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Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
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King Lear
(1916)

 

The Thanhouser Film Corporation’s production of King Lear (1916) stars renown actor Frederick Warde as Lear, with support from director/actor Ernest C. Warde, Ina Hammer, Wayne Arey and Edith Diestal.

Thanhouser Company Film Preservation
2007 DVD edition

The Thanhouser Collection, DVD Volumes 7, 8 and 9 (1910-1917), black & white, 302 minutes total, not rated,
including King Lear (1916), black & white, 36 minutes, not rated.

Thanhouser Company Film Preservation Incorporated,
unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Three? single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC 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: September 2007
Country of origin: USA
This collection of surviving Thanhouser films has been mastered from prints held by world film archives.

The discs feature musical accompaniment performed on organ by Raymond A. Brubacher.

 
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from THANHOUSER COMPANY FILM PRESERVATION INCORPORATED.
coverAlpha Video
2014 DVD edition

King Lear (1916), black & white, 63 minutes, not rated.

Alpha Home Entertainment, ALP 7321D, UPC 0-89218-73219-4.
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, ? 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, $7.98.
Release date: 25 February 2014.
Country of origin: USA
This edition has likely been mastered from a 16mm reduction print.

The film is likely accompanied by a music score compiled from preexisting recordings.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverTeleVista
2007 DVD edition

King Lear (1916), black & white, 64 minutes, not rated.

TeleVista, no catalog number, UPC 0-29502-19164-1.
one single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 6 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $19.95.
Release date: 2 October 2007.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 3 / audio: 7 / additional content: 0 / overall: 4.

This overpriced edition (for the quality tendered) has been mastered from a fair-to-good contrasty 16mm reduction print of sufficiently low quality, with its blasted-out highlights and plugged-up shadows, to make many of the medium-shot facial features hard to discern and some of the intertitles hard to read. A shame.

The film is accompanied by a serviceable cobbled-together music score performed on orchestral instruments and MIDI synthesizers.

Ask yourself, why is it OK to charge twenty bucks for this kind of quality?

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other SHAKESPEARE FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
 
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