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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
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The House with
Closed Shutters

(1910)
 

The House with Closed Shutters (1910) is a D.W. Griffith Civil War drama of cowardice, ostracism and unexpected bravery, featuring Henry B. Walthall, Dorothy West and Charles West, that accelerates the passage of time toward the end of the story through expository intertitles and subtle visual changes to the settings (and not-so-subtle makeup changes).

2002 Kino on Video DVD edition

The Birth of a Nation (1915), color-toned black & white, 187 minutes, not rated,
with The House with Closed Shutters (1910), black & white, 17 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K266, UPC 7-38329-02662-2.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 1, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops (for The House with Closed Shutters), two-disc standard DVD keepcase, $29.95.
DVD release date: 10 December 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 4 / additional content: 7 / overall: 6.

This edition of The House with Closed Shutters (1910) has been transferred from a good to very-good 35mm source print is likely a silent era rerelease print, given the differences in main titles and intertitles content and typography to other surviving prints, and this print’s inclusion of a cast list.

There is some early print decomposition to be seen in the first reel of the film, and the majority of the whole print is scuffed, speckled and a little dusty. Several frames of the print are lost to splices.

The horizontal framing of the video transfer appears to be close to the hard lines of the print, but the vertical framing crops the top of the picture (with more of the bottom of picture visible than in other video editions) for the sake of a full-frame image.

The film is accompanied by a music score performed on piano by Jon C. Mirsalis.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
2005 Image Entertainment DVD edition

Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film (1894-1947), black & white, color-toned black & white and color, 1127 minutes total, not rated,
including The House with Closed Shutters (1910), black & white, 17 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates with Anthology Film Archives, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID0592DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-05922-9.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, seven single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 224 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops (for The House with Closed Shutters), seven slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard box, $99.99.
DVD release date: 18 October 2005.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 4 / additional content: 7 / overall: 6.

Appearing on Disc Four: Inverted Narratives: New Directions in Storytelling, The House with Closed Shutters (1910) has been transferred from a good to very-good 35mm print from Film Preservation Associates. The video transfer is a bit darker than usual allowing for controlled picture details in highlights, but overall the picture is a little flat.

The transfer framing is a bit tighter than the Kino edition noted above, with more of the top portion of the picture visible but sacrificing about 10 percent of the bottom of the picture.

The film is presented with a music score performed on synthesizer by Eric Beheim. As usual, the synthesizer sounds Beheim has chosen are a bit annoying.

 
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.
2009 Grapevine Video DVD edition

D.W. Griffith, Director, Volume 6 (1910), black & white, 117 minutes total, not rated,
including The House with Closed Shutters (1910), black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.

Grapevine Video, no catalog number, UPC 8-42614-10350-6.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, 3 Mbps average video bit rate, 384 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops (for The House with Closed Shutters), standard DVD keepcase, $14.95
DVD release date: 18 June 2009.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 6 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.

The film has been transferred at slightly faster-than-natural-speed from a good to very-good 16mm reduction print, that features a fairly balanced grayscale range but a few times loses picture details in highlights, leaving faces almost featurelessly white. This is by no means the worst print we’ve seen of this film.

The film is presented with an abruptly compiled music score performed on MIDI-based digital piano.

Note that the opening titles appear to be original, as opposed to the Kino edition noted above.

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R is available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.
Other silent era D.W. GRIFFITH films available on home video.

Other CIVIL WAR FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

 
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