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

Mantrap
(1926)

 

This Paramount comedy of city/country cultural clashes stars Clara Bow, Ernest Torrence and Percy Marmont, with able support from Eugene Pallette.

A suspension of disbelief is required to think that Bow’s party-girl character would be attracted to Torrence’s gruff he-man enough to marry him and move from Minneapolis to the Canadian northwoods, but just go with it.

National Film Preservation Foundation
2011 DVD edition

Treasures 5: The West 1898-1938 (1898-1938),
black & white and color, 596 minutes total, not rated,
including Mantrap (1926), black & white, 71 minutes, not rated.

National Film Preservation Foundation, distributed by Image Entertainment, NATD7003DVD, UPC 0-14381-70032-9.
Three single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD 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 (silent era films), no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; three slimline DVD keepcases with book of program notes in cardboard slipcase, $59.98.
Release date: 27 September 2011.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 9 / audio: 7 / additional content: 8 / overall: 8.

This edition has been mastered from an excellent 35mm print preserved by the Library of Congress film archive.

The film is accompanied by a music score composed by Stephen Horne. Alternately, the film is also presented with audio commentary by Michael Sragow.

 
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.
Sunrise Silents
2009 DVD edition

Mantrap (1926), black & white, 64 minutes, not rated.

Sunrise Silents, MNT2-N (NTSC) and MNT2-P (PAL), no UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC or PAL DVD-R disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 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, 8 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $21.95.
Release date: 29 July 2009.
Country of origin: USA

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

This edition of Mantrap has been remastered from a 16mm fine-grain duplicate negative copied from the 35mm nitrate print donated by Paramount to the Library of Congress in the 1960s. The source print is dusty and speckled, but respectably detailed. The windowboxed video transfer runs a little faster than natural speed, but not distractingly so. Moving away from the previous Sunrise Silents standard of digitally adding color-tinting, the film is presented here in black & white.

As is noted on the disc, the source negative contains some exterior shots that are considerably lighter than others. This is the result of the processing differences between the older orthochromatic and the new panchromatic filmstocks utilized by cinematographer James Wong Howe. Some shots, including interiors, are overexposed and highlight details are lost.

The film is accompanied by a music score of MIDI-based digital piano music compiled by Rich Oliver.

This remastered edition from Sunrise Silents is a considerable improvement over their previous disc noted below, and is recommended. Collectors wanting to improve their older copies of the film on VHS and earlier DVD releases can do so with confidence. This is the best-looking edition of Mantrap on DVD we have seen.

 
SUNRISE SILENTS has discontinued business and this edition is OUT-OF-PRINT.
Sunrise Silents
2006 DVD edition

Mantrap (1926), color-tinted black & white, 85 minutes, not rated,
with Fatty and Minnie-He-Haw (1914), color-toned black & white, 24 minutes, not rated, Mystery of the Double Cross (1917) [episode 6: “The Dead Come Back”], color-tinted black & white, 25 minutes, not rated, Lost in the Night (1913), color-tinted black & white, 12 minutes, not rated, The Cat and the Monkey (1921), color-tinted black & white, 4 minutes, not rated, and The Selig-Tribune, No. 21 (1916), color-tinted black & white, 14 minutes, not rated.

Sunrise Silents, MNTP-N (NTSC) and MNTP-P (PAL), no UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC or PAL DVD-R disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 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, 6 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $23.95.
Release date: 19 March 2006.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 4 / audio: 6 / additional content: 5 / overall: 5.

This public-domain edition has been mastered from a 8mm reduction print that, as usual, is contrasty, soft of image details, speckled and dusty, with other flaws. Some shots in the print are flat and nearly featureless. The video transfer appears to be framed a bit low, with intertitles positioned higher than usual in the frame.

The film is accompanied by a score of MIDI-based music played on synthesizer.

In his recent releases, edition producer Rich Oliver offers more in additional disc features than any other independent home video company. Fatty and Minnie-He-Haw (1914) is presented from a good 16mm reduction print. The Selig-Tribune (1916) is presented from a very-good 16mm reduction print.

Not the best edition we have ever seen, but passable until someone releases a quality edition from the far better-looking surviving 35mm materials of this film.

 
SUNRISE SILENTS has discontinued business and this edition is OUT-OF-PRINT.
Other silent era CLARA BOW films available on home video.
 
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