

 


Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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