Flicker Alley, FA0011, UPC 6-17311-67359-7, ISBN: 1-8939-6735-2.
Five single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; five slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $89.95.
Release date: 2 December 2008.
Country of origin: USA
Our first look at this five-disc, eleven-film DVD collection has generally been a delight, and the release of these films on DVD home video has been a long time coming for the relatively neglected Douglas Fairbanks. At first overwhelming, this collection of films released by Triangle, Artcraft Pictures and Fairbanks’ own United Artists is a great overview of the first phase of Fairbanks’ motion picture career, predominantly comprised of his light-hearted comedies, leading to the well-known action-adventure films of the 1920s. Not only does the viewer appreciate the charming talents of Douglas Fairbanks, the collection also gives some perspective of the early careers of John Emerson and Anita Loos, with three of their collaborations included here, and of directors Victor Fleming (two films) and Allan Dwan (one film).
The majority of the films are very-good to nearly excellent in both print material and their full-frame video transfers except for the coarsely transferred His Picture in the Papers, Reaching for the Moon, Wild and Woolly and When the Clouds Roll By, with their coarse (vertical!) pixels easily detected and distracting on high-definition monitors, that may play acceptably on standard televisions.
Included is a 32-page booklet with an essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta. The supplemental material includes productions stills and pressbook reproductions, an audio essay for A Modern Musketeer, and a reproduction of Fairbanks’ first film contract.
While we have some issues with the visual quality of a couple of films in this boxset collection, we still recommnd it as a great way to expand your Fairbanks collection.
Note: A few DVD players have encountered problems playing some discs in this boxset. Flicker Alley has inititated a program to replace defective discs from this Fairbanks set. Click here to report defective discs.
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