Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2013 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
This odd feature film stars Marguerite Gale, with a gaggle of Broadway and Vaudeville stars who are barely known today, including Julia Dean, Robert Edeson, Julian Eltinge, Mabel Fenton, Henry Kolker and May Robson.
Irish immigrant Molly (Gale) makes good by taking on a job as a newspaper reporter who locates and interviews several stage stars despite the sabotaging efforts of a rival woman reporter. The story is a thin excuse to present the audience with glimpses of personalities and high-rent New York, New Jersey and Connecticut locales.
While the film isn’t much in the way of drama, since its story, acting and direction sophistication levels are on a par with other films from five years earlier, it is historically valuable for the brief appearances of stage stars, some of whom had careers in motion pictures and others who were only captured on film here. Carl Bennett
|2002 Grapevine Video DVD edition
How Molly Made Good (1915), black & white, 70 minutes, not rated,
with Nursery Favorites (1913), black & white, 6 minutes, not rated, and Sergeant Hofmeyer (1914), black & white, 12 minutes, not rated.
Grapevine Video, no catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 4 / additional content: 4 / overall: 4.
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, 8 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $14.95.
DVD release date: 2002.
Country of origin: USA
This public-domain edition has been mastered from a fair-to-good 16mm reduction print that is, often, too dark to see much more than the actors in the foreground. Sets? What sets?
The video transfer can do little to help with the dark print other than to hold highlight details that might be otherwise be blasted out to white. We feel that with a little work a better grayscale range could have been established in the transfer to allow viewers to see more picture information without eyestrain.
The film is accompanied by a sometimes roughly-edited collection of preexisting film soundtrack recordings that is serviceable.
The disc’s supplemental material includes an Edison synchronized-sound film from 1913 that has been transferred from a fair-to-good 16mm reduction print that isn’t well-synchronized to the surviving soundtrack (but is probably what is expected, given the crude technology), and a Ford Sterling short that has been transferred from a fair-to-good 16mm reduction print.
|USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
|This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is also available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.