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Douglas Fairbanks
A Modern Musketeer
(1916-1921)

 

Contents: His Picture in the Papers (1916), The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916), Flirting with Fate (1916), The Matrimaniac (1916), Wild and Woolly (1917), Reaching for the Moon (1917), A Modern Musketeer (1917), When the Clouds Roll By (1919), The Mollycoddle (1920), The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Nut (1921).

This boxset collection of early Douglas Fairbanks films won an award at Il Cinema Ritrovato in 2009 for excellence.

coverFlicker Alley
2008 DVD edition

Douglas Fairbanks: A Modern Musketeer (1916-1921), color-toned black & white, color-tinted black & white and black & white, 760 minutes total, not rated,
including His Picture in the Papers (1916), color-toned black & white, 62 minutes, not rated, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916), color-toned black & white, 27 minutes, not rated, Flirting with Fate (1916), black & white, 57 minutes, not rated, The Matrimaniac (1916), black & white, 46 minutes, not rated, Wild and Woolly (1917), color-toned black & white, 72 minutes, not rated, Reaching for the Moon (1917), color-toned black & white, 69 minutes, not rated, A Modern Musketeer (1917), color-tinted black & white, 69 minutes, not rated, When the Clouds Roll By (1919), color-toned black & white, 86 minutes, not rated, The Mollycoddle (1920), color-toned black & white, 85 minutes, not rated, The Mark of Zorro (1920), color-toned black & white, 107 minutes, not rated, and The Nut (1921), black & white, 65 minutes, not rated.

Flicker Alley, FA0011, UPC 6-17311-67359-7, ISBN: 1-8939-6735-2.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, five 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, five slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $89.95.
Release date: 2 December 2008.
Country of origin: USA

Our first look at this five-disc, eleven-film collection has generally been a delight, and the release of these films on DVD home video has been a long time coming for the relatively neglected Douglas Fairbanks. At first overwhelming, this collection of films released by Triangle, Artcraft Pictures and Fairbanks’ own United Artists is a great overview of the first phase of Fairbanks’ motion picture career, predominantly comprised of his light-hearted comedies, leading to the well-known action-adventure films of the 1920s. Not only does the viewer appreciate the charming talents of Douglas Fairbanks, the collection also gives some perspective of the early careers of John Emerson and Anita Loos, with three of their collaborations included here, and of directors Victor Fleming (two films) and Allan Dwan (one film).

The majority of the films are very-good to nearly excellent in both print material and their full-frame video transfers except for the coarsely transferred His Picture in the Papers, Reaching for the Moon, Wild and Woolly and When the Clouds Roll By, with their coarse (vertical!) pixels easily detected and distracting on high-definition monitors, that may play acceptably on standard televisions.

The films are accompanied by musical scores performed by Eric Beheim, Philip Carli, Frederick Hodges, Robert Israel, Rodney Sauer, The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, and Franklin Stover.

For our reviews of the individual films in this boxset, see our Flirting with Fate on home video, His Picture in the Papers on home video, The Mark of Zorro on home video, The Matrimaniac on home video, A Modern Musketeer on home video, The Mollycoddle on home video, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish on home video, The Nut on home video, Reaching for the Moon on home video, When the Clouds Roll By on home video, and Wild and Woolly on home video pages.

Included is a 32-page booklet with an essay by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta. The supplemental material includes productions stills and pressbook reproductions, an audio essay for A Modern Musketeer, and a reproduction of Fairbanks’ first film contract.

 

Note: A few DVD players have encountered problems playing some discs in this boxset. Flicker Alley has inititated a program to replace defective discs from this Fairbanks set. Click here to report defective discs.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase helps support the Silent Era website.
Other silent era DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS films available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by ROBERT ISRAEL available on home video.

Douglas Fairbanks filmography in The Progressive Silent Film List
 
 
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