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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Manxman
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

The
Manxman

(1929)

 

The Manxman (1929) features Carl Brisson, who had previously worked for Hitchcock in The Ring (1927), the odd Malcolm Keen, already a veteran of the two Hitchcock films The Mountain Eagle (1926) and The Lodger (1926), and Anny Ondra, in her first and penultimate Hitchcock film. Ondra can be identified as the first of Hitchcock’s blonde obsessions.

A sailor (Brisson) and his girlfriend (Ondra) live on the Isle of Man, visited regularly by their lawyer friend (Keen), who is legally sympathetic to the needs of the island’s fisherfolk. Brisson wants to marry Ondra but is intimidated by her father who vindictively points out that he has no money and has no future. Brisson announces to Ondra that he is travelling the world to make his fortune, and asks her to wait for him. He also plies Keen (who is secretly also in love with Ondra) to look after her while he is gone. While Brisson is off to sea, Ondra falls in love with Keen. Then news comes of Brisson’s death in Africa. But, in true Enoch Arden fashion, Brisson shows up alive and monied to confuse and frustrate the honor-bound couple. Ondra marries Brisson to keep her commitment to him; they have a child; she decides she loves Keen too much to continue the charade. Only now, Keen is in-line for an appointment as a judge. He cannot be scandalized by his previous relationship with Ondra. She attempts suicide. Her case is the first heard by the newly-appointed Keen.

Okay, so the story is not terribly exciting by today’s standards and can be as tough-going as Hitchcock’s society drama Easy Virtue (1927), but it is occasionally adventurous in its storytelling technique. — Carl Bennett

coverLions Gate Entertainment
2007 DVD edition

Alfred Hitchcock 3-Disc Collector’s Edition (1927-1931), black & white, ? minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, 84 minutes, not rated.

Lions Gate Entertainment, 20860, UPC 0-12236-20860-0.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 8 Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 25 chapter stops; and one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 8 Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; plastic trays in cardboard wrap in cardboard slipcover, $39.98.
Release date: 6 February 2007.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 8 / audio: 7 / additional content: 8 / overall: 8.

After years of cheap home video editions mastered from lousy 16mm prints, we now have a quality home video edition mastered from a very-good to excellent 35mm print. While the print has the usual number of flaws inherent in one from the silent era, speckling, dust and processing flaws, the overall experience is quite good.

The standard-resolution NTSC video transfer does emphasize some of the film grain in the source material in some shots, particularly on high-definition equipment, but the viewing experience is generally quite good and filmlike on HD and standard equipment.

The film is accompanied by a stereo piano score by an unidentified performer. The silent films are listed with incorrect release years on the packaging. And, the three sound films appear in their best-ever presentations on DVD home video.

We can only hope that the Hitchcock family will continue to release home video editions of Hitch’s earliest films, so that they might all be available to collectors in these high-quality presentations. We highly recommend this edition of The Manxman.

 
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.
coverOptimum Home Entertainment
2007 DVD edition

The Early Hitchcock Collection (1927-1932), black & white and color-toned black & white, 810 minutes total, BBFC Classification PG,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, ? minutes, BBFC Classification U.

Optimum Home Entertainment, unknown catalogue number, unknown UPC number.
Nine single-sided, single-layered, Region 2 PAL 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 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; nine slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, £34.99.
Release date: 26 February 2007.
Country of origin: England
This Hitchcock boxset contains the Optimum DVD edition of The Manxman. It has been noted that the music accompanying the film is not the best.

North American collectors will need a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.

 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 2 PAL DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
coverLaserlight Digital
1999 DVD edition

The Manxman (1929), black & white, 111 minutes, not rated.

Laserlight Digital, 82039, UPC 0-18111-99713-3.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 384 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese subtitles, 21 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $7.95.
Release date: 20 July 1999.
Country of origin: USA

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

Our initial excitement at the appearance of five of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent films on DVD has been tempered considerably by the lack of any improvement in quality over existing editions on VHS videotape. This DVD edition of The Manxman, however, is an improvement over the two 1990s videotape versions of the film we have seen.

Whether it is a shortcoming of the video transfer or a flaw of the source print, once again viewers will have to put up with a picture and intertitles that are cropped too tightly on the left side. Some cropping also occurs on the top and bottom of the picture but is seldomly extreme enough to crop off the tops of heads. The defect is only marginally helped by the lack of overscan cropping on most HD monitors. We will advocate once again for the windowboxing of silent films to capture the maximum viewable picture area for all televisions and to keep as much of the intertitles readable as possible.

