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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2018 by Carl Bennett
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Don Juan
(1926)

 

John Barrymore shines in a role that he was born to portray, mirroring his personal life in certain aspects, that of the infamous European lover Don Juan. Mary Astor stars as Adrianna della Varnese, Don Juan’s inspiration for redemption.

The supporting cast includes Warner Oland, Estelle Taylor, Montague Love, Josef Swickard, Willard Louis, Myrna Loy, Nigel de Brulier, Hedda Hopper, Phillipe de Lacy, Helena D’Algy, John George, Helene Costello, Phyllis Haver and Gustav von Seyffertitz.

coverWarner Archive Collection
2011 DVD edition

Don Juan (1926), black & white, 112 minutes, not rated,
with Will B. Hays Introduction to Vitaphone (1926), black & white, 4 minutes, not rated, New York Philharmonic — Overture to Tannhauser (1926), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated, Mischa Elman — Humoresque and Gavotte (1926), black & white, 7 minutes, not rated, Roy Smeck in His Pastimes (1926), black & white, 8 minutes, not rated, Marion Talley — Caro Nome (1926), black & white, 7 minutes, not rated, Efrem Zimbalist and Harold Bauer — Theme and Variations from The Kreutzer Sonata (1926), black & white, 9 minutes, not rated, Giovanni Martinelli — Vesti La Giubba (1926), black & white, 4 minutes, not rated, and Anna Case — La Fiesta (1926), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated.

Warner Home Video, no catalog number, UPC 8-83316-12608-0.
One single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R disc, 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 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $19.95.
Release date: 8 July 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 7 / audio: 7 / additional content: 8 / overall: 7.

This DVD-R edition is presented as originally prepared from a high-definition video scan for broadcast on Turner Classic Movies. The source print is a very-good 35mm duplicate print, with speckling, dust, emulsion scratches and chipping. The source material may not be a nitrate original, as there are timing marks at the end of reels — which may not have been common in prints of the 1920s. The some shots appear to have been inserted from a lesser-quality but good 35mm print.

The film is accompanied the original Vitaphone synchronized sound music score. The audio remastering is very-good, as much of the Vitaphone disc noise has been digitally cleaned up very well.

As with the laserdisc and VHS editions of the 1990s, this DVD edition also presents the original Vitaphone sound shorts that premiered with Don Juan in 1926: Will B. Hays Introduction to Vitaphone (1926), New York Philharmonic — Overture to Tannhauser (1926), Mischa Elman — Humoresque and Gavotte (1926), Roy Smeck in His Pastimes (1926), Marion Talley — Caro Nome (1926), Efrem Zimbalist and Harold Bauer — Theme and Variations from The Kreutzer Sonata (1926), Giovanni Martinelli — Vesti La Giubba (1926) and Anna Case — La Fiesta (1926).

This disc is still the best home video edition of the film available and is recommended.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from . . .
Other silent era JOHN BARRYMORE films available on home video.
 
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