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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Phantom (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
It's seldom that a silent film arrives on DVD in a physical state that deserves to receive attention.

This is the case with a new release from Flicker Alley, a Los Angeles firm working with silent cinema.

Once thought lost, and later to have survived in incomplete prints, F.W. Murnau's 1922 Phantom has been restored.

The resultant DVD shows just how beautiful a well-handled silent film can look. With all but the final reel coming from original negative, and with what has been researched as being the original tints and tones, The Phantom is one of the releases that one might purchase more for the quality and historical importance than for the film itself, which is not a film for which Murnau would have been remembered.

A great director, cast and writer will not always guarantee a quality film. The point is proven here in terms of the screenplay by Thea von Harbou (Metropolis). The resultant film is overly melodramatic, and only occasionally exhibits the true Murnau look and spirit.

The synchronized score by Robert Israel is of high quality and works beautifully with the images.

A 15 minute documentary hosted by UCLA's Professor Janet Bergstrom serves as a background to the production and its history, while a booklet, packaged with the DVD, deals with the restoration and selection of color tints and tones, and goes into details that will be of interest to silent film buffs.

I heartily recommend Flicker Alley's release as a step forward toward real quality for the silent cinema on DVD. Consider a purchase in support of film restoration, as well as Flicker Alley.

RAH
 

Seretur

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Thanks a lot for the heads-up, Mr. Harris. This will be an essential purchase...

...once I can locate it on-line. Could you provide an Amazon link, or at least its street date?
 

Kirk Tsai

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Did not know about this release until now. Thanks for the info!

Looks like it would be the 7th Murnau film released on DVD, after Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, Tartuff, Faust, Sunrise and Tabu. Now if they could just release City Girl and find Four Devils.
 

Mark Zimmer

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Good luck on Four Devils. A lot of people have looked with little success.

This is an extraordinary silent release, one of the best yet. Flicker Alley should be proud. My full review of the DVD, which was Spotlight Disc of the Week at dOc is here:

http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=8930

One of my many copies of Nosferatu also has excerpts from The Haunted Castle on it. I'd like to see Der Januskopf (1920) turn up and get a good release someday too. If only.....
 

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