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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

The Crowd
(1928)

 

King Vidor’s late, great silent feature The Crowd (1928) features Eleanor Boardman and Vidor discovery James Murray in a tale of crushed ambitions and self acceptance. One of the great films of the entire silent era.

coverBach Films
2013 DVD edition

The Crowd (1928), black & white, 100 minutes, not rated.

Bach Films, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 PAL, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 2, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, optional? French language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 16 September 2013.
Country of origin: France
This French edition has likely been mastered from 35mm materials. Initial reports on the visual quality are favorable.

Among the supplemental material is an interview with Jean-Loup Bourget, five lobby card reproductions, and an insert booklet.

North American collectors will need a region-free PAL DVD player capable of outputting an NTSC-compatible signal to view this edition.
coverBoYing
2007 DVD edition

The Crowd (1928), black & white, 103 minutes, not rated.

BoYing, BD891, UPC 9-787885-72696-6, ISBN 7-88572-696-7.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby AC-3 5.1 surround sound and Dolby AC-3 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, optional Chinese language subtitles, 18 chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 2007.
Country of origin: Hong Kong

Ratings (1-10): video: 5 / audio: 5 / additional content: 0 / overall: 5.

This Chinese DVD edition has been mastered from a VHS videotape copy of a video transfer from a good to very-good 16mm source print. BoYing disc encoding has always left us wanting, and this is no exception. The results here are a little dark and flat, with soft image details due in part to the analog video source tape and in part to the substandard source print. Quite a bit of dust and speckling remains in the transfer, indicating to us an overall disregard for delivering quality to the end consumer. One small advantage to the English-speaking collector are the optional subtitles which can be turned off.

The film is accompanied by a cobbled-together music score comprised of preexisting orchestral recordings that have been reprocessed for ersatz surround sound.

This is not a recommended edition. We still recommend the long out-of-print MGM laserdisc edition as the current best home video edition of The Crowd, but if you simply must have the film on DVD, here it is.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverTesco
2009 DVD edition

The Crowd (1928), black & white, 103 minutes, not rated.

Tesco, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 0, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English? language intertitles, optional Spanish language subtitles?, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 2009.
Country of origin: Spain
This Spanish edition has been mastered from a commercial VHS videotape, and reportedly the results are not very good. A 12-page booklet is included.
Other silent era KING VIDOR films available on home video.
 
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