Thanhouser Company Film Preservation Incorporated, no catalog number, no UPC number.
Three single-sided, single-layered, Region 0NTSC DVD-R discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; three-disc DVD keepcase, $24.95.
Release date: 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD-R collection, originally released on VHS videotape, of surviving Thanhouser films has been mastered from prints held by world film archives.
The print used for the video transfer of Only in the Way (1911) appears to be a 16mm reduction dupe print of a 35mm original, with moments of damage in the form of decomposition, film splices, speckling, scuffing, vertical scratches, mild warping, and frame jitters. A momentary frame line adjustment is forced by a couple of improperly executed print splices. The transfer has been done full-frame, but is generally open framing, with all intertitles clearly readable. The print has no main titles. Generally, the greyscale range is reasonably broad, with reasonably well-defined shadow detail. Image detail is not the best.
The print for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912) has no main titles. This print is the same utilized for Kino’s earlier home video edition on VHS. The print is a little greyed out, and the video transfer could have been helped with a little brightness reduction and contrast adjustment before mastering for DVD. The print is compromised by a number of film splices, but we have never seen another print of the film and are not certain that another print has survived. The video transfer has been slightly windowboxed so that most televisions will display the maximum amount of the surviving picture. Highlight details seem a little washed-out. Other than the light picture and splices, the print is reasonably clear of distracting flaws. A light smattering of speckling, dust and emulsion damage is present, but the splices are the most distracting flaws. Originally, a two-reel film, enough of the footage has been lost to reduce the film to not much more than a single reel. The print ends abruptly with Hyde’s death.
The Cry of the Children (1912) has apparently only survived in good 16mm reduction prints. While watchable, the print lacks much of the detail and ranges of greytones of the original 35mm prints. Some nitrate decomposition was beginning in the original source print. The video transfer has been slightly windowboxed.
The discs feature musical accompaniment performed on organ by Andrew Crow.
Also included is a booklet of Thanhouser history and film notes by Victor Graf.