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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ - Beverly of Graustark -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Marion Davies (1897-1961) might be best remembered today as the inamorata of William Randolph Hearst, who financed many of her films, beginning in 1918, and with whom she lived for many years.

Some may see a sort of link to a 1941 film by one Orson Welles, which in certain ways seemed to track this relationship, also seen more recently in Mank.

Davies was a good actress, and the support she received from Hearst both helped as well as hindered her career. Cosmopolitan Productions began in New York, moving to9 L.A. and a deal with Paramount, then to M-G-M, and later to Warner Bros., where a huge sound state was created for her .

Ms. Davies personal print collection was donated to the Library of Congress, and as her films fall into the public domain, are being made available to those who wish to help the silent cinema survive amongst the Marvel onslaught.

When someone releases a silent film, they don't do it in order to purchase a new Ferrari, but rather for the thrill of being able to enter a fast food place, and boldly say, "I'll have the big fries."

And this is where Ben Model's Undercrank Productions comes into discussion. Our last posting was regarding some very rare early Lon Chaney productions, some only surviving in fragments.

And it's also where Kickstarter comes into play, as without it, many of these films wouldn't be released.

And so it is that we have Marion Davies 1926 Beverly of Graustark, an interesting sexual comedy, in which in order to help her cousin become king, she must take his place for a period of time.

The surviving 35mm nitrate print was preserved by the LoC, and a master acquired by Undercrank. Very little actual restorative efforts were needed here, and it seems that none were done, which is fine, as the new Blu-ray is far more than acceptable, and is inclusive of the original two-color Technicolor finale.This was a rarity in 1926, as only seven features were either fully (2) or partially (5) in two-color. Overall densities, which obviously come from the print, seem (at least to my eye) to be just the slightest tad heavy in the final master.

An entertaining film, with a quality organ score composed and played by Mr. Model.

Next year possibly we'll get The Red Mill, Tillie the Toiler The Fair Co-Ed or Quality Street.

By the way, Undercrank was a method of cranking a camera at a speed less than it was to be projected in order to make the imagery a bit more active. It was used quite a bit by Douglas Fairbanks to make his athletic abilities more exciting.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 5 (musical score)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

jayembee

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We have a couple of Model's silent DVD releases: Little Old New York (1923) and Zander the Great (1925). Looking forward to getting this.
 

Bert Greene

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Yep, "Beverly" is a cute little film. Ben Model has done great work on his Undercrank label, in particular by reviving these Marion Davies films. I particularly liked "Beauty's Worth" (1922), and Undercrank's release looks superb, miles better than the typically junky prints found on this PD title.

The Davies film I'd most want to see is "The Young Diana" (1922), with its fantastical plot involving a loopy doctor and a youth serum. Eh, unfortunately, this one is considered a 'lost' film. Darnit.
 

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