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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
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Eyes of
the Mummy

(1918)
 

This early drama from director Ernst Lubitsch features Emil Jannings and Pola Negri in early roles.

2002 Grapevine Video DVD edition

Eyes of the Mummy (1918), color-toned black & white, 58 minutes, not rated,
with His Luckless Love (1915), sepia-toned black & white, 12 minutes, not rated.

Grapevine Video, no catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $19.95 (reduced to $14.95).
DVD release date: 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 3 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.

This edition from public-domain home video company Grapevine Video has been transferred from a 16mm reduction print, and features new English language intertitles. The good to very-good 16mm print is, as usual, soft of image detail, contrasty with blasted-out highlights, some speckling and dust. The video transfer is adequate, with an annoying hair in the gate.

The film is accompanied by a canned and abruptly-edited music score, which is reproduced with a very brassy, digitally over-compressed ringing.

The disc has been supplemented with a Keystone one-reeler comedy transferred from a 16mm reduction print.

As is the case with most Grapevine product, the disc is not mastered from the best materials or accompanied by the best in music, but it is slightly better viewing than the Alpha Video edition noted below.

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.
2011 Bright Shining City Productions DVD edition

Pola Negri: The Iconic Collection “The Early Films” (1917-1921), black & white and color-tinted black & white, 240 minutes total, not rated,
including Eyes of the Mummy Ma (1918), black & white, 58 minutes, not rated.

Bright Shining City Productions, no catalog number, UPC 7-93573-89802-9.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, three single-sided, single-layered DVD discs, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 5 chapter stops, three-disc standard DVD keepcase, $39.98.
DVD release date: 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 7 / additional content: 4 / overall: 5.

This edition has been mastered from a very-good 16mm reduction print. In fact, it has been mastered from same print material as the Grapevine Video and the Alpha Video editions noted above. The persistent hair in the upper right corner of the gate is indicative of the source material.

The edition can be pretty rough going for viewers (as are the others noted above) on HD systems with its average 16mm reduction print source material and substandard video transfer.

The film is presented with a music score performed on digital piano.

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from BRIGHT SHINING CITY PRODUCTIONS.
2006 Alpha Video DVD edition

Eyes of the Mummy (1918), black & white, 57 minutes, not rated.

Alpha Video, ALP 5004D, UPC 0-89218-50049-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 7 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $6.98.
DVD release date: 28 March 2006.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This budget edition has been mastered from a good to very-good 16mm reduction print. In fact, it has been mastered from same print material as the Grapevine Video edition noted above. The only differences are that this picture has been converted to black & white and the film is presented with a passible original music score performed on digital piano by Rachel Gutches.

The picture is slightly softer in image detail, which is apparent most in the English language intertitles. The difference in running times between the two editions is accounted for by Alpha’s removal of the longer opening video-based credits and some introductory footage present in the Grapevine edition.

 
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.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Other silent era ERNST LUBITSCH films available on home video.

Other silent era EMIL JANNINGS films available on home video.

Other silent era POLA NEGRI films available on home video.

Other GERMAN FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other HORROR FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
 
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