Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2013 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.
This epic adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo was directed by Henri Fescourt, and stars Jean Angelo, Lil Dagover, Pierre Batcheff, the beautiful Marie Glory, and Bernhard Goetzke as the Abbé Faria.
|2008 Diaphana Edition Video DVD edition
Monte-Cristo (1929), black & white, 223 minutes, not rated.
Diaphana Edition Video, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 PAL, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 2, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, French language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, €24.98.
DVD release date: 16 October 2008.
Country of origin: France
This PAL edition presents the 2006 reconstruction of the French release version of Monte-Cristo (1929). By far, this edition more complete than any other home video version of the film.
North American collectors will need a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.
|France: Click the logomark at right to purchase this Region 2 PAL DVD edition from Amazon.fr.
|2009 Grapevine Video DVD edition
The Count of Monte Cristo (1913), black & white, 60 minutes, not rated,
with Monte-Cristo (1929), black & white, 40 minutes, not rated.
Grapevine Video, no catalog number, UPC 8-42614-10329-2.
Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 5 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD-R disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, PCM 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 6 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $12.95.
DVD release date: April 2009.
Country of origin: USA
This budget edition has been mastered from an extremely abridged English-language Pathéscope 9.5mm reduction print, which features several dialogue subtitles over the film’s action in addition to standard intertitles. Given the gauge of the source print, the full-frame, slightly faster than natural speed video transfer is reasonably good. While the print has a fair share of dust, speckling, scratches and emulsion wear, the slightly contrasty image is at times acceptably detailed and at others a bit soft. Highlight details are blasted out in places, but the print holds a reasonable range of middle graytones.
The film is accompanied by a serviceable cobbled-together orchestral score from film print sources.
Fans of Fescourt’s sweeping epic film won’t be happy with such a severely truncated presentation of the 24-reel production from a small-gauge print source, but for viewers unfamiliar with the film this edition offers an opportunity to whet their appetite for the French restoration version noted above.
This edition is supplemented by a presentation of the hard-to-find Famous Players adaptation starring James O’Neill, The Count of Monte Cristo (1913).
|This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.
|Other FRENCH FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
Other COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO FILMS of the silent era available on home video:
The Count of Monte Cristo (1913)
Monte Cristo (1922)