The video transfer does have its problems. There is some picture jitter in places and occasionally compression artifacts can be seen in flat light to medium greytones. Ultimately, the tight, off-center framing is our only nagging complaint of this budget-priced DVD that features an otherwise good looking transfer from what appears to be a very-good 16mm print. The film has been transferred at a proper running speed. Occasional print scratches, some speckling, and contrastiness in the final two reels that causes some highlight detail to disappear constitute the source print flaws.

An orchestral score has been cobbled together from a variety of canned sources, including LP records (pops and crackles intact) and hissing audiotape. While the music editing is rough, some attempt has been made to keep the music appropriate to the film’s action. A minor production error causes the disc to stop in the player when the Off option is selected in the Subtitles menu.

For the collector who is looking to acquire all of the silent Hitchcock films on home video, the best edition currently available of The Manxman is the Lions Gate edition noted above.

 
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.
coverBrentwood Home Video
2005 DVD edition

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock Collection (1927-1939), black & white, ? minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, 111 minutes, not rated.

Brentwood Home Video, 46304-9, UPC 7-87364-63049-3.
Five double-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 3 Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 8 chapter stops; five-disc DVD keepcase, $19.95.
Release date: 23 August 2005.
Country of origin: USA

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

This edition has been mastered to a full-frame and slightly too-fast video transfer from a very-good 16mm reduction print. The framing of the source print is off, as was the source print for the Laserlight edition noted above, with a little too much of the left side of the original picture cropped off. The lack of overscan cropping on an HD monitor helps slightly.

The greytone values are a bit flat, with grey shadows and greyish highlights, but the visual quality is good, and is a passible viewing experience despite a small number of video master glitches.

 
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.
coverMill Creek Entertainment
2007 DVD edition

Alfred Hitchcock: The Legend Begins (1926-1962), black & white, 1614 minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, 110 minutes, not rated.

Mill Creek Entertainment, no catalog number, UPC 6-83904-20031-0.
Four dual-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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 and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops; four-disc DVD keepcase, $14.98.
Release date: 25 September 2007.
Country of origin: USA

This DVD edition has been transferred from the same 16mm reduction print from Janus Films as many of the other budget editions.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era websit.
 
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.
Mill Creek Entertainment
2011 DVD edition

Alfred Hitchcock: A Legacy of Suspense (1926-1962), black & white, 1737 minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, 110 minutes, not rated.

Mill Creek Entertainment, no catalog number, UPC 6-83904-52427-0.
Four single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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 and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops; four-disc tin keepcase (rereleased in four disc envelopes in holder within standard DVD keepcase), unknown suggested list price.
Release date: 1 November 2011.
Country of origin: USA

This repackaged DVD edition of the 2007 Mill Creek edition noted above has been transferred from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is presented with music a soundtrack that have been compiled from preexisting recordings.

The supplementary material includes a ‘documentary’ The Story of Alfred Hitchock in 16:9 widescreen (22 minutes) and a collection of Hitchcock film trailers (39 minutes).

 
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.
coverSt. Clair Vision
2007 DVD edition

The Ultimate Hitchcock Collection (1926-1962), black & white, 1695 minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, 110 minutes, not rated.

St. Clair Vision, BX86149-6VD, UPC 7-77966-86149-4.
Six dual-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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 and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; six slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $16.98.
Release date: 19 November 2007.
Country of origin: USA

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

This edition has been transferred from a 16mm reduction print that is soft of image detail, greyed out and flat.

The film is presented with a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
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.
coverEcho Bridge Home Entertainment
2008 DVD edition

Alfred Hitchcock Classics (1927-1962), black & white, 720 minutes total, not rated,
including The Manxman (1929), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Four dual-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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 and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; four-disc DVD keepcase, $15.99.
Release date: 2 September 2008.
Country of origin: USA
This collection has likely all been transferred from 16mm reduction prints.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
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.
coverSynergy Entertainment
2009 DVD edition

The Manxman (1929), black & white, 90 minutes, not rated.

Synergy Entertainment, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R disc, 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; standard DVD keepcase, $9.99.
Release date: 2 June 2009.
Country of origin: USA
This edition has likely been transferred from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is likely accompanied by a soundtrack compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other silent era ALFRED HITCHCOCK films available on home video.

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

Alfred Hitchcock filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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