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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  The Battle at Elderbush Gulch
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

The Battle at
Elderbush Gulch

(1914)

 

D.W. Griffith’s thrilling pioneer drama is a prime example of his mastery of suspense. Starring the young Mae Marsh, whom we love to watch, the film is often stolen when Lillian Gish appears in a shot.

Kino on Video
2002 DVD edition

Griffith Masterworks: Biograph Shorts (1908-1914), black & white, 362 minutes total, not rated,
including The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1914), black & white, 29 minutes, not rated.

Kino International, K268, UPC 7-38329-02682-0.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 1, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops (for The Battle at Elderbush Gulch), two-disc DVD keepcase, $29.95.
Release date: 10 December 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 6 / additional content: 6 / overall: 6.

This edition of The Battle at Elderbush Gulch, produced by David Shepard, has been transferred a bit fast, but close to a natural speed, from a 35mm print of the original Biograph release version of the film. The source print is very-good to excellent, with a little dust, speckling and processing flaws, and minor print damage. Brief bits of the film are lost to splices. Image details are a little soft and greyed out, and may be due to the age of the video transfer itself rather than the source materials. On high-definition equipment with upscaling capabilities, the disc still renders a fairly filmlike and pleasing picture.

Musical accompaniment to the film is performed on theatre pipe organ by the mighty Gaylord Carter.

This disc set is a great value, and this edition of The Battle at Elderbush Gulch is one of the best available on DVD home video.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Image Entertainment
2002 DVD edition

D.W. Griffith: Years of Discovery (1908-1914), black & white, 334 minutes total, not rated,
including The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1914), black & white, 29 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID1270DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-12702-7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, two single-sided, dual-layered DVD discs, Region 0, 4 Mbps average video bit rate, 224 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops (for The Battle at Elderbush Gulch), two-disc DVD keepcase, $39.99.
Release date: 10 September 2002.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 6 / additional content: 6 / overall: 6.

This edition was originally prepared for laserdisc release in 1996 by producer David Shepard, and is identical in presentation and quality to the Kino edition noted above. The video master runs a bit fast, but close to a natural speed, and has been transferred from a 35mm print of the original Biograph release version of the film. The source print is very-good to excellent, with a little dust, speckling and processing flaws, and minor print damage. Brief bits of the film are lost to splices. Image details are a little soft and greyed out, and may be due to the age of the video transfer itself rather than the source materials.

The film is accompanied by the same theatre pipe organ score performed by the mighty Gaylord Carter.

This edition of The Battle at Elderbush Gulch is one of the best available on DVD home video.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
VCI Entertainment
2003 DVD edition

The Great Train Robbery 100th Anniversary Special Edition (1903-1925), black & white and color-tinted and color-toned black & white, ? minutes total, not rated,
including The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (1914), black & white, 20 minutes, not rated.

VCI Entertainment, 8297, UPC 0-89859-82972-7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, dual-layered DVD disc, Region 0, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $19.99.
Release date: 16 December 2003.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 6 / additional content: 6 / overall: 5.

A look at this edition reveals a sound-speed transfer of what appears to be a 35mm print of an edited 1920s Aywon Film Corporation rerelease version of the film. With D.W. Griffith normally having shot his early films at approximately 12-14 frames per second, the film runs entirely too fast here.

The framing is a bit tight, with some intertitles being cropped off. The source video master is analog, so characteristic smeary streaks to the right of highlights on dark backgrounds (like intertitles) are seen here, along with rolling video glitches. On high-resolution equipment, the disc fares worse, with visible NTSC interlacing lines that progressive upscaling of the video signal cannot eliminate.

The rerelease source print is generally in very-good condition, with moments of beginning decomposition and a lengthy vertical scratches to the negative, which produces dark vertical lines in the print.

The film is presented with a pipe organ score taken from an LP records, dust pops and all. The music is far too upbeat during the beginning of the attack. Not a recommended edition of this film, the only thing it is good for is as a document of the Aywon rerelease version.

 
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.
 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports Silent Era.
Other silent era D.W. GRIFFITH films available on home video.

Other silent era LILLIAN GISH films available on home video.

Other silent era MAE MARSH films available on home video.

Other WESTERN FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
Lillian Gish filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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