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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2015 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
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A Society
Sensation

(1918)

 

Carmel Myers turns in a charmingly unaffected performance in A Society Sensation and, for her brief screen time in the abbreviated version, ZaSu Pitts is brilliantly meek as Mary, with her subtlely-rendered mannerisms that turn to comedy when she faints.

Flicker Alley
2007 DVD edition

Valentino: Rediscovering an Icon of Silent Film (1918-1922), color and black & white, 226 minutes total, not rated,
including A Society Sensation (1918), black & white, 24 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0004, ISBN 1-893967-32-8, UPC 6-17311-67329-0.
Windowboxed 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, 5.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops, two-disc standard DVD keepcase, $39.98.
DVD release date: 11 September 2007.
Country of origin: USA

The release of this two-disc collection of Rudolph Valentino material is both a happy and sad occasion. Sad, for the unhappy survival condition and incomplete state of surviving prints of these films; happy, for the opportunity to view them in any state whatsoever.

For A Society Sensation (1918) the film is presented in an excellent windowboxed video transfer from the surviving abbreviated 1924 two-reel rerelease version in a 35mm print, which is very-good but, in places, worn. The print shows a moderate amount of frame jitters, sections of pronounced and persistent filmbase scratches, dust, faint early decomposition, speckling and light emulsion damage that can be distracting for the viewer.

The film is accompanied by a pipe organ score performed by Bob Mitchell.

The DVD’s high video bit rate ensures that, despite how rough the source prints are, the disc will render the best-possible image, even on high-definition television monitors. We highly recommend this disc set.

 
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.
Passport Video
2009 DVD edition

The Rudolph Valentino Collection: 5 Fabulous Films (1918-1925), black & white, 420 minutes total, not rated,
including A Society Sensation (1918), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Passport Video, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, three single-sided, dual-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, chapter stops, multidisc DVD keepcase, $19.98.
DVD release date: 11 August 2009.
Country of origin: USA
This three-disc collection of Rudolph Valentino films may have been mastered from 16mm reduction prints. All of the films in the collection have previously appeared on DVD in high-quality editions.

The film is likely to be 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.
Other RUDOLPH VALENTINO films available on home video.
 
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