Bernuli Tech Vet
Senior HTF Member
- Aug 2, 2011
- Real Name
- Todd Doc Sigmier
While one might lay blame upon a past set of executives at Universal for the wholesale destruction of their silent film library c. 1948, one must give credit to the current regime for funding a new restoration from the finest extant film elements of the 1923 silent classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
There will be no numerical grade for image, as I'm pleased to have anything on this film, which has been seen in the past in almost unviewable states.
The source element is an original 16mm print, worn, occasional splices, but with far more image clarity than I've ever seen.
That's the good news.
There is no bad news.
This (for the uninformed) is the original Lon Chaney version of the film. Mr. Chaney started in the cinema 1912-13, making a number of short films for director Allan Dwan. He made numerous films for Rex, Victor and Bison, before joining The Universal Film Manufacturing Company in 1916, and remaining there for some of his greatest achievements, with loan-outs or side ventures with a few other major production entries including Goldwyn and Paramount until he joined M-G-M in 1924, returning to Universal in '25 for The Phantom of the Opera.
The synchronized score works beautifully, and is in stereo.
With the exception of the Flicker Alley release, old home video releases on the film are now officially coasters.
Please support film restoration, Universal and Kino by adding a copy to your library.
Image – n/a
Audio – n/a
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD - Yes
Very Highly Recommended
I too have this Blu-ray edition, very well done I hope that KL can deliver, what should be a better visually correct edition but, again, Flicked Alley did a wonderful version with BLackHawk films help. At this point it's a wait and see attitude. I'd love to see it slighly cleaner, and the gray scale better asdusted. They did the best they could, with the elements provided 16mm stock. Like many films of this period, co-opperation from societies around the world seems to yeild the greatest sources of footage for films like The Golem, Phantom of the Opera, the Theif of Bagdad, or the BLack Pirate.
There is no extant 35mm material on this film so far as can be established. There have been rumors of a 35mm print for decades, but those have never amounted to more than rumors. If there's a 35mm print, it's very well hidden.Curious: because they used a 16mm print, does that mean no 35mm print is extant, or just that the 16mm was in better shape?
Would it make any difference to superimpose the 16mm over the 35mm to get all the picture?