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Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
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In the Tentacles
of the North

(1926)

 

A B-film release from Poverty Row studio Rayart Pictures Corporation, this story of ice-bound sailors in the frozen North adapted from a story by James Oliver Curwood stars Gaston Glass and Alice Calhoun.

coverGrapevine Video
2007 DVD edition

In the Tentacles of the North (1926), color-toned black & white, 52 minutes, not rated.

Grapevine Video, no catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-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, 6 Mbps average video bit rate, 256 kbps audio bit rate, PCM 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 15 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $14.95.
Release date: October 2007.
Country of origin: USA

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

This DVD-R edition has been mastered from a color-toned abridged 35mm nitrate print. The full-frame, natural-speed video transfer was originally prepared for Grapevine Video’s VHS release and shows signs of its older, analog pedigree. While the color-tones of the nitrate print are well-captured throughout the midranges, the video transfer itself is contrasty, with little image detail visible in deep shadows and in the blasted-out highlights, making this viewing experience only slightly better than watching a good 16mm print. The very-good source print itself is speckled, with some dust and print damage, but also with more than its share of splices and obvious gaps in the story narrative.

The film is accompanied by a cobbled-together score of orchestral music culled from older film soundtracks, predominantly from the Movietone soundtrack of The Man Who Laughs (1928).

A slightly above-average quality product for this video company that often must rely on older 16mm reduction prints for its releases, this disc is compromised by its older video transfer that likely does not well-represent the image quality of the surviving material. But, hey, where are you going to find another edition of this title?

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.
 
 
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