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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
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By the Sun’s Rays
(1914)

 

One of the earliest surviving Lon Chaney film roles, By the Sun’s Rays (1914) is a one-reel action drama with Chaney as a coniving crook.

coverKino Classics
2012 DVD edition

The Penalty (1920), color-tinted black & white, 93 minutes, not rated,
with By the Sun’s Rays (1914), black & white, 11 minutes, not rated.

Kino Lorber, K1059, UPC 7-38329-10592-1.
One single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 Blu-ray Disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) progressive? scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound and LPCM 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard BD keepcase in cardboard slipcover, $34.95.
Release date: 23 October 2012.
Country of origin: USA

This Blu-ray Disc edition features a standard resolution presentation of By the Sun’s Rays (1914) Chaney’s earliest surviving film from what appears to be a 16mm reduction print.

The film is presented with piano accompaniment by Rodney Sauer.

This standard-definition presentation may not be enough of an improvement over Kino’s decade-old DVD edition of this film to recommend that collectors replace their old DVD with this new BD edition.

 
USA: Click to purchase this Region 0 Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click to purchase this Region 0 Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverKino on Video
2001 DVD edition

The Penalty (1920), color-tinted and color-toned black & white, 93 minutes, not rated,
with By the Sun’s Rays (1914), black & white, 11 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K216, UPC 7-38329-02162-7.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $29.95.
Release date: 9 October 2001.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD edition presents By the Sun’s Rays (1914), Chaney’s earliest surviving film, has been transferred from a 16mm reduction print that is likely the only surviving print of the film. The print is good to rough in quality, being transferred from a well worn, scratched and slightly decomposed (in places) 35mm print way back when. But the film has not looked this good on home video before this appearance.

The film is presented with a musical accompaniment that sounds like it has been cobbled together from other audio sources.

This edition is still recommended for those collectors who prefer DVD over Blu-ray Disc.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era LON CHANEY films available on home video.
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  By the Sun’s Rays
 

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